“I have visited Portugal a few times in the last 30 days and we are aware of the increase in infections that have occurred in the last few weeks, but we are also aware that this is not, so far, creating serious consequences in terms of the number of deaths, which it is very low and not very different from other European countries”, said the European Commissioner of Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, in an interview with Lusa.
On the day the European Commission released interim summer economic forecasts - which, in the case of Portugal, maintain the spring projections of a growth of 3.9 percent this year and 5.1 percent in 2022, the Italian official rejected that this summer would be wasted in the country due to the current epidemiological situation, namely because of the spread of the Delta variant, but urged caution.
“I think that we should all be aware of the seriousness of this Delta variant, but at the same time avoid taking restrictive measures that are not coordinated and that are not justified”, he said.
And, in Paolo Gentiloni's opinion, “exaggerated reactions” on the number of infections in Portugal should also be avoided, with the European commissioner calling “not to exaggerate or dramatise” such values.
Speaking then about this summer in Portugal, Paolo Gentiloni said he hopes that this will be “a strong tourist season”, but without foreseeing a “fully successful season”.
“It won't be entirely the season we had before the pandemic, because we also need time for people to be sure they can travel without difficulties and we need this green certificate to be in place in a stable manner,” he said, referring to proof of recovery, testing or vaccination that came into effect last Thursday to facilitate community space travel.
The European commissioner also pointed out that "the full recovery has not yet arrived" in the travel sector, namely in air traffic, and he stressed that "travel from outside the EU will take even longer to recover".
“Of course we know that we have some countries where foreign tourism and also extra-EU tourism is very important”, as Portugal pointed out.
After Germany had imposed and lifted a travel ban to Portugal, Paolo Gentiloni told Lusa and other media that he had "hope that all European countries are, as far as possible, coordinated in taking restrictive measures" in the face of the pandemic .