The EU Digital Covid Certificate, air transportation, local accommodation, hotel bookings, camping and caravan parks, restaurants, gyms and culture, are some of the main topics that you are able to find in this guide.

“The idea was to simplify the legal language so that citizens would have at their disposal something that could help resolve any conflicts that might arise”, explained Mariana Almeida, DECO’s legal advisor, in an interview with The Portugal News.

Lack of communication

In addition to the legal language, which can be more complicated to understand, there is also a problem for non-Portuguese speakers: the language barrier. The language barrier can cause lack of communication, which, according to DECO, contributes to some foreign consumers, tourists and residents, suffering from problems that could have been avoided if consumers had been properly informed.

“The language barrier exists. Recently, we had a foreign consumer who lives in Croatia that has a specific problem regarding local accommodation in Portugal. In short, she told us that she has tried to inform herself about how to solve the problem, but didn’t succeed, until she spoke to us. In fact, the language barrier can be an impediment to get proper information about what the steps consumers should take to solve a specific problem”, Mariana Almeida stated.

That’s why DECO decided to make this information available to everyone, not just Portuguese-speakers. “We’ve translated the guide into English to explain all these rules that are so complex, namely in times of pandemic that actually present a whole new set of situations that didn’t exist before”, said Rosário Tereso, legal advisor in DECO.

Legislative changes

Another factor that can cause misunderstandings is the successive legislative changes that can further confuse foreign tourists who may have completely different laws and measures in their country of origin.

“There is a huge disparity of laws, not only in Portugal, but also in the European Union. The truth is that even Portuguese tourist consumers find it difficult to be aware of all legislative changes, then try to imagine someone who visits us and comes from a country with completely different rules”, said Rosário Tereso.

What conditions are required in check-in to tourist accommodation or whether or not you have to wear a mask, where do we need a Covid-19 digital certificate are some of questions that the guide answers. “It was a bit like that, condensing everything into a document. I see the guide as a pocket guide that we usually use when we travel”, highlighted Rosário Tereso.

In short, DECO recognises the great importance of welcoming all these tourists that come from all over the world, which is only possible by making their experience in Portugal the best possible, instead of being ruined by a legal issue that could be easily resolved if they were properly informed.

“Sometimes, just because of a situation that could be avoided, the tourist gets a bad image of the country, despite having enjoyed very happy moments there.” Being informed is key.

Please find the guide at: https://issuu.com/decoassociacao/docs/turism_and_leisure_guide_-_2021_version-vf

The guide is really worth reading. If there is any information that is not clear or if you would like to ask a specific question, you can get in touch with DECO directly, they will be happy to help.

Always count on DECO’s support. Please, visit their website at www.deco.pt or contact their services through 289 863 103 or by email: deco.algarve@deco.pt