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Portugal

Portugal

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Portugal is still in the process of relaxing lockdown restrictions, allowing restaurants, museums and coffee shops to reopen at reduced capacity from mid-May.

But the European country is keen to revive its struggling tourism industry, with Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva recently declaring "tourists are welcome."

While visitors from outside the EU are banned until at least June 15, some routes in and out of Portuguese-speaking nations such as Brazil are still operating.

The land border between Portugal and Spain, which has been closed to tourists since March, is unlikely to reopen until EU travel restrictions are lifted.

"We are gradually going to start looking at easing border controls," Internal Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita said earlier this month.

Although the prospect of reopening to international tourists appears to be a little while off, officials are putting measures in place to ensure foreign travelers will feel confident to return once they're able to.

Rita Marques, the country's Secretary of State for Tourism, has launched a "don't cancel, postpone" scheme, allowing tourists to reschedule any pre-arranged holidays to Portugal until the close of 2021.

This is valid for all bookings made through accredited travel agencies, along with hotels or Airbnbs, for trips scheduled between March 13 and September 30, 2020.

In addition, national tourism authority Turismo de Portugal has created a free hygiene-certification stamp to distinguish "Clean & Safe" tourism enterprises to increase visitors' confidence.

Businesses will have to comply with hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of Covid-19 to receive the stamp, which is valid for one year.

According to Santos Silva, Portugal's airports will soon be introducing health checks for arrivals, but visitors will not be subject to a mandatory quarantine.

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