Portugal Opens for Visitors as Flights Resume

TAP Air and Ryanair to resume Dublin - Portugal flights

Portugal has announced its COVID-19 lockdown exit plan which is comprised of a roadmap of three stages, the first of which began on Monday 4th May, the second on the 18th May and the third stage is set to begin on the 1st of June. Each phase allows for different parts of the country to re-open while a number of important measures will also be kept in place, including the compulsory wearing of masks in several public spaces, such as on public transport.

From the 3rd July, TAP Air intend to resume its Dublin – Lisbon route, connecting the capitals three times a week with flights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This is part of the airlines plan to resume 19% of its normal, pre-pandemic operations.

Ryanair have announced their July schedule flying from Ireland to Portugal. This schedule includes six flights per week from Dublin – Faro, five flights per week on the Dublin – Porto route, three flights per week between Dublin and Porto and two flights per week on the following routes; Cork – Faro, Kerry – Faro, Knock – Faro, Shannon – Faro.

The Portuguese Prime Minister recently revealed a list of rules to ensure the safety of both residents and tourists during the COVID-19 Pandemic. These rules include a ban on non-nautical sports, mandatory use of masks in beach bars or restaurants, sunshades must be 3 metres apart with no more than five people under at any one time and beach-goers must always keep a 1.5 metre distance between each other, unless they are part of the same group.

Beach-goers can download the new mobile phone app ‘InfoPraia’ to view the occupancy status of Portuguese beaches in real time.

This year, beach-goers can enjoy 360 Portuguese beaches which have been awarded the Blue Flag status from the Blue Flag Association of Europe (ABAE), an increase of eight on last year’s number. This number includes 322 coastal and 38 beautiful inland beaches.

There are four main factors considered when awarding a Blue Flag to a beach which are, the provision of educational information, the quality of the water for bathing, services and equipment on the beach, and safety provisions.

The Algarve tops the list once again as the region with the most Blue Flag beaches, with 87.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel is something that many of us are eager to return to and as the world begins to adjust to the new normal, rural Portugal is ready and waiting to be discovered.
Voyage beyond the cities and uncover the beautiful Portuguese countryside, from manor houses to farmhouse, from castles to coasts, there is plenty to enjoy.

Three Portuguese beaches have ranked among the safest beaches in Europe according to European Best Destinations. The beaches that ranked were Porto Santo Beach, Madeira, ranking in fourth place, Meia Praia, Lagos, Algarve ranking in seventh place and Comporta, Alentejo, ranking 22nd.