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Portugal with its ‘TravelSafe’ seal by the WTTC, is open for tourism

Portugal has declared itself prepared and open to receive foreign tourists once again. The situation in the country is evolving very positively and the majority of the country will be open as of July 1, with minimum restrictions imposed on the population.

Since the beginning of May, when the first phase of reintegration began, the country has seen considerable improvements regarding:

• Number of hospitalizations: Minus 50 per cent (there were 968 and now 436)

• Hospitalizations in Intensive Care Units (ICU): Minus 70 per cent (172 versus 67 for a capacity of more than 700 ICU beds throughout the territory);

• Number of deaths: Minus 70 per cent (from an average of 15-20 daily to about a third of that value on the present day; 3.57 if considering the average of the last 7 days);

• Number of active cases: Minus 50 per cent (at the beginning of the reintegration plan, there were 24,065 active cases compared to 12,484 today which represents almost half).

This positive evolution allows that mostly the entire country to leave the State of Calamity and start to be only on Alert State.

Thanks to the control and increase of tests (Portugal is the 6th country in Europe in number of tests, having already completed more than 1.1 million, which accounts for more than 10 per cent of the population) it was recently considered essential to apply some contingency rules to some areas on the outskirts of Lisbon – such as the closing of some commercial establishments at 8pm and the prohibition of gatherings with more than 10 people.

However, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, health services, gas stations and sports equipment maintain normal opening hours. The same applies to all museums, cultural facilities, etc. There is also no limitation on the movement of residents or tourists and all transport is fully operational. There is no situation of closure or quarantine in Lisbon.

The application of these rules is part of the procedures that Portugal has taken since the beginning of the crisis, which has allowed for exemplary control over the progress of the pandemic and has resulted in international praise. These measures also allow all tourist and cultural facilities to be open and functioning in full, ensuring the necessary security of those who wish to visit the Lisbon region.

Other popular tourist regions in Portugal such as the Algarve, Madeira, Porto and Northern Region, continue their path of continuous reduction of cases. Other regions such as the Azores, Alentejo and Centre Region are already being increasingly sought after by national and foreign tourists.

Portugal is the 3rd safest country in the world (Global Peace Index 2020) and the entire sector, from companies and private operators to the various public sector agents, is appropriately prepared so that the resumption of activity can generate maximum confidence in visitors and tourists, fulfilling all hygiene and safety conditions.

The creation of the Clean & Safe seal was decisive. The initiative, which already has more than 17,000 voluntary memberships from the various companies and activities in the sector (and others that are directly or indirectly linked to it), is consolidated every day through its digital platform – portugalcleanandsafe.com. Available in two languages (Portuguese and English), it gathers information about all participating establishments, allowing tourists themselves to classify the developments regarding compliance with sanitary conditions. The training necessary for companies to implement the associated measures was also ensured, with more than 20,000 people already trained.

This project for the resumption of the national tourist activity won Portugal the invitation of the OMT (World Tourism Organization) to present, in the organization’s world assembly, the good practices of the sector. This contributed decisively towards Portugal being recognised as the first European destination to be distinguished with the ‘TravelSafe’ seal by the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council). Also, the fact that Portugal was the country chosen to hold the final phase of the Champions League is already a huge demonstration of international confidence.

The reopening of airlines between Portugal and several European destinations is underway. In the short term, a 45 per cent recovery of air routes is expected in July and around 60 per cent in August, with all equipment, activities, and companies in the sector open and prepared to receive visitors and tourists.

Portugal maintains the purpose and the commitment to guarantee everyone that they can travel around the country, safe and with confidence.