Saturday, September 18, 2021

Stay Safe & Healthy in Portugal

EuropePortugalStay Safe & Healthy in Portugal

Portugal is a relatively safe country to visit and a little common sense will get you far. There are no internal conflicts, no danger from terrorism, and violent crime is not a serious problem as it is usually confined to certain neighbourhoods and rarely committed randomly.

However, there are certain areas in Lisbon and Porto that you should avoid, as in any big city, especially at night. You should also bear in mind that pickpockets are more likely to target tourists and areas frequented by tourists. Wear a money belt or keep your documents and money in an inside pocket. Subways and large train stations, shopping areas, crowded buses and lines are the most common places for pickpockets. Many of them are under 18 and take advantage of soft underage laws. If you try to run them down, you may have to fight to get your items back.

On the underground or in trains, try to sit with other people and avoid empty carriages. Non-violent pickpocketing is the most common crime. So always be aware of the bags (purses, suitcases, shopping bags, etc.) you have with you. A reminder announcement is broadcast in most metro stations and railway stations.

Since the disappearance of Madeline McCann, many families have been reluctant to take their children to Portugal, especially when they are very young. However, as long as they have a basic understanding of the danger posed by a stranger and you always have them with you, you have nothing to worry about.

Illicit drug use

On 1 July 2001, a national law decriminalising the recreational use of drugs came into force in Portugal. It should be noted that the possession of drugs for personal use and the consumption of drugs (e.g. up to 2.5 grams of cannabis) itself are still prohibited by law, but violations of these prohibitions are exclusively considered administrative offences and are completely removed from the criminal sphere. In some places, such as Bairro Alto, drugs may be offered on the street. You should avoid buying drugs this way, as they are often fake and the sellers are sometimes plainclothes police officers.

Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offence.

Driving under the influence of drugs is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code and is treated in the same way as driving under the influence of more than 1.2 g/l alcohol, with severe penalties.

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