“Nevertheless, it’s good news, it allows non-essential flights from Germany and for travellers to be exempt from quarantine if they have a full vaccination, have an immunity certificate, or will undergo a PCR or antigen test on return”, said the president of the Algarve Tourism Region, João Fernandes.

In reaction to the decision announced on Monday, 5 July by Germany to remove Portugal from the list of countries with a ban on entry into the country due to the high prevalence of the Delta strain of the Covid-19 virus, João Fernandes recalled that, before the imposition of these limitations on travel, “311 flights were planned for July from Germany”, but he warned that these numbers will not return again immediately.

“It would correspond to more than 56,000 airplane seats. A large part of these operations were cancelled, tour operators and airlines were, with the announcement of the 25th, demobilising their operations, and therefore it will be necessary to resume all of this dynamic”, he argued.

João Fernandes stressed that the image of Portugal, after the announcement that imposed the restrictions, “has suffered a major setback” and now it is necessary to “see how it is possible to capture this demand again”, in the face of “great distrust from the consumers themselves in relation to the decisions that are being changed at every moment and that often leave travellers at their destination having to anticipate their return”.

“And this whole process, contrary to what would be expected with the digital certificate, is unfortunately hampering what would be an opening expected by everyone” in the regional tourism sector, he lamented.

João Fernandes said he hopes that “there will be a stabilisation of the rules based on the [digital] certificate that was agreed by the Member States of the European Union”.