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Maybe We'll Get To Portugal After All!

Old May 23rd, 2020, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by HelenaFatima View Post
Sorry if english is a litle bit "strange". Please remember it's not my first language, and I had a glass of wine for lunch!

Helena
Thank you for joining the conversation! Your English is better than some people who only speak English!
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 09:21 AM
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Thanks Helena, Yes, "wait and see" is definitely what we're doing. I hope we can make the trip, if not this year, then hopefully next. I promise to be well-behaved even after a few glasses of port.

If we're able to make it, I am sure I'll have questions. Thanks!!!
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 12:35 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by HelenaFatima View Post
Hi!

I live in Matosinhos, a neighbour city of Porto, Portugal
It is always great when someone local can chime in with 'on the ground' experiences. I had a great lunch in Matosinhos at O Gaveto last May. We had a problem with a lunch reservation (for 30 people!) elsewhere & O Gaveto accepted us with short notice & fed us very well.
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 07:18 PM
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Re Hetismij2’s post, I DO think it’s an overreaction. Each country’s government decides who to let into their country or not. It’s not up to individual people to act like the police and tell people they shouldn’t travel. And as this is a travel board there is meant to be FRIENDLY discussion of travel, not aggressive comments.
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 07:52 PM
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Question.
If you get Covid while abroad, will your insurance company cover the medical cost???😳
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Old May 23rd, 2020, 11:58 PM
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We obviously all have different attitudes to this subject. It was great to hear from Helena from Portugal. I'm one of the few who says go once it's allowed because I believe the economy needs you. Good luck and stay healthy, everybody.


Last edited by kleeblatt; May 24th, 2020 at 12:06 AM.
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Old May 24th, 2020, 03:23 AM
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Question:
How is that your concern?
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Old May 24th, 2020, 04:43 AM
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Come :)

Originally Posted by maitaitom View Post
We have a September trip already planned (although I need a new flight since our flight was canceled) Interesting article today. Would you risk it? I might.

https://www.frommers.com/blogs/arthu...a4nFH8nQmGwnj4
Hi Maitaitom,
I'm Portuguese living in Lisbon - just correcting that article:
Regarding beaches - opened already (the date of June 6 was anticipated as temperatures will reach 93℉ this week), and hotels + tourism business were allowed to open May 18th. We do use our common-sense a lot. So, when you read everything is open or about to - mask is mandatory inside closed spaces, alcohol at 70%, acrylic barriers and there is restriction on number of people inside (including public transports and taxis).
All the Schengen area (EU and more European countries) is slowly opening borders, Portugal included.
Now, in a personal note, "Is Portugal still angry about Spain's attempted invasion in 1762?" - Ridiculous idea Spain is trying to control the virus before open borders as they went through a tough time (they border with Portugal and France).




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Old May 24th, 2020, 04:57 AM
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Maitaitom, there is one thing (at least) you will not have, even in September, and even if everything goes better. That thing is our (don't know how to say, translator is not helping) "warm". I can give you an example: I'm unemployed, since 28th February. I was working as the booking manager of a company with 26 short-term rental apartments. I used to welcome tourists at the apartments, with a smile and a (in fact, two) kiss(es). A factory is working in the development of a transparent facial mask (mainly because of deaf people), so maybe you get the smile. But not the kisses, or the hug when your vacation ends. I think we will be wearing masks, as well as keeping social distance, for a long time.

I am not trying to discourage you, just saying the facts. I don't know if I will ever again kiss a stranger or hug a stranger (spanish, french, italian people, etc, understand what I'm talking about, people from other countries might not). Meeting the locals was an easy thing to do. Now it's not. The lack of this "warm" is so strong, that we the locals are acting (in Porto, the second largest city of Portugal) like if we live in a small village. In places where it is not mandatory wearing masks (it's only mandatory in closed spaces, not in open air) we all smile at each other, even not knowing the other person.

I hope you will come, for you and for understandable selfish reasons. But I also want that people visiting us feel, first of all, safe, and in 2nd that they get "the portuguese" soul, not just some souvenirs.

Helena

Last edited by HelenaFatima; May 24th, 2020 at 05:14 AM.
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Old May 24th, 2020, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by nylilly View Post
Question:
How is that your concern?
It was a reasonable (and general ) question to travellers at this time.
No need to be rude..
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Old May 24th, 2020, 08:20 AM
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Your excessive use of punctuation and emoji communicated rudeness to me actually.

I appreciate the varied perspectives offered here in various threads, but there seems to be a lack of respect for the decision making capabilities of adults who post here. I’d like to believe (despite having the world’s WORST political leader) that travelers will consider all the available information and then make the best choice for all involved before venturing forth. I’m certainly not going to Greece in July if indicators suggest it is a bad idea, but I am allowed to buy a ticket and hope to travel.
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Old May 24th, 2020, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by nylilly View Post
Your excessive use of punctuation and emoji communicated rudeness to me actually.

I appreciate the varied perspectives offered here in various threads, but there seems to be a lack of respect for the decision making capabilities of adults who post here. I’d like to believe (despite having the world’s WORST political leader) that travelers will consider all the available information and then make the best choice for all involved before venturing forth. I’m certainly not going to Greece in July if indicators suggest it is a bad idea, but I am allowed to buy a ticket and hope to travel.
Your concern about punctuation and perceived insufficient respect for posters’ decisions is really touching.
Keep up the good work!!!👏
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Old May 24th, 2020, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by HelenaFatima View Post
Maitaitom, there is one thing (at least) you will not have, even in September, and even if everything goes better. That thing is our (don't know how to say, translator is not helping) "warm". I can give you an example: I'm unemployed, since 28th February. I was working as the booking manager of a company with 26 short-term rental apartments. I used to welcome tourists at the apartments, with a smile and a (in fact, two) kiss(es). A factory is working in the development of a transparent facial mask (mainly because of deaf people), so maybe you get the smile. But not the kisses, or the hug when your vacation ends. I think we will be wearing masks, as well as keeping social distance, for a long time.

I am not trying to discourage you, just saying the facts. I don't know if I will ever again kiss a stranger or hug a stranger (spanish, french, italian people, etc, understand what I'm talking about, people from other countries might not). Meeting the locals was an easy thing to do. Now it's not. The lack of this "warm" is so strong, that we the locals are acting (in Porto, the second largest city of Portugal) like if we live in a small village. In places where it is not mandatory wearing masks (it's only mandatory in closed spaces, not in open air) we all smile at each other, even not knowing the other person.

I hope you will come, for you and for understandable selfish reasons. But I also want that people visiting us feel, first of all, safe, and in 2nd that they get "the portuguese" soul, not just some souvenirs.

Helena
I just wanted to say that I love your answer, Helena. It is how I feel about people visiting here. I do not want to say “don’t come” because they are presumably educated travelers who can weigh the risks and decide for themselves. But it still feels like odd here, and a visitor wouldn’t experience locals in the same way they would’ve last year. I always enjoy talking to visitors on my favorite hikes or at the restaurants, but right now, I’m not lingering anywhere. May the warm Portuguese soul return soon, for both locals’ and visitors’ sakes.
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Old May 24th, 2020, 08:53 AM
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<<I’d like to believe (despite having the world’s WORST political leader) that travelers will consider all the available information and then make the best choice for all involved before venturing forth. >>

I'd LIKE to believe that, too. I do not.
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Old May 24th, 2020, 09:11 AM
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We don't want that trip report title either

I'd wait it out too. I'd give it a little more time until establishments realize, accept and recalibrate with this new way of life and enforce more effective strategies to keep patrons from getting sick and passing it on i.e. museums, cathedrals, restaurants, tasting rooms, hotels, bars, apt rentals etc. Clearly it's about extreme self governance as everything seems to be reopening regardless of the number of cases continuing to spike.

Who knows anymore. All I know is I miss Europe, the Douro Valley looks amazing and you'll always have Tracy's poutine!! And blast the vents.

https://www.travelandleisure.com/tra...-during-flight
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Old May 24th, 2020, 10:23 AM
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I would definitely not plan to go despite Portugal's reopening.
I am a few months older than you and my husband is a year older. Neither of us has any serious medical condition(s) that put us at higher risk. Before the COVID crisis, we had been planning a trip to Europe in September. Portugal was on the short list of possible destinations.

We may take some short trips close to home by this fall but certainly won't feel comfortable going to Europe.
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Old May 24th, 2020, 10:54 AM
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I miss a LOT of things, too, but it doesn't mean I'm going to subject myself to going through an airport or sitting on a plane just to be in another country. Honestly, things can WAIT! I can't think of any Fodorites on this board who are uncomfortable in their home environments - for god's sake, just stay there for now.
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Old May 25th, 2020, 12:41 AM
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Educated Decisions

Honestly, there is no way to predict how the world will be in September. We won't have a vaccine, but will we have a cure? As is, make an educated decision based on your age and general health condition. It is my personal opinion that - now - you are not in more danger in some countries in Europe than in US, unless you are staying home the all time.
If it's your decision to come, I do advise you a few things:
- Through June, the entire tourism industry in Europe is going to adjust prices. Some countries are adjusting up to compensate the lost, some down to attract travelers (and inside countries, there are differences on regions too, depending on what the internal market is looking for). Make your research, I believe we all have extra time You can get really nice deals at this point (direct contact through their email).
- Book accommodations/hotels that, at least, will fully refund you until 24hrs before arrival (the perfect would be choose now, pay latter)
- Hold the flight. Still costs a small fortune - I checked yesterday the TAP New York to Lisbon flight, June 4, one-way was 1.000USD!
- Same thing about refund policy for transfers, car rentals, tours and other activities (most of them, if contacted, will allow you to book now and pay latter)
- Think on avoiding public transports - Book a private transfer from airport to your hotel, and from Lisbon to where you want to go next (I wouldn't advise you subways, buses or trains at this point). Uber has a "safe" version now that you can choose, with acrylic barrier and other health guidelines.
- And the most important, go to their websites, choose licensed companies (hotels, transfers, activities...) and make sure they have the "Clean&Safe" stamp, a certification that grants you they are commited with the Health Authority Guidelines. TAP has it, most of the hotels also, most of the transfer and tour companies, restaurants...
I think that, with this, if the world takes a turn for the worst, at least you will not lose money. If stay as is, you will have a as-safe-as-it-can-be solution. If a cure pops-up, you saved money
Good luck
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Old May 26th, 2020, 07:37 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by millie2112 View Post
I would wait and see what happens from July onwards.
Australia has its borders closed and we are not allowed to go overseas for a holiday. I am not sure when that is going to change, because the different states do not want to open the borders to each other.
The problem with a pandemic is that there is always more than one wave. Everyone thinks.. phew we did it and then they relax a bit, and it starts all over again. This is what is currently happening in China.
Australia and New Zealand, along with the rest of the South Pacific, are kind of a special case that probably won't bear a lot of relation to what happens in Europe. Thanks to their geographic isolation, these countries were much more successful in locking out the virus than the rest of the world, but that now leaves them with a bit of a dilemma: do they stay with a lock down/lock out strategy, while the rest of the world is opening up, and maybe risk having their first real wave of virus now, or, do they adopt more of targeted lock down approach (protecting nursing homes and assisted living, asking the vulnerable to remain in isolation) and open up?

In European countries where the virus has already hit the low hanging fruit, so to speak, the risk of reopening is less.
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Old May 26th, 2020, 03:53 PM
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I have tickets for a 5 week trip to Europe (France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland) starting Aug 21. I have canceled all the hotels and as much as I hate the thought, if the flight isn't cancelled I will still not go. It's making me heart sick - but I think better that than actual physical sick. Even if things are largely back to normal by fall there will still be some risk of getting Covid-19 and if you get it in a foreign country - well - even worse than getting it at home.

maitaitom - you said "By September, I will be 68. I don't know how many more of these trips I have in me." I'm close to that age and I feel the same way. But I can wait a year and I choose to believe there will be a vaccine by January or so. So I will just add an extra trip for 2021. Now if it turns out there will be no vaccine for years - well then I think I would risk it. I can stay home for a year, but I'm not giving up my travel passion indefinitely .
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