"The figures provided by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) are only indicative, although there is a beach or another, in one or another municipality, in which there may be an adjustment," said the president of AMAL, António Pina, to Lusa.
APA has published the potential occupancy capacity of beaches in the Algarve and Tejo / Oeste regions, taking into account that 6 June marks the beginning of the bathing season, as determined by the Government in the context of the pandemic of covid-19, and APA is responsible for determining the capacity of the beaches.
In the opinion of the president of the association that aggregates the 16 municipalities in the Algarve, the ratios that were created are an important aid for the management of the Algarve sands, “so that one can create information for those who have to decide and choose a beach in safety".
“In order to understand if the beach is more or less full, we have to have an indicative number, so the document helps in managing and avoiding conflict. We are evaluating and, if we have to change anything, we are always available, because the important thing is to manage well and carefully, in the sense of creating a safe beach”, he stressed.
In response to the Lusa agency, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action, which oversees the APA, explained that the disclosure of the beaches' capacity in the context of the covid-19 pandemic includes “an informal consultation, soon it will undergo changes based on contributions received”, reinforcing that it is “a changing document”.
According to the mayor of Olhão, the APA document "is not closed, nor is it an imposition and remains in constant discussion, so that it is as consensual as possible".
"I think we are on the right path, that of reaching an almost perfect understanding, because we are all in a new spirit, a new normal, a new reality", he concluded.
In the context of the covid-19 pandemic, the Government determined that the bathing season only begins this year on 6 June, with APA being responsible for determining the capacity of the beaches.