In a statement, the Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve (AMAL) said that the decision "was agreed at a meeting of the intermunicipal council", given the "context of the pandemic that is currently being experienced and the recent epidemiological evolution".
"Even if these initiatives were to be carried out outdoors, they would have to comply with a set of guidelines from the DGS [General Directorate of Health] that the mayors claim there are no conditions to be fulfilled, since they imply a large concentration of people" , the note reads.
Some mayors decided to keep the tradition of fireworks, "while others decided not to go forward as they can bring people together", which is why several initiatives from the Christmas programme have also been cancelled according to the statement.
"Aware that this decision could bring constraints to businesses and traders in the region, [the mayors] argue that, at this time, the focus should be centered on protecting the health and well-being of the population of the Algarve".
Albufeira Town Council had already announced the cancellation of the end-of-the-year festivities at Praia dos Pescadores, one of the most popular parties in the Algarve at this time, maintaining only the fireworks, but in a variety of locations instead of in one central location.
In Faro, the municipality decided to channel the investment that would be earmarked for the end-of-year festivities towards an initiative to support local commerce that provides for four draws, totalling €10,000 each, and for the delivery of shopping vouchers to students at the pre-school and in the 1st cycle.
In a statement, the municipality referred to having decided “not to promote this year any public events to celebrate the New Year in the municipality, namely musical shows or fireworks”.
In this sense, in conjunction with the Association of Commerce and Services of the Algarve Region (ACRAL), the Algarve Hotel and Similar Industry Association (AHISA), the Commercial Development Association of the Historic Area of Faro (Baixa Trade Association) and the Association Cultural and Activist in Downtown Faro (ACAB), the local authority decided to resume, the campaign to stimulate local commerce “Faro. We are all".