The Algarve is one of the key tourist areas showcased in a special campaign by Portuguese authorities to highlight the country’s universally praised health and safety response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The “Clean & Safe” initiative created by Tourism of Portugal invites clients to review businesses’ compliance with regulations in place throughout the country to combat the risks of COVID-19 contagion.
Companies and leisure activities are granted a stamp (or “badge of approval”) recognising their commitment to compliance with health safety recommendations and issued by the national tourism authority in accordance with Portuguese health authority guidelines. More than 16,000 stamps have already been issued, and over 20,000 people have taken part in specific training sessions for businesses to implement requirements associated with the stamp – which is valid until 30 April 2021.
The main objective, according to Turismo de Portugal, is to “create awareness among tourist agents of the need to adopt health and hygiene measures and procedures that ensure the safety of their employees and customers and stimulate the resumption of national and international tourism activity, reinforcing confidence in Portugal as a tourism destination”.
Businesses involved include tourist accommodation, restaurants, golf courses, museums, palaces, monuments and archaeological sites, geoparks, thermal spas and airports. Turismo de Portugal, the Economic Security Authority (ASAE) and industry associations carry out random inspections of Clean & Safe stamp holders.
The message from tourism authorities is, “We want to make sure your stay is safe and unforgettable. Enjoy Portugal and all its beauty in safety.”
“Best Practices” in the Algarve
The Algarve region has published a pioneering “Best Practices Guide” for tourism companies as part of the national Clean & Safe campaign. Highlighting hygiene protocols and procedures to protect visitors, staff and locals from COVID-19, the guide was produced in collaboration with several national entities and includes a set of recommendations with specific tips for the various tourism industry sectors.
Re-Opening of Spain-Portugal Border
Meanwhile, on 1 July Portugal’s land borders with Spain – which had been closed since 17 March – were officially re-opened during a ceremony at the highest level. Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and prime minister António Costa joined King Felipe IV (Spain’s head of state) and prime minister Pedro Sánchez for the official re-opening.
During the ceremony – held jointly in Badajoz (Spain) and Elvas (Portugal) – the authorities visited Spain’s Museo Arqueológico de La Alcazaba and the Castillo de Elvas about 20 kilometres away across the border in Portugal.
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