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UncategorizedOrdinance No. 262/2020 – Operating conditions and identification of Local Accommodation establishments

22 de December, 2020

The ordinance that regulates the operating conditions of Local Accommodation establishments was published on the 6th of November, regarding the functioning, cleanliness and security of these establishments and comes into force on the 4th of February 2021.


The Legal Regime for Local Accommodation Establishments“RJEAAL” (Decree-Law No. 128/2014, of 29 August, amended by Law No. 62/2018 of 22 August), already announced the operating conditions as a general requirement for the operation of Local Accommodation establishments, however the ordinance that regulated these conditions had not yet been published, which has now happened.


I – The operating characteristics of Local Accommodation establishments:


a) Reception of guests

The check-in, check-out and information services can now also be carried out remotely, namely by telephone or electronically, through specific means of communication, made available to guests for this purpose, and must also be made available to them the national emergency number and the contact details of the operator entity.


b) Operation of the establishment, storage and cleaning services

Establishments must have appropriate equipment, in good condition and in proper hygiene and cleaning conditions.


The change of towels and bed linen must always occur when changing guests and, at least, once a week, for stays longer than seven nights in a row. The guest and the establishment can agree on other forms of cleaning and change of bedding, assuring that are provided guarantees of proper hygiene and cleaning conditions (in case of a single reservation of the accommodation and full occupancy of the accommodation by a group or family).

c) Breakfast service

All establishments that offer breakfast service must comply with food hygiene and safety rules, in accordance with applicable legislation.


Establishments that use the wording Bed & Breakfast in the nomenclature must provide this service to guests.


d) Reporting of overnight information

The operating entities must communicate the accommodation of foreigners, cooperating with the authorities in the collection and provision of data related to the number of guests or overnight stays (or other information eventually requested).


e) Sanitary facilities

For establishments registered as apartments, villas or rooms, there must be at least, one toilet for every four rooms and cumulatively a maximum of 10 users.


In accommodation establishments, the common (shared) sanitary facilities, not separated by gender, must have separate toilets, separated by doors with security systems that allow privacy, and at least one toilet, a washbasin and a shower must be ensured, for every six users that share those common sanitary facilities.


f) Room areas (in all types of establishments)

The following minimum room areas are now fixed:

  • 6.50 m2 – single room;
  • 9 m2 – double room;
  • 12 m2 – triple room;

For each convertible bed installed in the room, there must be added 3m2 to the areas mentioned above.


In the case of dormitories, there must be a minimum area of ​​2.50 m2, plus 2.50 m2 per bed or bunk bed and 1 m2 per user, with the following formula: 2.50 m2 + (2.50 m2 × number beds or bunk beds) + (1 m2 × number of users);


Note: Buildings that are exempted from observing the rules of the General Regulation of Urban Buildings (Regulamento Geral das Edificações Urbanas  – RGEU”) – for example buildings subject to urban rehabilitation – must ensure a minimum area of ​​5.50 m2, for the single room, of 7 m2, for the double room and of 10m2, for the triple room.


g) Common areas

The common areas of reception, living/leisure or reception, destined for guests, must have a minimum area of ​​3m2, increased according to the capacity of guests that can accommodate, in the proportion of 0.50 m2.

These areas can be used as a social space for shared use (such as the kitchen area, the dining and drinking area or the laundry area) and are meant for the exclusive use of guests and their eventual guests (if allowed).


Kitchen with free access for guests – the instructions for using all equipment and the rules of use and hygiene to be observed, must be exposed in Portuguese and English. This area, kitchen or restaurant, must provide a seat for every 10 guests. (e.g. the establishment with a capacity for 20 guests must provide at least two seats).


h) The specific case of the Hostel

The dorms have a minimum number of four beds/guests, in bunk beds or overlapping beds – the accommodation is made according to the logic of “one bed one guest”.

There must be a lighting point and an individual compartment with a locking system for each bed, with a minimum interior dimension of 55 cm × 40 cm × 20 cm.


The Hostel can also have (single/double) rooms, as long as the total number of guests in a dormitory is higher than the number of guests in a room – The dormitory must be the prevailing modality of the Hostel.


i) Rules for disabled guests

Every Hostel with more than 50 beds must have at least, one room and a toilet appropriate for disabled users (and it can be integrated in a shared toilet).


j) Nameplates

All types of Local Accommodation establishment are obliged to use an identification plate – “AL”.


In the case of apartments and rooms, a smaller plate can be used at the entrance of the building: with a dimension of 100 mm × 100 mm and the letters «A» and «L» in capital letters, with a space between the two , in Arial type, with 100 pt, dark blue (pantone 280), and below the letters provided for in the previous paragraph, the expression «(Local Accommodation)» must be inscribed in brackets, which must be recorded in capital letters, in Arial type with 13 pt, of the same color.


k) Sustainability conditions


Establishments must promote and implement practices that encourage the efficient consumption of water and energy, and must also use biodegradable products, and separate waste. Policies for informing guests about sustainable tourism practices should also be implemented. The promotion of training on this subject to employees and environmental certification also become priorities in this matter.

II – Consequences of non-compliance with these rules

After the entry into force of this Ordinance, a period of 12 months is granted for the registered Local Accommodation establishments be able to implement these standards. As such, we will say that this implementation should happen until the 4th of February 2021.


After that period, and in case of non-compliance with these provisions, it is considered that the general requirements required for obtaining a valid registration for operating a Local Accommodation establishment will be missing (via Art. 12, no. 5 of RJEAAL – which refers to this Ordinance), and as such, the competent City Council may determine the closure and cancellation of the license for exploration of the establishment.

Finally, we also point out that the responsibility for the compliance of all conditions for exploitation of the property lies with the operator, since it is he is the one responsible within the municipality for complying with the general requirements of the property’s suitability for Local Accommodation purposes.


For this reason, we strongly advise to pay extra attention to the adequacy of the properties’ characteristics and the requirements mentioned above, always based on the contractual terms established between owner and operator.
Edifício Amoreiras Square
Rua Carlos Alberto da Mota Pinto, 17 - 2.º piso
1070-313 Lisboa
Rua Eugénio de Castro, n.º 352, 2.º andar, sala 26
4100-225 Porto
Rua de Janes, n.º 20, 1.º andar, sala 101
4700-318 Braga

* Chamadas sem custos adicionais, sujeito apenas à tarifa de base.