Holiday hotspots across Portugal are reported to be struggling over a lack of tourism from some of their key markets. Every year around 2.5 million Britons jet off on holiday to Portugal, with the Algarve one of the most popular destinations for sun-seekers.
However, following the decision by the UK Government to leave Portugal off its quarantine-free travel list, destinations such as the Algarve are now said to be suffering due to the lack of foot traffic.
Around 30 percent of the Algarve’s tourists usually arrive from the UK, yet with a two-week mandatory quarantine waiting for Britons when they return home, many feel put off their usual holiday haunt.
According to euronews, industry analysts have predicted tourism figures will only reach about a third of the usual numbers this summer.
Speaking to the local media, an Algarve restaurant owner shared a glimpse into how businesses are being hit.
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“We made the investment hoping it would be a good year. At this time of year, we would have to serve between 300 and 350 people a day, including meals. We currently serve between 30 to 40,” said Carlos Guerreiro.
Portugal’s ambassador has spoken out about the decision by Boris Johnson’s government, citing it as “bad science”.
The country’s home affairs minister pointed the finger back at the UK, saying Portugal is “manifestly not where the risk is”.
He highlighted current statistics in the UK in comparison with Portugal, as well as the many measures Portugal has taken to beat the virus.
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Eduardo Cabrita said: “We are, namely with the United Kingdom, highlighting that which is obvious: Portugal has better public health indicators and better pandemic response indicators than the United Kingdom.
“So there’s no reason, according to all the comparative criteria, for the existence of any application of quarantine rules on return to the United Kingdom.”
According to Reuters, the UK and Portugal are currently in talks to reassess whether the nation will be added to the quarantine-free list.
At the time of writing, the holiday hotspot has recorded 46,818 confirmed cases and 1,662 deaths as a result.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) blanket van against all non-essential travel has been eased for Portuguese nations Azores and Madeira but remains in place for mainland Portugal.
Travellers who decide to risk a jaunt to Portugal will face their travel insurance becoming invalidated.
“The requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from Portugal, including Madeira and the Azores, remains in place,” adds the FCO.
Despite the ongoing predicament, Portugal’s hotels are gearing up for tourism.
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The nation’s tourism board Turismo de Portugal has developed a clean and safe” stamp for its tourist accommodation and amenities.
All tourist and travel companies in the region that are registered by the National Tourism Authority of Portugal (ANT) will be able to request their clean and safe stamp.
The badge guarantees that those tourist companies meet all of the cleaning and hygiene requirements set out by the Portuguese authorities for the prevention of coronavirus.
President of the Algarve Tourism Board, João Fernandes, said: “We are committed to developing all the necessary measures, with the ultimate goal of reinforcing security and confidence in the destination.”