Speaking to Lusa agency, the president of the Association of Hotels and Touristic Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas, was very critical of the decision announced on Thursday by the Council of Ministers to introduce a test or certificate requirement in hotels , in mainland Portugal, and within restaurants in high and very high risk municipalities, from 19:00 on Fridays and on weekends and holidays, a measure that currently affects nine of the 16 municipalities in the Algarve.
“An unnecessary exaggeration, an impractical measure of dubious effectiveness. Contrary to what the Government claims, that it promotes development, it further restricts people's availability to take holidays and contributes decisively so that many Portuguese choose to spend holidays abroad, instead of choosing to do so in their own country. ”, stated Elidérico Viegas.
The same source considered that the “hotel professionals are not health professionals, nor security forces, nor health authorities” and “are not qualified nor have conditions to comply with the measure announced by the Government”.
“And, therefore, we vehemently appeal to the Government to quickly and urgently reverse this decision, because it is against the public interest, not only regional, but also national”, said the leader of the Algarve business association.
Elidérico Viegas said that the decision announced on Thursday, at the end of the Council of Ministers, by the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, “doesn't make sense, it's something without any nexus”, because, he argued, “hotels are not places where there are outbreaks of infection” and “there is no knowledge of outbreaks of infection since the beginning of the pandemic in hotels and developments”.
"Hotels are being bombarded with phone calls all the time from all the people who had made reservations, outraged by this decision", he warned, clarifying that, for the time being, there is still no cancellation of reservations, but warning that the decision “will not motivate people to holiday in the country”.
In the Algarve, of the 16 municipalities that make up the region, more than half (9) continue to be at high or very high risk, similarly to last week, but with some retreating to the highest risk level.
With the update of the risk map, two Algarve municipalities are at high risk, which are Lagoa and Portimão, which were in this situation last week, and seven are at very high risk, in which Albufeira, Loulé and Olhão remain and Faro, Lagos, São Brás de Alportel and Silves join.
Compared to last week, the remaining seven municipalities in the Algarve, namely Alcoutim, Aljezur, Castro Marim, Monchique, Tavira, Vila do Bispo and Vila Real de Santo António, continue to be outside the high or very high risk levels, but the most are on alert, with the exception of Alcoutim and Aljezur.
In addition to hotels, in mainland Portugal, restaurants are also required to require a covid-19 certificate or test to enter the interior, but only in high and very high risk municipalities, between 7pm on Fridays and during weekends and bank holidays.
This measure currently only applies to the provision of meals inside restaurants, leaving out pastries shops and cafes.
There are four types of accepted tests: PCR and antigen with laboratory results and also self-tests carried out in person (at the entrance of the establishment) or before a health professional.
To speed up access to self-tests, they will be sold in food retail, such as supermarkets.
This situation allows restaurants in high or very high risk municipalities to remain open until 22:30 on weekends and holidays.
I don't know if it's worth a comment. This is ludicrous. And also so very embarrassing for the government to display their pea sized brains so bluntly for all of us to see.
By Ingrid from Algarve on 09 Jul 2021, 18:28
I cannot submit to an invasion of my nasopharyngeal with a swab. It would be degrading in such a way as to my human dignity that to call this act by it's name would not be polite language.
By Kari Lehto from Other on 09 Jul 2021, 18:56
See, this is the type of sound public policy making that hiring based on the criteria of equity (equality of out come) or nepotism will get you. “I know, we’ll get a waiter or a bell boy to administer Covid medical tests to customers and tourists”. Isn’t the Delta Variant was highly contagious? Don’t unskilled workers lives matter? What a bunch of fvcking morons.
By Daco from Algarve on 09 Jul 2021, 19:08
Certain groups will always complain because of their own vested interest = lack of objectivity. That's why we have governance. I think the requirements are perfectly reasonable given the circumstances.
By Bd Condell from Algarve on 09 Jul 2021, 19:43
Mr Ole Dammegård told from the beginning the nasal swabs are leaving a nano particle small metal piece up the nose.
By Magnus from Other on 10 Jul 2021, 09:49
If people keep being silent soon PCR tests are required outside supermarkets and china import shops, post office, banks and hospitals.
What is this madness, do not people understand something is wrong when many other countrys are back to almost normal or full normal but the for some reason it is a super duper virus roaming around in Portugal.
I SAY REFUSE to go to any business adopting these sick measures!
By Magnus from Other on 10 Jul 2021, 09:57
This increase in testing of HEALTHY people will simply drive up alleged “cases”, labelling healthy people as “sick” thereby prolonging this devious project and give the authorities the excuses they want in order to impose ever more draconian regulations. I will not be getting tested. Unfortunately I will not be patronising establishments that require these measures to be followed. This is 100% pure coercion to enforce digital tracking on the population. One just needs to take a look at China’s social credit system to see where this is going. The longer it continues the harder it will be to regain the freedoms that we in the west have taken for granted for so long. People can joke about tin foil hatters but just take a look at what we said a year ago and were ridiculed for, how many have now actually come true? As for the “vaccination” of youngsters with something for which the long term affects are completely unknown, words fail me! Irresponsible, downright criminal come to mind!
By SS from Algarve on 10 Jul 2021, 16:36