On March 18th, Portugal announced the emergency state due to the coronavirus that have already infected thousands of people around the world. In practical terms, an emergency state means closing its borders to all countries in Europe, for people coming in and out in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Since last Monday, the country already lost contact with the rest of Europe when Spain declared its emergency state and closed all the land borders with its neighbour countries and the rest of Europe. Meanwhile, some flights were luckily departing and arriving from and to Lisbon. Not all passengers were there because some of them got stuck in other cities in Europe. Since the announcement of the emergency state, however, it’s possible that people coming to Lisbon and departing from Lisbon get stuck here for quite some time.
So, what to do in those circumstances, when you are a foreigner, tourist, traveler or even someone that was here with business purposes? As a portuguese company, we might know some information about how everything works in Portugal.
What to do when stuck in Porto due to coronavirus
All of these constant changes might be stressful for someone that was planning to go back home in a short period of time. However, panicking is not the solution and information is your weapon to fight against it. Let’s take a look at some useful information to deal with that the best way possible.
Accommodation in Porto
We might notice that even our home countries might be struggling to fight coronavirus, and that’s why answers about rescue flights can have some delay. It’s likely that such passengers should consider staying in Porto or even in Portugal due to coronavirus and delayed flights for at least 15 days more.
For people in such circumstances, they can count on Uniplaces to find and book their accommodation for a 1-month stay or more. There’s no need to visit the property: guests can browse thousands of verified options. There is also Instant Booking, dedicated to people that need accommodation immediately and Fast Booking, where guests can receive full support of Uniplaces Booking agents to find a place to call home.
Portuguese healthcare system
Portugal has SNS (Sistema Nacional de Saúde), which in literal translation is the same as the NHS in the United Kingdom. It’s a public structure that supported all first cases of the virus. At this point, there are dozens of hospitals authorized to take care of Covid-19 patients.
So far, SNS is responsible for taking care of Covid-19 patients. In other words, if you feel any symptom that could relate to Covid-19, you should not come to a private hospital to seek care. Also, you should not go to the Emergency Room. Instead, isolate yourself from others and call SNS 24.
Coronavirus emergency number in Porto, Portugal: +351 808 24 24 24
If you are a non European citizen and you have a travel insurance plan, you should call them asking instructions on what to do. Also, here you can find some health information about all EU countries.
Embassies & Government agencies
If you are stuck in Portugal due to coronavirus, you might want to get in touch with your embassy or consulate to:
- Communicate an emergency situation;
- Ask information about rescue flights in your region.
Some of them have contacts for emergencies on their website. However, remember to use them wisely and only in case of an actual emergency that can put your life at risk.
European Union citizens can consult the portal dedicated to find consulates and embassies for each country of the European Union.
Flight information in Porto
If you want quick information about a flight, you can consult Flight Information website. Keep in mind that only the direct contact with your airline has valid information. To keep posted on information about a specific flight or a flight to a specific country, you should call your airline. Due to some border restrictions in Schengen space, if you have Spain, Italy or France as a connection or your final destination, you might have your flight cancelled or the routes can be changed.
Refunds might be asked directly to your airline, ideally 24 hours before your flight scheduled departure. You might find it useful to know EU’s passenger rights.
Uniplaces advice for stranded passengers in Porto
Uniplaces is working hard to ensure that our customers are safe and sound during this outbreak. We will update our posts as soon as we receive more information about the affected places.
If you already booked with us and need information, please, feel free to reach our Help Center. If you didn’t book but want to know more, get in touch with us.
We all hope this critical situation ends as soon as possible and everybody gets back to their lives. Stay home. Stay safe.