EURO 2004: TRAVEL ADVICE (4 MARCH 2004)
The Euro 2004 football tournament takes place in Portugal between 12 June and 4 July 2004. Portugal is a friendly country and England’s oldest ally – since 1386. Fans coming to the Tournament should expect a warm welcome from a nation of football lovers. Euro 2004 S.A., organisers of the tournament, and the host country are working to ensure that the competition is played in a safe and festive atmosphere.
This travel advice will be updated as the Tournament approaches and more information becomes available.
English football fans planning to travel to Portugal are offered the following advice:
Before you go
- Ensure that you have a valid passport. It is a requirement under Portuguese Law that i.d. is carried at all times. Leave a photocopy in your accommodation. Ensure that Next of Kin details are complete.
- Make your travel bookings through a travel agent registered with ABTA.
- Book accommodation early. A high percentage is already sold out.
- Arrange comprehensive travel insurance for your trip. Make sure it covers medical evacuation.
- Take travellers cheques or credit cards and cash in euros. Remember that lost or stolen cash cannot be replaced unless covered in your own insurance policy. You can draw cash from ATM’s on most English bank cards: but check first. (The ATM machines will also be under heavy pressure during the tournament and may run out).
- If you are driving, make sure you have a valid UK or International licence and that your car is properly insured. Be careful while driving in Portugal. There is a high rate of traffic accidents. Allow plenty of travel time. Do not drink and drive.
Information on the tournament, accommodation and travel can be found at Internet sites such as:
- In addition to the services that the British Embassy and Consulates in Portugal can offer, general information is also of course available at tourist offices throughout Portugal. The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) will run their usual network of fan “embassies”, giving advice on all aspects of the tournament, travel and accommodation arrangements. Nearer the time, the FSF will publicise its own Portugal contact details and details of exactly how it will operate during the Tournament.
- If you find yourself in difficulty and need the help of the British Embassy or Consulates, their details are as follows. A single helpline number will be given out before the Tournament starts:
Lisbon: British Embassy, Rua de Sao Bernardo 33, 1249-082, Lisbon. Telephone: (351) 213 924000
Portimao: British Consulate, Largo Francisco A Mauricio, 7 – 1, 8500-355, Portimao. Telephone: (351) 282 490750
Oporto: British Consulate, Av da Boavista, 3072, 4100-120, Oporto. Telephone: (351) 226184789
- A temporary Office will open in Coimbra for a few days preceding the match. This Office will be contactable via the British Embassy in Lisbon.
How the Embassy/Consulate Can Help
- If you lose your passport, we can issue an emergency travel document, subject to background checks and confirmation of i.d. This has a short-term validity for travel to the United Kingdom. This document costs 53.50 Euros.
- Offer advice on how to transfer money.
- Provide you with a list of local Lawyers who speak English.
- In cases of accidents, serious injury or death, arrange for next of kin to be informed and offer advice on procedures.
- As much as time and circumstances permit, visit you if you are arrested, imprisoned or hospitalised. We can arrange for messages to be passed to friends or relatives.
- In certain circumstances, help you to communicate with local authorities.
What We Can’t Do
- Get you tickets or hotel bookings or parking places
- Get you out of prison.
- Give legal advice or start court proceedings for you;
- Get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local nationals;
- Investigate a crime;
- Pay your hotel, legal, medical or any other bills;
- Pay your travel costs, except in special circumstances;
- Do work normally done by travel agents, airlines, banks or motoring organisations.
- Temperatures will be at their highest during the Tournament, between 30 and 40 degrees centigrade. Be careful to take the usual precautions, wearing appropriate clothing and use sun cream. Drink plenty of water.
- English tourists, as the oldest allies and representing the home of football, will receive a warm and friendly welcome from the people of Portugal. In return, please respect their traditions and obey local laws.
- Follow the directions of local police;
- It is an offence not to carry i.d. Be prepared to show your passport at any time;
- Keep your distance from any fans who seem to be acting in an aggressive, disorderly or provocative way. Don’t be provoked.
- In preparation for the tournament there has been unprecedented close co-operation between the governments and police forces of Portugal and the United Kingdom.
- The host wants to ensure that genuine football fans, other visitors and Residents, can move around without fear or intimidation, and that the tournament is played in a festive and safe atmosphere.
- Aggressive, provocative, drunken, racist or violent behaviour, the carrying of weapons, illegal drugs, theft and public disorder will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly and firmly.
- Arrested fans will be subject to a judicial process and may face expulsion.
- English police will be closely monitoring all UK exit points. They can and will intercept and prevent from travelling any fan against whom there is evidence of previous involvement in football related violence or disorder.
- Individuals subject to football banning orders should not try to leave England and Wales during the period 7 June to 4 July (unless they have been given authority to do so by the Football Banning Orders Authority).
- Additional controls will be in place at all Portuguese border points. The Portuguese authorities may deny entry to anyone who has been convicted of offences in the host country or elsewhere, or anyone else if they believe they pose a risk to public order.
- If you have specific information about activities which might threaten a peaceful tournament (and wish to retain anonymity) contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- All tickets for the tournament have officially been sold. The sale and purchase of match tickets on the black market is illegal under Portuguese law.
At the stadium
- There will be strict security controls and traffic congestion, so arrive in good time:
- Do not try to enter the stadium without a ticket.
- You are obliged to sit in the seat corresponding with the number on your ticket.
- Do not attempt to take alcohol or fireworks into the stadium.
- Do not climb on the walls and fences.
- Do not throw missiles of any description.
- Do not try to enter the playing area or other parts of the stadium.
- Do not try to provoke rival fans
- Do not display banners containing racist slogans. Do not sing racist songs.
- Stewards/Police will search you, possibly on several occasions, before entering the stadium
- Fans may be asked to stay in the stadium for a short time after the conclusion of the game.
Other law and order issues
- Big events attract criminals. Beware of pickpockets, muggers and bag snatchers.
- Do not leave valuables on display in your car. Keep your car doors locked at all times.
- Avoid carrying large quantities of cash
- Report lost or stolen passports to the nearest police station immediately. Obtain a police report.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards or travellers cheques to your bank and to the police immediately.
- Anyone caught consuming or in possession of drugs for personal use may be detained and fined. All substances will be seized. Selling or trafficking drugs is a criminal offence and as such subject to severe penalties.
- Enjoy the beer and the atmosphere in the local bars but remember that drunken fans will not be permitted to enter stadiums. The authorities have the right to breathalyse at entry, and this did happen at the recent friendly game in Faro.
- There will be no general prohibition on alcohol in the host cities. However the sale of alcohol is not permitted within the stadiums. Local authorities can impose restrictions as they wish.
- Fans who are drunk or who behave in a drunken manner when arriving in Portugal are likely to be refused entry and prevented from returning.
- Do not drink and drive. There is a high accident rate and you need a clear head.