Travel Tips for Azores (Portugal), Updated Intl. Guide – Travel Medicine, Inc.
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Azores (Portugal)

Capital: Lisbon

Time Zone: +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October
Tel. Country Code: 351
USADirect Tel.: 800
Electrical Standards: Electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz). European Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plugs D, F.

World Health Organization
Travel Health Services
Country Insights
Travel Warnings
Consular Information
Foreign Commonweatlh Office


• U.S. Embassy
Avenida das Forças Armadas, 1600-081
Tel: [351] (21) 727-3300
Fax: [351] (21) 726-9109

• Canadian Embassy
Avenida da Liberdade 196-200
Tel: [351] (21) 316-4600
Fax: [351] (21) 316-4693

• British Consulate
Rua de São Bernardo No 33
Tel: [351] (21) 392 4159
Tel: [351] 21 392 40 00 (Embassy)
[351] (21) 392 4160 (Recorded information)

Entry Requirements

HIV Test: Not required.

Required Vaccinations: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required only for travelers >1 year of age arriving from an endemic zone and destined for the Azores and Madeira. However, no certificate is required for travelers in transit at Funchal, Santa Maria, and Porto Santo.

Passport Information

Passport/Visa: A passport is required for entry into Portugal and the Azores. There are no immunization requirements. A visa is not required for tourist or business stays of up to 90 days. The 90-day period begins when you enter any of the “Schengen group” countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. The law affects those who transit another Schengen area country by air en route to Portugal or the Azores and stay at noncommercial accommodations. For further information contact the Embassy of Portugal at 2012 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, Tel. (202) 350-5400. Tel: +1 (202) 35 054 00 (Chancery) +1 (202) 33 230 07 (Consular Section).

Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine

Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers >1 year of age not previously immunized against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers at potential risk for acquiring this infection. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; when receiving medical or dental injections, or unscreened transfusions; by direct contact between open skin lesions. Recommended for any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B infection.

Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.

Routine Immunizations: any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
• The Tdap vaccine, ADACEL, which also boosts immunity against pertussis (whooping cough) should be considered when a tetanus-diphtheria booster is indicated.

Yellow Fever: Required for travelers over 1 year of age only if arriving from a yellow-fever-infected country in Africa or the Americas.

Hospitals / Doctors

All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers’ diarrhea or other infections. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip; they should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country—the equivalent drugs may not be available.
• Travelers to the Azores and Madeira are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance that provides for medical evacuation in the event of serious illness or injury. For more serious or complicated problems, medical evacuation (to Lisbon or other European country) may be required.

A listing of hospitals and physicians is maintained by the U.S. Embassy:
Facilities used by expatriates who require more advanced care include:

• The British Hospital Lisbon
The British Hospital is now designated as Hospital da Luz Torres de Lisboa.

Santa Maria Hospital

Destination Health Info for Travelers

AIDS/HIV: In developed nations, HIV infections have historically been concentrated principally among injecting drug users and gay men. These groups are still at high risk, but heterosexual intercourse accounts for a growing proportion of cases, especially among immigrants from countries with a high incidence of HIV. Heterosexual transmission predominates now in Portugal, which has a particularly severe HIV epidemic among injecting drug users. According to UNAIDS estimates, the largest numbers of people living with HIV in Western Europe in 2007 were in Italy, Spain and France. In Portugal, the prevalence of HIV in the adult population is estimated to be 0.4%. (Source:
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.
• The threat of HIV/AIDS should not be a primary concern for the traveler. However, there may be a concern for a subset of travelers who may be exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through contact with another person’s body fluids or blood. Although travel has contributed in a general way to the global spread of AIDS, fear of traveling because of this disease is not warranted.

Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.

Avian Influenza A (Bird Flu): Three outbreaks of H5 (low pathogenic) avian influenza in birds have been reported to date (January) in 2008. There have been no reports of the more pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza.

Hepatitis: All travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A should be vaccinated against this disease. Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
• Hepatitis E may be endemic but levels are unclear. Sporadic cases may occur but go underdiagnosed or underreported. Transmission of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) occurs primarily through drinking water contaminated by sewage and also through raw or uncooked shellfish. Farm animals, such as swine, and also deer and wild boar, may serve as a viral reservoirs. (HEV is one of the few viruses which has been shown to be transmitted directly from animals through food.) In developing countries, prevention of hepatitis E relies primarily on the provision of clean water supplies and overall improved sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine.
• The overall hepatitis B (HBsAg) carrier rate in the general population is estimated as high as 7%. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person. The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is endemic with a prevalence of 0.5% in the general population. Most hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread either through intravenous drug use or, in lesser-developed countries, through blood contamination during medical procedures. Over 200 million people around the world are infected with hepatitis C — an overall incidence of around 3.3% of the world’s population. Statistically, as many people are infected with HCV as are with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Influenza: Influenza is transmitted from November through March. The flu vaccine is recommended for all travelers over age 6 months.

Leishmaniasis: Cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis are rare but reported sporadically. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is said to be emerging as an important opportunistic infection among AIDS patients in Mediterranean countries where both infections are endemic. Eighty percent of cases of VL in Portugal occur in the Douro River Basin in the districts of Real, Braganca, Viseau, and Gaurda. The parasites that cause leishmaniasis are transmitted by the bite of the female phlebotomine sandfly. Sandflies bite mostly in the evening and at night. They breed in ubiquitous places: in organically rich, moist soils (such as found in the floors of rain forests), animal burrows, termite hills, and the cracks and crevices in stone or mud walls, and earthen floors, of human dwellings.
• All travelers should take measures to prevent sandfly bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin, permethrin (spray or solution) to clothing and gear, and sleeping under a permethrin-treated bednet.

Malaria: There is no risk of malaria in Portugal.

Mediterranean Spotted (Boutonneuse) Fever: Mediterranean spotted fever is a tick-transmitted rickettsial disease endemic in Portugal with approximately 1,000 new cases per year. Ticks that transmit disease can be carried on dogs as well as attached to vegetation. This disease is similar to Israeli spotted fever (Israeli tick typhus), also caused by a variation of Rickettsia conorii and also reported in Portugal.
• Tick-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin and permethrin (spray or solution) to clothing and gear.

Read more:

Other Diseases/Hazards: Amebiasis and giardiasis (endemic), brucellosis (cattle, sheep, and goats are the most common sources of infection, especially in the southern regions), echinococcosis, fascioliasis (infection rates of 2% to 7% reported from northern rural communities), leptospirosis, tick-borne relapsing fever, Toscana virus (may cause aseptic meningitis between May and October), and West Nile virus (mosquito-borne).

Rabies: Portugal is currently rabies-free. All bite wounds, however, especially from a dog, should be thoroughly cleansed and then medically evaluated for possible post-exposure treatment.

Travelers’ Diarrhea: Medium risk; most sections of major cities have piped, potable water. In rural areas, water supplies may be contaminated. Outside of hotels and resorts, we recommend that you filter or purify all drinking water or drink only bottled water or other bottled beverages and do not use ice cubes. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products. Do not eat raw or undercooked food, especially meat and fish. Peel all fruits.
• Good hand hygiene reduces the incidence of travelers’ diarrhea by 30%.
• A quinolone antibiotic, or azithromycin, combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of diarrhea. Diarrhea not responding to antibiotic treatment may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis, amebiasis, or cryptosporidiosis.
• Seek qualified medical care if you have bloody diarrhea and fever, severe abdominal pain, uncontrolled vomiting, or dehydration.

Tuberculosis (TB): Tuberculosis is highly endemic in Portugal, compared with other European countries, with an annual occurrence greater than or equal to 40 cases per 100,000 population. Tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted following inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets. Most travelers are at low risk. Travelers at higher risk include those who are visiting friends and relatives (particularly young children), long-term travelers, and those who have close contact, prolonged contact with the local population. There is no prophylactic drug to prevent TB. Travelers with significant exposure should have PPD skin testing done to evaluate their risk of infection.

Typhoid Fever: Typhoid vaccine is recommended for all people traveling to or working in Portugal, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives where exposure might occur through food or water. Current vaccines against Salmonella typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella paratyphi. (Paratyphoid fever bears similarities with typhoid fever, but the course is generally more benign.) Travelers should practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions even if vaccinated.