Emergency Legislation – Travel

Emergency Legislation


There are many important pieces of legislation in place as regards to Covid – 19, in particular the actual State of Emergency law.

These laws are not easy to source and find the correct law applicable to people’s needs and circumstances, To make this a little easier Safe Communities has put together a list of these, suitably indexed in 22 categories with English headings.

Portugal is currently in the second extension of  emergency legislation which ends 11:59 pm on May 2, 2020.

NEWS 26th of April

Decree Law No. 17/2020

Publication: Republic Diary No. 80/2020, Series I of 2020-04-23
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 17/2020
  • Pages: 3 – 6



What is it?

This decree-law establishes exceptional and temporary measures concerning the tourism in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the public health emergency of international scope, declared by the World Health Organization on 30 January 2020, as well as the classification, on 11 March 2020, of the COVID-19 disease as a pandemic, the Government has been approving a set of extraordinary and urgent measures in several matters.

What is going to change?

Travel organized by travel and tourism agencies (e.g., finalist trips) scheduled for the period from 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020, which are not carried out due to the pandemic entitle the traveller to:

    • obtain a voucher of equal value to the payment made, valid until 31 December 2021;
    • reschedule the trip until 31 December 2021.

Reservations of accommodation in tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments made directly by the guest, for the same period, which are not made or which are cancelled, entitle the guest to:

    • obtain a voucher of equal value to the payment made, valid until 31 December 2021;
    • reschedule the reservation of accommodation until 31 December 2021, by agreement between the guest and the tourist resort or local accommodation establishment.

The cancellation of reservations made by travel and tourism agencies, for the period from 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020, gives operators the right to receive the unused amount.

This amount must be used to pay the costs of any other reservation with the same tourist resort or local accommodation establishment by 31 December 2021.

In the case of finalist trips, travellers may choose one of the two options identified above.

If the finalist trips are not made at the responsibility of the travel and tourism agencies, travellers can call the travel and tourism guarantee fund.


If the voucher is not used by 31 December 2021 or if there is no rescheduling, the traveller is entitled to a refund, to be made within 14 days.

Travellers who are unemployed may, until 30 September 2020, request reimbursement of the total amount paid, to be made within 14 days.

What advantages does it bring?

This decree-law guarantees the financial sustainability of tourism operators and reinforces consumers’ rights.

When does it enter into force?

This decree-law enters into force on 24 April 2020.

(from Safe communities Portugal)

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