5 star Vintage House Hotel, Pinhão, Douro Valley

Travelling safely during a pandemic means that we have to be more concerned than ever about hygiene and safety, not just our own, but in the places we visit and stay overnight. It’s important to know how to check whether the accommodation you are considering is doing all it can to keep you and its staff protected from covid-19.

That’s why I was pleased to see the way that my preferred accommodation partner, Booking.com, has made it as easy as possible for us all to check how safe hotels and apartments etc. are likely to be.

They have taken excellent steps to collect the health and cleanliness measures that each accommodation has in place so that you can see at a glance how they have modified their check in procedures, cleaning protocols, access to leisure facilities and the way their food and beverage services operate. 

What to look for on Booking.com

On the accommodation page, above the name of the establishment and the photos, you will find information similiar to this if the accommodation has introduced special measures.

Scroll down to the description and you’ll see a box labelled Health & Hygiene.

This gives you an indication of what’s being done in various areas including Safety features, Cleaning, Physical distancing and Food safety. 

Click on the link to see full details, like this:


Clean And Safe

Another way to check the health and safety status of your accommodation and other services in Portugal such as car rental, restaurants, museums and tour guides is to look for the Clean & Safe logo.

Clean & Safe certificate, Portugal
Look for this seal of approval when you are choosing travel services in Portugal.


This means the establishment complies with health and safety recommendations issued by the National Tourism Authority according to National Health Authority guidelines.   

You can check in advance which restaurants, golf clubs, hotels etc. have the certificate on the Clean & Safe website.   

Your responsibility as a traveller

Besides abiding by the measures put in place by individual hotels, it’s also useful to keep these helpful guidelines in mind.

  • Always follow the government and property safety measures – for information about what’s required in Portugal, see this article
  • If you experience symptoms linked to Covid-19 before check-in or during your stay at the accommodation, isolate yourself and inform the property 

Handy tips when booking accommodation

Look for free cancellation

One of the reasons I love Booking.com is how easy it is to see what facilitites a property has and what their cancellation policy is. In these troubled times, it’s more important than ever to choose accommodation that allows you to cancel for free up to 24 hours before the date of your stay.

Check the parking arrangements

Self-drive road trips are likely to be a popular way to travel so check that the hotel has parking facilities and the price. Request a space if necessary or ask about nearby car parks if the hotel doesn’t offer their own.

Free wifi

Most places now offer free wifi but you might want to check the reviews to make sure it works well in guest rooms as you probably won’t want to hang around in the lobby just to check emails or research the next day of your trip.


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