Can we travel to Portugal and France?

16 June
Europe is starting to open up for business and vacation tourism. But with many governments taking different approaches to the lifting of movement restrictions it can be confusing to know where exactly we’re allowed to go and for what purpose.Here we breakdown the recent changes and provide you some clear guidance.

General view

Most foreign offices are still advising against all but essential travel, which means for those wanting to travel to a different country, they won’t be breaking the law, but they are being advised to make extra sure their travel insurance policies stack up in relation to COVID-19.

France

France lockdown restriction being lifted 

Can I visit?

In short: Yes, but for EU-visitors only and with enforced quarantine upon arrival for some nationalities.

The rules: France opened its borders yesterday to travellers from EU countries but as the country currently has a ‘reciprocity rule’ it means that any country that is enforcing lockdown on foreign arrivals, people travelling from those destinations will be met with the same measures. 

Therefore, travellers from most EU countries will be allowed to travel to France freely and without having to prove they are COVID-19 free. However, as foreign visitors to the UK are required to lockdown for two weeks, UK visitors to France are required to do the same.

What about those travelling from outside the EU?

The French government has said it will begin easing restrictions on travel from non-EU countries from the 1st July, but only in accordance with the European Commission's advice. Therefore, those wanting to travel from non-eu countries should check the exact rules at the time of booking. 

What’s open?

As of the 15th June, bars and restaurants are allowed to open, even in highly populated areas such as Paris. Hotels are now allowed to take guests and beaches have begun reopening but under tight restrictions. Cinemas will open later this month. 

How can I get there?

The Eurostar remains open as do many flight routes and the Eurotunnel for those travelling by car. 

Any other travel requirements?

If you’re travelling from a country that currently enforces a lockdown requirement on foreign arrivals, such as the UK, you will be required to isolate for a period of two weeks upon your return. 

Can I view properties when I’m there?

Yes. Domestic and international travellers are allowed to view a property. Remote property viewings are also available. 

More details:

diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/

Portugal

What are the travel restrictions in Lisbon 

Can I visit?

In short: Yes, if you have a  residency card such as a Portuguese Golden Visa.

The rules: There are no mandatory quarantine rules being imposed eligible travellers in mainland Portugal.

However, those travelling to the Azores or Madeira will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival if they cannot prove that they have had a negative test result in the past three days.  The government is currently paying for these tests and quarantine is mandatory.

What about those travelling from outside the EU?

Portugal has kept flight connections with the UK, US, Lusophone countries (Brazil, Angola) as well as South Africa and Canada. Like France, Portugal will follow the European Commission’s advice on reopening their borders to the rest of the world, which is going to start from July 1st.

Those who live outside of the EU and are in possession of a residency card, such as a Golden Visa, can travel to Portugal too.

What’s open?

Generally, most day-to-day establishments are now open but with distancing policies in place. These include hotels, private rental accommodation, restaurants and cafes. Even larger shops and shopping centres are now open. Beaches were allowed to open at the start of June and 

How can I get there?

By air only is the recommendation as the border with Spain remains closed until the 1st July. However, those who have a Portuguese residency card will be permitted to enter Portugal via the Spanish border too.

Any other travel requirements?

Those travelling to the Madeira islands or the Azores will definitely be tested for COVID-19 on arrival if they are unable to prove they have tested negative within the previous three days. At the moment the government is paying for these tests. Quarantine is mandatory for those visiting these islands too.

Again, if you’re travelling from a country that currently enforces a lockdown requirement on foreign arrivals, such as the UK, you will be required to isolate for a period of two weeks upon your return. 

Can I view properties when I’m there?

Yes. There are no restrictions on property viewings. For investors outside of the EU, especially those looking at the Golden Visa programme, remote property viewings are available and it remains possible to invest in Portuguese property on a completely remote basis.

More details:

sns24.gov.pt

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