Removing Portugal from the green list was a “political decision”

By TPN/Lusa, in News, COVID-19, World, Tourism · 04-06-2021 16:34:00 · 6 Comments

The president of Tourism of the Algarve, João Fernandes, has stated that he believes that the decision to remove Portugal from the UK green list of destinations was a “political” one.

“It is a decision that the British Government took as a matter of internal policy and not as a matter of risk”, said the president of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), stressing that the justification given by the UK authorities “does not use Portugal as a reference” for Covid-19 infections and even Malta, “which has an incidence of nine cases per 100,000 inhabitants, was left out” of the green list.

João Fernandes acknowledged that the British decision “has a clear impact on the region”, as the United Kingdom is the “main source market” of tourists to the Algarve, and regretted the “embarrassment” that the measure causes, “from the outset for those who are already here and are scheduled to return after Tuesday, which is the day from which this measure takes effect”.

“We are already witnessing a concentration of repatriation flights and a cancellation of flights for the subsequent period and of hotel reservations as well. We hope that this measure is reviewed as soon as possible, because it is completely unfair”, he said.

Fernandes added that the Algarve had “100,000 movements of passengers of British origin during the last two weeks” and that, according to data provided by the Regional Health Administration among British passengers, “there was only a record – and all of them were tested – of six cases”.

“Six cases per 100,000 inhabitants is a much lower number than that registered in the United Kingdom itself, not least because the British, before travelling to Portugal, have to take a PCR [test]”, he added.

Now, he said, the region must “look forward and continue to bet on other markets that are in high demand in the Algarve, such as the German, French, Irish Spanish, Dutch markets”, which are all “recognising Portugal as a safe destination and the best beach destination in the world, according to the latest recognition from the World Travel Awards”.

He added that Portugal can possibly return to the green list in the next re-evaluation of the British Government, within about three weeks.

João Fernandes also left a warning to British tourists who "are now returning in a hurry", noting that they can use the approximately 130 covid-19 testing sites identified on the website, before traveling to the airport, to facilitate their departure from the country.

The decision to withdraw Portugal from the green list comes just three weeks after the British Government took a decision in the opposite direction, creating positive expectations in the Algarve and for national tourism, which have now been blighted.

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The British government gave Indian people longer to Return from India even though they were dropping like flies from covid.We could not understand why India was not immediately put on the red list .We then learned Boris was trying to do a trade deal with India & didn't want to offend there prime minister, What a bloody joke that he let thousands of infected people back to the uk & spread the Indian variant all over the UK .We are treated like fools by our own government.we also know that it's a political decision to put Portugal on the Amber list to stop British from bringing our spending power here, they want us to spend our money in the uk .I would like to know why Portugal and the UK are both making people who have had 2 vaccines to take more expensive test , when before we took them Portugal said it would accept people who had both vaccines without testing why did that change ?????‍♀️.

By Marie from Algarve on 06-06-2021 07:09

It is remarkable how Mr. João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), ingratiate himself with British tourists. The man should be ashamed of his criticism of the British government. Portugal "prostitutes" itself for tourism, which does not only bring good things. The threat of the pandemic has not been resolved, but Portugal is opening its gates wide to the world without thinking about the near future. And the population living here will be able to face the consequences (lockdown, restrictions) again in September / October. So short-sighted! “Look forward and continue to bet on other markets that are in high demand in the Algarve, such as the German, French, Irish Spanish, Dutch markets”. Exactly, for this gentleman tourists are just a market for making money. Neither Mr João Fernandes nor the Portuguese government is interested in the fact that both the people who want to spend a "SAFE" holiday here and the people who live here are at stake. The main thing is that money comes in first in the summer season; any consequences will be considered later.

By York Rapp from Lisbon on 05-06-2021 06:08

I had to laugh when the Portuguese government accused the UK government of being “too focused on cases”. Pot calling the kettle black! They are both as bad as each other.

By SS from Algarve on 05-06-2021 09:42

All i can say is "SERVES YOU RIGHT". The double standard in rules for locals and tourists is nauseating. After Porto foot match it seems the UK is taking responsibility for its irresponsible citizens, bc the Pt gvrt won´t do that. Ex-pats who live here have commented their disappointment at our gvrt´s measures, but greed and callousness is the usual response to citizen´s concerns(locals and ex-pats alike). So your "gold-rush-via-tourism-at-the-expense-of-everyone-else-misery" plan failed...boohoo.

By guida from Lisbon on 05-06-2021 05:39

Lessons from last year already forgotten? Mr Fernandes might finally realize which way the wind blows. Should not put all the eggs in one basket....

By Annie from Algarve on 04-06-2021 10:49

If you follow "World In Data- Covid" then you see Portugal has a lower death rate, and rate of spread (r) than the UK. The new case rate is about the same. The vacination rate is higher. The news says they are worried about a variation on a variation which might or might not be a problem but they have no evidence yet. Johnson is so like Trump in his falsehoods but similarly the people believe him. Crazy!

By Maxima from Lisbon on 04-06-2021 05:53
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