COVID-19: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here you will find simple replies to our most frequently asked questions.  Please read this before contacting the Embassy to allow us to focus on assisting Canadians in distress and requiring urgent assistance.

Canadian citizens who live, travel or are planning to travel in Portugal, should register to the Registration of Canadians Abroad to receive updates from the Embassy.  Also please note that you are responsible for your personal security abroad, and are subject to local health regulations in the country while you are there. 

You can also find reliable and up-to-date information on the following sites:

Question 1 – If I am a Canadian citizen, should I leave Portugal and return to Canada because of the Covid-19 pandemic?

Yes, the Government of Canada advised, as of Monday, March 16, that Canadian travellers should return to Canada by commercial transport while they still can. However, if you choose to stay in Portugal, please ensure that you have sufficient financial resources and basic necessities, including medications.  

Question 2 – If I am Canadian and I am leaving Portugal, do I have to quarantine myself when I get back to Canada?

Yes, in accordance with measures taken by the federal government on Monday, March 16, you must self quarantine for 14 days after returning from travelling abroad. More info: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/16/prime-minister-announces-new-actions-undercanadas-covid-19-response

Question 3 – If I am a Canadian citizen, will the Embassy of Canada in Portugal assist me to find flight information and buy or change an airline ticket to return to Canada?

No. Unfortunately, the Embassy cannot do this for you.  Consular services at the Embassy, particularly in the current circumstances, must focus on assisting Canadians in distress requiring urgent assistance and therefore can neither accompany or replace you in seeking or trying to change a flight.  Such travel arrangements are entirely your responsibility.  

Question 4 – Can I travel to Canada if I have symptoms of Covid-19?

No.  You must stay confined if you have symptoms (fever, cough, respiratory difficulties).  In this situation, you should follow the Government of Portugal’s guidelines and call the emergency response number (808 242 424).  Please also keep the Embassy informed of your situation at lsbon.consular@international.gc.ca or at (+351) 21 316 4600.  You should also urgently request an individual reimbursable loan if this situation causes you financial difficulty (see questions 11 and 12)

Question 5 – Are there any restrictions on my ability to go to the airport to get my flight back to Canada? 

You can go to the airport for a flight to Canada, whether it is direct to Canada or via another country (please ensure, however, that there are no specific measures in place in the country you are transiting through – Please note that at this point, most Canadian citizens are not allowed to transit through the US).  If you are stopped on your way to the airport show officials your plane ticket and your passport.   

Question 6 –­ If I am a Canadian citizen, can I travel in Portugal while waiting for my flight back to Canada?

No. Starting March 19 the Portuguese government has imposed a state of emergency that will last for at least two weeks.  People are permitted to leave their homes but only for essential reasons.   

Question 7 – If I am a Canadian citizen in Portugal, do I have to follow the same state of emergency measures as Portuguese citizens? 

Yes. These measures are mandatory for you as well.  Like the Portuguese, you are authorized to leave for shopping for necessities, for health reasons, to go to work if you work in Portugal and your employer has required you to be present, and finally, for individual physical activity/exercise. 

Question 8 – What is the state of public transit in Portugal, other than international airlines?

We recommend that you monitor the following site http://www.carris.pt/en/home/ for the most up-to date information and anticipate as much as possible a variety of options for getting to the airport. 

Question 9 – Are taxis drivers working?

Yes. You can use them to go to the airport, for example, while respecting public health guidelines.  But be aware that the government might also requisition taxis for transporting health care workers as needed, so it is possible that there will be fewer taxis available as time goes on. 

Question 10 – If commercial flights stop, will I be repatriated?

Certain airline companies are reducing their flights.  It is possible that airlines could stop flying in the days to come, but we have no information on any such measures at this time.  We advise you to return to Canada as soon as possible for this reason.  If you decide to stay in Portugal, please ensure that you have sufficient financial resources and basic necessities, including medications.   

Question 11 – Under what conditions can I apply for an individual reimbursable loan of $5000, as announced by the federal government?

The COVID-19 crisis is having a significant impact on Canadians traveling abroad (limited movements, diminishing number of flights, quarantine of Canadians abroad, etc.) To help Canadians abroad overcome these difficulties, the Government of Canada has established a program of individual loans up to $5000.

What expenses are covered? Expenses related to transport (most economical option possible) and expenses for basic needs: housing, meals, medical expenses that are not covered by travel insurance or Canadian provinces.

Question 12 – If I meet the conditions for financial aid, how do I apply for it?

If you feel that question 11 describes your present situation and you wish to request financial aid, please send us an email at lsbon.consular@international.gc.ca clearly describing your situation and attaching a copy of your Canadian passport. 

Question 13 – If I am a Canadian citizen living in Portugal and my tourism visa or my residency permit will expire in the coming weeks, do I have to leave Portugal and return to Canada?

No. The Portuguese government announced on March 16 that they will automatically extend the validity of tourism visas or residency permits to June 30.