The real estate company Imovirtual has released data that indicates that Portuguese prices for rental accommodation have dropped considerably. Whilst property prices continue to rise, rental prices have dropped by an average of 14.2 % since this time last year. ‘Tourist destinations such as Faro, Madeira and Lisbon have seen a drop in property rental prices making them more affordable for short term…’.
Is Portugal a safe destination?
Portugal has been widely admired for the efficiency with which it coped with the Covid-19 crisis. It has recorded around 1500 fatalities to date, but Manuel Lobo Antunes, Portugal’s ambassador to the U.K. assured listeners to B.B.C.’s ‘Today’ programme that: ‘ We think the situation is under control and we would be happy to receive, as before, as many British as possible.’
Currently, the Foreign Office is still advising against all but essential overseas travel, which means that you might experience difficulty in securing travel insurance, however it is anticipated that an ‘air bridge’ agreement, with Portugal, will be in place by the of June. Such an agreement would require a change in the Foreign Office advice and would mean that British travellers returning from Portugal would no longer be required to conform to the two weeks mandatory isolation, which is in place at the moment.
What precautions is Portugal taking to safeguard tourists?
Portugal is now welcoming tourists into its major airports and mainland Portugal is not requiring an isolation period for new arrivals, although such measures will remain in place in Madeira and the Azores until the end of June. On arrival, all visitors will have their temperature taken and anyone with a high temperature will be required to isolate. Non-surgical masks will be required on public transport and social distancing measures will be in place in bars and restaurants. Beaches will operate a one-way system and numbers will be limited. Portugal’s Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva has acknowledged that nightlife in the resorts will be constrained and that large groups of people will not be allowed to congregate at night.
Is now a good time to visit Portugal?
Portugal welcomes around 23 million visitors each year, but this summer will certainly see a huge drop in visitor numbers. This means that those who do visit the major tourist attractions of the Algarve this summer will enjoy these stunning locations without the crowds. This summer will be a unique opportunity to enjoy the rich variety that this country has to offer with fewer tourists than there have been for perhaps ten years. Couple this with much lower prices for rental accommodation and the prospect of summer in Portugal begins to look even more appealing. There will of course be constraints, but then we’ve all got used to living with those and in a country with such an abundance of sunshine, dining al fresco a couple of metres away from the nearest table is hardly much of a disincentive.