On this page we hope to answer any questions you may have regarding COVID-19, both in relation to LUX MARE and the Algarve, and the extra measures we have taken to provide a clean and safe stay at LUX MARE luxury villas.
LUX MARE – awarded the ‘Clean and Safe’ designation
The Portugal Tourism Board created the ‘Clean and Safe’ stamp for businesses who meet the highest standards in health and hygiene procedures, as set out by the government. Full details on the Clean and Safe programme can be found here.
There are a set of criteria and standards specific for accommodation that must be met to be designated clean and safe, you can read this full list here.
In addition to the Clean and Safe criteria, LUX MARE intends to go above and beyond these requirements, thus taking every step possible to ensure you have a safe and relaxing holiday in our luxury villas. Further details on specific measures can be found below.
How we are supporting our guests
Since the beginning of the outbreak (even before the State of Emergency lockdown) all members of the LUX MARE team were advised and guided by a local medical professional, including receiving training in hygiene and personal safety best practices.
The team have received regular updates as government guidance has developed. Their local knowledge and contacts mean that they are able to support guests with any circumstances that may arise.
Enhanced cleaning measures
Enhanced cleaning measures have been introduced in order to reduce possible spread of infection and to protect our guests and our staff.
These measures now also include disinfecting touched surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, remote controls, taps, etc using approved disinfectants whenever the housekeeper is in attendance (before, during and after the guest visit).
By cleaning first, then disinfecting, we are helping to lower the risk of spreading the infection.
All bedlinen including sheets, mattress & pillow protectors, towels, and kitchen towels are washed at the highest heat setting recommended by the manufacturer.
The housekeeper(s) will wear protective gear while cleaning, including disposable gloves and masks, and should you prefer to have limited house keeping, you may request this to suit the situation you are most comfortable with.
While the COVID-19 situation is ongoing, we are doing our best to minimise person-to-person contact during a guests’ stay.
When staff need to visit the property (such as housekeepers, concierge, maintenance personnel) they will wear protection including a mask and disposable gloves and will maintain social distancing recommendations where possible. Guests may also prefer to vacate the property or remain in the outside areas during the housekeeper’s visits.
Helping guests to protect themselves
To help guests maintain a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene, we are providing disinfectants and other cleaning supplies for guests to use, including:
All guests are advised to follow general health and hygiene recommendations, including frequently washing your hands, self-cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces, and protecting against the reach of sneezing by using a paper towel or sneezing into your elbow.
Are all concierge and additional services at LUX MARE still available?
We are working closely will all our partners to ensure these services can continue, with the right precautions in place. Private chefs, massage services, and personal trainers / physiotherapists are still available. For other services, please speak with the concierge.
While some services may be impacted during your stay, as this is an ever evolving situation, we are committed to finding solutions and working alongside our guests with their health and safety in mind.
Gym Access to nearby Cascade is scheduled to resume shortly.
Have the cancellation policies for LUX MARE been amended, or made more flexible?
We are implementing temporary changes to our cancellation policies due to COVID-19. The main change is that we are offering guests the opportunity to re-schedule their booking to a later date, however this may depend on when the booking was made, and insurance options. Cancellations and date changes are being made on a case by case basis, please feel free to contact us to discuss options prior to making your booking at LUX MARE.
LUX MARE / Destination Algarve is I-PRAC (International Property Rental Approval Certification) approved
Trust and confidence are fundamental to our values as a business.
Our clients can now register their bookings through the I-PRAC website, which means that their payments are guaranteed and they will have peace of mind that they are booking with a legitimate rental agency.
What to do if a guest suspects that they have contracted COVID-19 while staying at a LUX MARE property
Before leaving your home to go to LUX MARE, please ensure that your travel/health insurance is valid.
If a guest suspects that they have contracted COVID-19 they must immediately self-isolate in the property and contact 800 242424 immediately.
The guest must also contact their LUX MARE representative/concierge as soon as possible (by email at email@example.com or phone (+351) 969 881 453, explain the situation and inform the representative what the authorities have advised the guest to do, so that we can assess how best to assist.
Representatives of LUX MARE will not enter the property; however, they will facilitate the delivery of essential supplies (food, drinks, and other items) to the front door of the villa.
The guest should contact their LUX MARE representative every day with an update on their condition.
May I stay longer at a LUX MARE villa if required?
Please note that if a guest is forced to extend their stay due to contracting COVID-19, the extension can only be accepted until 6 days prior to the next guests are due to arrive at the property – in order to provide sufficient time for the property to be fully disinfected. Any extension of stay depends entirely on the booking calendar and availability.
If a guest is forced to extend their stay and this will impact the arrival of new guests, the LUX MARE representative will support you in finding alternative accommodation where they can continue their isolation.
The cost of any additional nights, or accommodation, will be the sole responsibility of the client, LUX MARE has no responsibility for covering these additional costs. For this reason, we suggest seeking the best insurance policy you can at these times.
The Algarve: A summary of the situation
(Find a full timeline and summary of Portugal at the end of this page)
The situation in the Algarve has remained well-managed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the total number of cases and deaths in the Algarve have been very low in comparison to Lisbon and the North.
In total, since March 2020, the Algarve has recorded a total of 663 cases and 15 deaths, with these spread out across the region, and only a number of these cases in the Lagos area.
For the latest information regarding the current situation in Portugal regarding COVID-19, please follow this link to the the Portuguese Directorate-General for Health (DGS) (the information is available in Portuguese and English):
The DGS website contains a lot of very useful information and advice, and also lists many of the actions that have been taken since the outbreak occurred in order to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
Who can visit Portugal currently?
There are ongoing updates to who may enter Portugal for tourism at this time, and you are advised to contact SEF (the Portuguese border agency) or your home country government travel advice to find out the situation for each individual country. The land borders with Spain have also re-opened.
Is there a required quarantine or test on arrival in Portugal?
For mainland Portugal, there is no quarantine or testing requirement for most tourists to the Algarve. For some specific methods of travel, or visitors from certain countries, a test result may be required, but from the UK and the EU, currently you will not require a test, nor to quarantine, when arriving in Portugal. Please confirm with your home countries any requirements relating to your return journey.
Are the beaches open?
Yes, beaches across the country are open, many have lifeguards and flags/traffic light systems to keep you as safe as possible, and there is now an app, called InfoPraia, which you may download to track which beaches are at capacity.
Are restaurants open?
Yes, many restaurants, snack bars and cafes are fully open again, albeit with some restrictions such as additional spacing between tables, mask requirements when entering inside (although masks can be removed when seated) and reservations are recommended due to the limited capacity. Late night bars are currently closed, with an update to follow.
Are activities available?
Yes, theme parks such as Slide and Splash, boat tour operators, and kayak tours in Lagos are all open for visitors, again, there are some additional precautions being taken. The LUX MARE team can advise on any particular questions you may have.
COVID-19 Health Guide: who to contact in Portugal
The medical advice regarding coronavirus states that if you have a recurrent and persistent cough or a fever of over 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher that you should preventively stay at home for 14 days and call SNS24 on 808 24 24 24 which will direct you to the nearest health institution that has the capacity to deal with you.
If you think you are infected with coronavirus the government states that you should stay at home and not go to any heath care unit or hospital.
Health service contacts (SNS)
If you have a question about COVID-19, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you suspect you have COVID-19, you must call 808 24 24 24
If you develop COVID-19 and are in need of medical assistance, SNS will guide you
For further information regarding COVID-19 in Portugal, please visit www.dgs.pt/coronavirus
Why Portugal has not been as badly affected as other countries?
Some of the reasons why Portugal has not been as badly affected by COVID-19 as other countries:
Portuguese people have been obeying confinement measures and following government recommendations.
COVID-19 arrived in Portugal later than in other countries such as Spain and Italy which meant that there was more time to prepare for the outbreak.
Hospitals were not overwhelmed by new cases and therefore had sufficient capacity for critical patients in ICUs.
The disease has not spread though care homes as it has in other parts of Europe.
Portugal shut down schools when there were just 245 cases in the country. (Spain already had 2,140 infections when most regional governments closed schools.)
Lisbon banned all public gatherings at an early stage in the epidemic’s evolution.
The state of emergency putting Portugal on lockdown was declared March 18 when the country had 448 cases. (Spain took similar measures three days earlier with almost 10 times more cases; Italy had over 9,000 people infected by the time its nationwide lockdown came on March 10.)
Although the epidemic is concentrated in the north, around the city of Porto, Portugal’s centralised system of government allowed for rapid nationwide measures rather than the piecemeal regional action adopted elsewhere.
According to the Prime Minister António Costa,“From the beginning of this crisis the Portuguese have understood that staying at home is the best way they can support our health workers on the frontlines.”
Unlike in Spain and Italy, politicians in Portugal called a coronavirus truce.
The border with Spain was closed at an early stage (except for citizens returning home, essential workers and the delivery of goods) and, at the time of writing, the land border with Spain still remains closed.
The first COVID-19 cases were reported in Portugal (one month after the first cases in Spain and Italy).
The Portuguese government declared the highest level of alert because of COVID-19 and said it would be maintained until 9 April.
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, declared a State of Emergency in the entire Portuguese territory for the next 15 days, with the possibility of extending this period.
Extension of the State of Emergency was approved (until 17 April and subject to further extensions).
The Portuguese Ministers’ Council approved a plan to start releasing the country from the COVID-19 lockdown measures and cancelling the State of Emergency.
The plan was divided in three stages, beginning respectively on 4 May, 18 May and 1 June.
The State of Emergency was cancelled and downgraded to a State of Calamity.
Portugal started the first phase in easing restrictions.
Easing of lockdown measures gathers pace.
Second stage of plan comes into effect, including the opening of restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries, all subject to various restrictions to ensure safety.
As of now: The land border has reopened, and most of the country has seen many of its restrictions lifted. Specifically, in the Algarve, the situation remains calm, while still being monitored.
The situation continues to evolve, however above you have likely found the answer to specific situations. Please contact us via email@example.com should you have any further questions.
The information contained in this factsheet is based on current knowledge at the time of writing and may not include all information expected by the guests. This factsheet was correct at the time of writing (June 2020).