Algarve Tourism president Joao Fernandes has hailed the UK government’s decision to lift its travel restrictions on Portugal, claiming the region is among the safest places to be in Europe.
Portugal will be added to the UK’s travel corridor list during the early hours of Saturday morning (22 August) meaning holidaymakers will no longer have to self-isolate for a fortnight upon their return to the UK.
The Foreign Office has also extended Portugal’s exemption to its global no-travel advisory to cover the entire mainland. It had previously only been extended to Madeira and the Azores.
“It was a long time coming, but we are really delighted with the decision to lift the quarantine requirement," said Fernandes.
"We have very low Covid rates. The Algarve is one of the least affected regions in Portugal. The latest figures show just 0.05% cases per 100,000 inhabitants, so it’s one of the safest places you can be.
"We were quick to adopt preventive measures and extensive testing at an early stage to mitigate spread of the pandemic, as a result we have had much fewer cases than other European countries."
Fernandes said as the UK was the Algarve’s biggest market, the decision came as a significant boost. "We are so pleased that we can finally welcome back all those British visitors that were put off travelling here because of the quarantine rules," said Fernandes.
More than 3,000 business in the region have achieved Clean & Safe certification, Portugal’s tourism-sector led scheme to build confidence in its efforts to mitigate the effects of coronavirus and indicate compliance with strict health protocols.
The region will this year host the Portugal Masters golf in September, Portugal’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix for nearly 25 years in October, which will be the first one to be open to spectators, and the finale of the MotoGP season in November.
Fernandes indicated these events were testament to the region’s readiness to welcome visitors.