COVID-19: Frequently asked questions

Here you will find 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.

The Government of Canada continues to advise all Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada and to avoid all cruise ship travel until further notice. If you choose to travel despite these advisories, be aware that commercial airspace closures and movement restrictions can occur without warning and could prevent your return to Canada. The Government of Canada is not planning facilitated flights to bring Canadians home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consult Travel and tourism for further advice.

At the moment Canadians cannot travel to Portugal, except for “essential travel”. If you have an urgent and essential need to travel to Portugal, please contact the nearest Portuguese Consulate or Embassy for more information.

Canadian citizens who live, travel or are planning to travel in Portugal, please register yourselves as Canadian citizens abroad to receive updates from the Embassy. Please note that you are responsible for your personal security abroad, and are subject to local health regulations.

You can also find much reliable, 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 March 16, 2020 that Canadian travellers should return to Canada by commercial transport. If, however you choose to stay in Portugal, please ensure that you have sufficient financial resources and basic necessities, including medications.

Please be aware that commercial airspace closures and movement restrictions can occur without warning and could prevent your return to Canada. The Government of Canada is not planning additional facilitated flights to bring Canadians home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, if you are a Canadian citizen living and/or working in Portugal, or if you are a dual citizen of Portugal and Canada, you do not have to return to Canada. If you choose to stay in Portugal, please ensure that you have sufficient financial means and first-necessity items, including medication, to support yourself. We advise you to check with your insurance company that you are properly covered. New regulations could affect your travel plans at all times.

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

Yes, all international travellers returning to Canada, including Canadian Citizens, must self-isolate for a period of 14 days upon their return to Canada, even if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19

Prior to arrival in Canada, travellers are asked to provide relevant information, which includes travel and contact information, a quarantine plan (unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order), and COVID-19 symptoms self-assessment, through:

  • the ArriveCAN mobile app (iOS or Android). Enter the required information securely within 48 hours before arriving in Canada, allowing you to spend less time in line and limit your physical contact with others upon arrival.
  • Travellers who may experience difficulty submitting their information through ArriveCAN can access additional information at Canada.ca/ArriveCAN or send an email to: phac.arrivecan.aspc@canada.ca.

Your quarantine plan should confirm that you have:

  • a suitable place of quarantine that has the necessities of life for 14 days
  • private transportation to the premises, if possible
  • access to supplies such as prescriptions, food and cleaning supplies, and other necessary support such as child care

Do not plan to quarantine in a place where you have contact with individuals who have an underlying medical condition or compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment, or who are 65 years of age or older.

If you are returning by plane, you must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while you travel to Canada. You will also be subject to screening prior to boarding. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be able to fly to Canada. Before you travel, check for updates to see how transportation measures affect your plans and what you need to pack. You will undergo a screening to assess symptoms upon arrival.

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. See the Canadian Consular Services Charter for further information regarding consular services provided by the Government of Canada.

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

No, you must stay confined if you have any symptoms. In this situation, you should follow the Government of Portugal’s guidelines and call the 24 health line (Saúde 24,) tele: 808 242 424. Please also keep the Embassy informed of your situation at lsbon.consular@international.gc.ca or at (+351) 21 316 4600.

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.

Note: 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?

If you are already in the country, please see the measures imposed by the new State of Emergency decreed by the Government on November 9.

Note: The state of emergency measures can change at any time. For further information see COVID19 measures, and/or www.visitportugal.pt.

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. See New State of Emergency Measures for the most recent information. These measures are mandatory for you as well. Follow them for your safety and the safety of others.

Question 8 - Are taxis, buses, Uber and trains working?

Yes, they are. You can use them to go to the airport and get around, but please respect all the public health guidelines. See visit Portugal.

Question 9 - If commercial flights stop, will I be repatriated?

Certain airline companies are reducing their flights. There is always the possibility that airlines could stop flying at some point, 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. The Government of Canada is not planning any repatriation of its citizens.

Question 10 - If I am a Canadian citizen in Portugal and my tourism visa or my residency permit expire in the coming weeks, do I have to leave Portugal and return to Canada?

Not necessarily. In accordance with the provisions of the Decree-Law 87-A/2020, of October 15, visas and documents related to the stay of foreign citizens in national territory that expire after February 24 are accepted, in the same terms, until March 31, 2021, as long as the holder proves that they have already scheduled the respective appointment to renew the document/visa. Consult Portuguese Immigration and border control authorities for further information: www.sef.pt     

Question 11 - I am Canadian but my family/common-law spouse does not have Canadian citizenship. Can they return to Canada with me?

For information and instructions, see the Immigration Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Paris’s web page, or email the Embassy of Canada in Paris – Immigration Section at paris-imvisitor@international.gc.ca.

Question 12 - Under what conditions can I apply for an individual reimbursable loan of $5,000, 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 $5,000.

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

Who can apply for this emergency loan? Canadian travelers abroad who have planned to return to Canada and their travel plans were compromised by the current crisis. Canadians in need of immediate financial assistance could apply for this emergency loan. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. This measure does not exempt Canadians from trying to find a solution on their own before using this loan, and should be aware that this emergency loan will have to be repaid within 180 days.

We will consider that you plan to return to Canada if you:

  • Had a return flight booked and your flight was cancelled or delayed
  • Attempted to book a flight, but cannot due to the travel restrictions or exorbitant pricing

Find out if you are eligible to receive the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians outside of Canada.

Question 13 - If I meet the conditions for financial aid, how do I apply for it?

If you feel that question 12 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.