Britain issues Portugal travel advice update

in News · 05-05-2016 12:48:00 · 1 Comments

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has this week renewed its travel advice for Britons travelling to Portugal in which several potential threats to visitors are highlighted, including street crime, warnings about walking along old irrigation channels in Madeira, and reiterates a reference to the “underlying threat from terrorism.”

Despite this advice, the FCO says that while around 2.1 million British nationals visit Portugal every year, most visits are trouble-free.
But the update at the start of the week on the FCO’s website does tell British tourists to be wary of street crime as “thieves tend to target money and passports so don’t keep them all in one place.”
The FCO explains that Portugal’s crime rates are low but pick-pocketing, handbag snatching and theft from cars and holiday properties are common in major tourist areas and can be accompanied by violence.
“Be alert, keep sight of your belongings at all times and beware of thieves using distraction techniques. Be especially vigilant on public transport (particularly the popular numbers 15 and 28 trams in Lisbon) and at busy railway and underground stations and crowded bus and tram stops,” the update urges.
It also calls on tourists to remember that foreign-registered and hire cars are often targeted by thieves.
The FCO further tells potential visitors to Portugal that there is an underlying threat from terrorism.
“Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
“There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria”, the advice explains, and calls on Britons to be vigilant.
The travel advice adds that walking the levadas (ancient irrigation channels) is a popular activity in Madeira, but the walks can be challenging if you are inexperienced.
Since 2013, when a group of British tourists were handed hefty fines and suspended jail terms for playing ‘Fun Bingo’ at an Albufeira bar, the FCO has also included advice on gambling in Portugal.
It says that “games of chance, including bingo, are illegal if they’re held on unlicensed premises. The police may act on reports of illegal gambling in unauthorised premises without warning. Organisers, participants and anyone on the premises may be arrested, charged with a criminal offence and fined or imprisoned. If in doubt, you should ask whether the establishment you’re entering is legally licensed.”
Back in June 2013, 26 patrons and two bar owners were detained, placed on a bus to Albufeira police station where they were formally identified, quizzed, made official suspects and instructed to appear in court to face charges of exploitation of illegal gambling, illegal gambling and witnessing illegal gambling.
Non-participants were fined €150 and given a three-month suspended jail sentence.
Participants in the bingo game were handed a €300 fine plus a three-month suspended sentence, and the owners of the bar, were given a €700 and a €500 fine respectively plus four-month suspended sentences.
To participate in that particular game of bingo, patrons were charged a nominal fee of €1 to take part in the “non-profit” game, which had biscuits, chocolates, drinks and English Breakfasts as prizes.


Can't believe this fun night, ruined by a bunch of 'jobsworths' is still achieving notoriety !

By Bob Long from UK on 06-05-2016 07:08
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