In view of the pandemic, Portugal has introduced suitable health protocols to boost tourism. These include introducing new concepts to ensure adherence to the newly introduced norms of social distancing. This is one of the requirements identified to prevent the spread of the infection. The country has declared open its bathing season Saturday, and those who want to avail the opportunity must follow the laid down guidelines.
RTL Today says Portugal is going all out to woo tourists. It is determined to bring them back. Last year it had a record number of them, and it wants to maintain the trend.
Tourism is the mainstay of the country's economy. The government is serious and has already introduced a number of confidence-building measures to ensure hygiene. One of these is a "Clean & Safe" label. This is a step to guarantee that the establishment has taken necessary hygienic precautions so that there is no compromise on the subject of the safety of others. Already hundreds of establishments have applied for the unique label that will display its standard.
Tourism is important for Portugal
Coronavirus is a global health crisis, and it has applied brakes on the economic recovery of Portugal. Its GDP in the first quarter of 2020 has fallen considerably in comparison to the last three months of 2019.
This is as per a provisional estimate published Friday by the authorities. The tourist accommodation industry witnessed a decline in the number of guests with an obvious drop in turnover.
RTL Today describes some positives for the island of Madeira.
The regional government has decided to put an end to the compulsory quarantine period for those arriving on the territory (Madeira and Porto Santo) from 1 July. To avail this advantage, prospective travelers must fill up a questionnaire indicating the result of the last COVID-19 test done. It must be done within a specified period before their arrival.
In case the test is to be done on-site, they can move about freely so long as they do not test positive. In case they do, they will face quarantine and repatriation as per rules. Therefore, the tourists, in their own interest, must ensure that they are free from infection.
Portugal relies on the UK for boosting tourism
According to The BBC, Augusto Santos Silva, the foreign minister of Portugal, has an apparent soft corner for the UK. He says an air bridge between the UK and Portugal could be a reality by the end of June. In the opinion of UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, it is possible to have air bridges to countries that have low rates of virus infection. It would be a relief to those arriving from specific places, and they would not need to self-isolate.
This would be applicable to countries with low COVID-19 infection rates. Incidentally, planned quarantine for arrivals is a necessary evil, and its objective is to check the onslaught of a second wave of the virus.
Portugal's foreign minister has said anyone in the UK thinking of going to Portugal this summer will be "most welcome" amid coronavirus.
Travel quarantine is harmful to the tourism industry
The BBC adds that Santos Silva described any Travel quarantine as an enemy of tourism. However, he went along with the UK government's decision to enforce it on almost all arrivals to the UK from next Monday. He also indicated some restrictions on nightlife in Portuguese resorts, like people would not be allowed to congregate in groups at night.
Hotels and apartments would have to comply with standards set by the tourism board. COVID-19 has devastated the travel and tourism sectors, and they are waiting for revival.
The pandemic originated in China, and it has affected travel, crippled global tourism, and trade. Countries in Europe want to exploit the holiday season, and Greece has drawn up plans to open its doors to tourism soon.