- Tourism is open again in Portugal
- The golf courses, restaurants, bars and hotels are open for golf travellers.
- The “Travel Bridge” between Portugal and the UK is widely expected in early July 2020.
- The Portuguese have put in place some of the best measures for travel and golf holidays post lockdown, keeping holidays safer and worry-free.
With great prices and security measures on flights, it’s great to be able to travel to Portugal for a golf holiday again.
The phrase “new normal” is often used to describe life after lockdown, and for golf holidays it is no different. The key is to protect travellers while maintaining the fact that they are on holiday and visiting to enjoy themselves.
After three months of lockdown, we are now approaching the time where golf courses, resorts and holiday destinations are opening up to the public. Lots of golfers have been itching to dust off their clubs and get out on the course. The question is, can you plan a golf holiday knowing that you will be as safe as possible? This guide will help you make the best choices for your group in the current environment.
Can I Travel to Portugal in Autumn 2020 for a Golf Trip?
The UK is currently negotiating Air Bridges with European destinations; it is fully anticipated that the popular destinations will be available for travel by early July. Our understanding is that these destinations will include those countries which have the virus under control and safety measures in place to trace outbreaks. We are expecting Portugal to be included in the “Air Bridges”.
If you feel it’s too soon after lockdown to fly to a foreign destination, golf trips are also available within the UK. The UK government has announced that hotels and resorts will be opened by the 4th of July 2020. For guidance on UK golf resorts, you can drive to read our article here.
How Has Portugal Responded to Covid-19 for Golfers?
No quarantine will be imposed on UK flight arrivals. There are measures in place to track and trace both locals and travellers. The Algarve, in particular, has fared well during the pandemic, with only 521 cases so far.
A “Clean & Safe” seal of approval has been implemented to check all tourism-based businesses to ensure correct safety standards are in place for staff, guests and locals. This includes golf courses, hotels, car rentals, transfer companies and restaurants.
More information can be found on the Visit Portugal website
The courses and resorts in Portugal have been working hard to ensure that improved levels of cleanliness are in place to protect guests. New hygiene protocols are being rolled out across accommodation, golf courses and restaurants.
Will Bars and Restaurants be Open?
With the implementation of Clean & Safe guidelines, the bars and restaurants across Portugal will be open of business. Safety of customers will be a priority and therefore the capacity will be reduced to ensure social distancing of 1.5m.
Will I Need to Wear PPE to Play Golf in Portugal?
Golf is a naturally social distanced game being non-contact and played by individuals across acres of land. Therefore there is no requirement for you to wear a facemask whilst playing golf, although that does not stop you wearing a mask if that makes you more comfortable.
The measures implemented by golf courses across Europe have enabled courses to open early and for golfers to play in a socially distances & safe manner.
Measures Introduced by Hotels and Golf Resorts to Provide a Safe Environment for Golfers
Golf course safety precautions taken include (but are not restricted to):
- Social distancing observed by players – 2m apart
- Dressing rooms will remain closed
- Restricted use of putting greens/practice areas
- Players go directly to the first tee, only 5 minutes before the allotted time. 10 Minute intervals between groups.
- Ball washers/fountains will not be available
- Bunkers raked by using clubs
- Hole flags remain in place at all times
- Holes will have a stopper to ensure the ball does not need to be picked up from the cup
- After the round players should go straight to their car/transfer.
- Contactless payment methods – no cash
- Sanitised trolleys/buggies will be available for single-player use
The general safety measures within golf resorts include (but are not restricted to):
- Facemasks/gloves worn by staff
- Regular temperature checks for staff
- Strategic placement of hand sanitisers
- Increased cleaning of public areas and accommodation
- Simplification of check-in and check-out
- Maintenance & Housekeeping only available when guests are not in the property.
- Spa and swimming pools will be closed or limited guests allowed in the pool
- Restaurant buffets are not available – table service & take away options provided to guests
- Guests advised removing shoes before entering your accommodation