For international travelers who wish to visit Portugal or who have booked a trip in progress, there is a new travel insurance program offering coverage related to COVID-19.
Promoted by RNA Assistance Insurance, a Portuguese travel insurance company, the Portugal Travel Insurance program is said to cover surgical, pharmaceutical and hospital expenses associated with the current pandemic across the country.
Travel insurance in Portugal coincides with other programs correlating with tourism health and safety measures responding to the impact of COVID-19. The insurance program has also been endorsed by VisitPortugal, the country’s tourism board, to build confidence in Portugal as a tourist destination.
According to Celina Tavares, director of VisitPortugal, this insurance scheme was created after a market analysis identified new needs that travelers, with the pandemic still present, will have.
According to Celina Tavares, director of VisitPortugal, this insurance plan was created after a market analysis identified new needs that travelers, with the pandemic still present, will be facing.
“We are all adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and for tourists it is essential for tourists to be guaranteed a smooth journey. Thus, our insurance provides for special coverage related to an event derived from COVID-19 and aims to provide more peace of mind to those who have a planned trip to Portugal, ”explained Tavares.
Portugal’s travel insurance program, which is optional for travelers, coincides with other recent programs in Portugal correlated in response to the impact of COVID-19.
Tavares added that the insurance offer is also aligned with VisitPortugal’s Clean & Safe program. The latter program complies with health safety recommendations issued by the National Tourism Authority, which comply with the directives of the National Health Authority.
Another tourism-related program is Portugal Health Passport, which was created so that international tourists have direct access to private English-speaking health professionals and health services at fixed prices across the country.
Sheree Mitchell, who currently resides in Lisbon and heads travel agency Immersa Global, believes the Portugal Health Passport serves “as proof of Portugal’s commitment to creating a safe and healthy environment for visitors”.
“The scope of coverage is extensive. It not only covers any potential illness related to COVID-19, but it also covers other travel-related medical emergencies as well as routine doctor visits such as eye exams and dental treatment, » said Mitchell, who divides his time between Lisbon and Miami.
Mitchell also noted that Portugal’s health passport includes a pre-determined fee, which keeps its policy transparent and less stressful for the consumer.
Since Portugal reopened its borders at the end of June, Mitchell said a slow but steady increase in tourism from European visitors has been observed over the past two months. At the end of August, British residents were given the green light to travel to Portugal without having to undergo a previously mandatory quarantine on their return home.
As of July 1, the Portuguese government has banned US citizens from non-essential (tourist) travel to Portugal.
Domestic tourism in Portugal appears to be increasing considerably. Having recently completed a 14-day road trip through mainland Portugal, Mitchell found that many locals and residents were exploring the country further.
“The hoteliers and restaurateurs I spoke with were pleasantly surprised that so many Portuguese are traveling through Portugal this year,” Mitchell said. ” [For example], most of the Alentejo region’s isolated boutique hotels have been booked all summer with local clients. “
Regarding restaurants, Mitchell pointed out that many of them already offer outdoor dining, which is allowed. For those who had not struck before the pandemic, Portuguese municipalities allow them to create food courts on the sidewalk.
“I’ve eaten everywhere, from small family-run restaurants to Michelin-starred restaurants, and the rules are exactly the same wherever you go,” Mitchell said. “Sanitize your hands on arrival, wear masks until you are seated at your table, and stay six feet from everyone.”
Similar health and public safety mandates from the Portuguese Directorate General for Health apply to common areas of hotels, shopping centers, public transport and all other enclosed spaces.
Currently, Portuguese residents and visitors must wear masks in closed public spaces (unless sitting and eating in a restaurant) and use hand sanitizer before entering. They are also required to maintain a social distance of six feet from others and to refrain from the cultural practice of greeting friends and family with kisses on the cheek.
If anyone suspects that they have contracted COVID-19, they should self-quarantine and seek help by contacting Portugal’s national health department.