Archive for May, 2020

Tourists are welcome back: Portugal will reopen

May 29 2020 Published by under COVID19,Lifestyle

“Portugal’s health system responds well, and this is very important for us to be able to welcome people” this what country’s Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva recently said to newspaper Observador about country-reopening plans.

Although European countries oblige whose arriving to have 2 weeks of self-isolation, Portugal exempt visitors from such restriction. Nevertheless, airports are working to introduce health checks for anyone flying to Portugal.  

Since the country has been less affected by COVID cases than EU neighbours, it is slightly reducing lockdown restrictions and returning back to ‘normal’. Antonio Costa officially announced beaches-reopening from June 6 as long as they respect the European health guidelines.

In the following weeks, not only tourists outside the EU will be cautiously allowed to visit Portugal (the US, Canada and Brazil) but also European states will be included, except for Spain and Italy. 

Even though international airlines are re-setting back operations for travellers, until June 15 European citizens are not yet allowed to enter Portugal for leisure reasons. 

Having this pandemic utterly hobbled the tourism sector, from May 31 onwards hotel & resorts groups will reopen at least two-thirds of their activities in Alentejo and Algarve regions. 

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Portugal has the 2nd safest beach in Europe

May 29 2020 Published by under Lifestyle,Local News

Although summer holidays may be grim this year, a charming beach – one hour from Lisbon – may offer you the best – and safest – gateway you can afford right now.

The European Best Destination recently selected Comporta as the 2nd safest beach in Europe, next to the Greek Preveza.  This will probably delight residents nearby who desperately seek a solitary and remote place to spend the – unexpected – summer.

Unlike other beaches in Portugal, Comporta has always been far from meddling crows even in July and August. Having private villas, small-sizes hotels and apartments, the beach offers you 20km of space to set your umbrella away from other people.  

Well-known by European holidaymakers as a chic and stylish destination, Comporta village boasts green rice fields and sand baked by dunes. Located one hour’s drive from Lisbon, the beach is part of Alentejo, the region less affected by the Covid-19 in Europe, according to the EBD

A well-deserved paradise corner surrounded by rice paddies, ocean, sand dunes and pine forests. Wild landscapes make Comporta a secret destination in COVID-times and although it was named as the new Ibiza the beach maintains a ‘tranquila e calma’ atmosphere. 

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Loulé with free urban transport

May 29 2020 Published by under Local News

Yesterday, The Municipality of Loulé approved the exemption from the payment of Urban Transport in the Municipality of Loulé.

You will be able to use public transport in Loulé for free! This initiative aims to support families and companies and to reactivate the county’s social and economic dynamics.

On the other hand, this decision is also in line with the environmental policies carried out in recent years by the municipality, in the sense that it intends to encourage citizens to opt for public transport instead of individual transport, in an attempt to reduce the emission of air pollutants, mainly responsible for the global warming of the planet.

The circuits managed by the municipal company LC Global in Loulé, Quarteira, Vilamoura and Almancil, as well as the connection between these locations and the Loulé / Praia de Quarteira train station, will be free to use for all age groups, no ticket or card validation is required.

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COVID-19: Find out how many people can be at each beach in the Algarve

May 28 2020 Published by under COVID19,Local News

The bathing season starts on June 6 and the Portuguese Environment Agency has launched some safety rules to be applied on Portuguese beaches, one of which concerns the maximum capacity of each beach. See how it will be in the Algarve!

The APA published the beach capacity in the summer of 2020. “In the context of COVID, it is important to ensure the safety distance, which may imply a reduction in the capacity for occupying the sand on certain beaches.”, guarantees the APA in the statement.

The Association also reinforces that ‘because each beach is a beach, which is even more evident in small beaches, this proposal is available for informal consultation” in order to request everyone’s opinion.

Contributions can be made to the email: address

See the files with the capacity of the beaches in Barlavento and Sotavento.

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A glass to relax? How wine consumption increased during the lockdown

May 27 2020 Published by under COVID19,Lifestyle

A European study recently analysed wine consumption patterns during the lockdown period in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France.

If you have been drinking more wine than usual during the quarantine, you’re not alone. The European Association of Wine Economists (EUAWE) worked alongside the University of Bordeaux’s Wine and Spirits Chair to understand the wine behaviours among respondents. Results have estimated an overall increase in home drinking and for many of us, this is not a surprise, though. Accordingly, Portugal report asked 65% males and 35% females mainly between 30-70 years old about wine habits experienced before and during the quarantine.

Virtual happy hours are the new normality

“I need more wine”

Having places like bars, pubs and restaurants temporary closed, Portuguese wine drinking showed a decrease in the social sphere opting for virtual happy-hours or alone consumption.

About 28% of  Portuguese “has organized digital meetings to drink with family or friends”. Since the beginning of the lockdown, 58% confirmed to have received “direct offers and/or seen posts on social media from winemakers to buy their wine online”.

While beers and spirits, spendings did not rise significantly whereas wine expenses climbed 30% according to the survey. 

When the wine knock at your door

As we all know, winemakers grappled with sales due to COVID-restrictions, 73% of people agreed on “purchasing more local wine to support my national economy”.

This year wine trading went digitally and 38% confirmed to have a ‘wine app’ on their phone. Having enjoyed some fancy wine virtual tastings, 23% people affirmed to have improved knowledge on wine topic. 

However, in lockdown, 55% of respondents bought wine from supermarkets whereas those – lucky – having their own cellars (26%) did not buy outdoor wines. 

Home drinking as a glorious alternative

The boredom of staying home and the intense anxiety produced by the COVI-19 have given rise to drink wine as a logical solution to chill out. 

Although Portuguese consumers said wine  “goes well with food”, 32% revealed it ”helps to relax”. The survey reflected anxiety generated by the pandemic as 40% put the blame on media-covering while 50% strongly showed worries “about the economical consequences of this crisis for me and my close relatives”.

Conclusions from the EUAWE report drawn a crescent trend in-home wine consumption in quarantine homes. Like with toilet paper, wine consumers seemed to have stored  – emergency –  bottles in case it becomes harder to find it later. 

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COVID-19: Tavira begins to open face-to-face services.

May 26 2020 Published by under COVID19

Tavira resumed the face-to-face service yesterday with the opening of the Balcão Único, on the ground floor of the Paços do Concelho.

In a statement sent by the Tavira City Council, it informs that in this new space, Balcão Único, will be working the Municipal Works Section, the Taxes and Licenses Section and the Municipal Treasury.

The Local Administration must guide its performance based on principles that bring the services provided closer to the real needs of the citizens. The solution found allows safeguarding the conditions of hygiene and safety, currently required and aims to enhance the management of municipal service that guarantees users an efficient service that best satisfies their expectations, in a pleasant environment and in a modern and attractive space.

During this first phase, public service will take place between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm, however, and considering the current situation, the Municipality advises that telephone contact and the use of electronic mail be privileged.

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Albufeira is the destination with most blue flags in Portugal

May 25 2020 Published by under Local News

Albufeira is one of the main tourist destinations in the Algarve, with the beaches being a landmark of the municipality. This year the city leads the country again with 26 blue flags.

It was with great enthusiasm that the Municipality of Albufeira received for the fifth consecutive year the distinction with a Blue Flag along its coast, continuing to be the municipality with most distinctions in Portugal.

According to the Mayor, José Carlos Rolo, this “is the recognition of a great and rigorous work that we have throughout the year. It is work that is only visible to everyone with these results. This is the proof that Albufeira is an unparalleled tourist destination in the country and it is for this environmental quality, for our educational concern and for the high quality of our hotels, restaurants, bars and other establishments, that we are the tourism capital of Portugal. ”. That this data can only result “in greater motivation, in the face of the discouragement that the pandemic has brought us. However, the locals are equally excellent workers, committed and respectful and I do not doubt that the rules for protecting the health of all will be adopted very quickly and that this summer will not fail to be positive, in spite of being atypical, of being a summer under the threat of Covid-19 ”.

The Mayor says he is confident, despite all the constraints imposed on beaches, public and private spaces, “because the people of Albufeira have always been willing to let their arms down in difficult situations”.

The flags will be placed on the Alemães beach, Arrifes, Aveiros, Barranco das Belharucas, Castelo, Coelha, Evaristo, Falésia/Açoteias, Falésia/Alfamar, Galé Leste, Galé Oeste, Inatel, Manuel Lourenço, Maria Luísa, Olhos d`Água, Oura, Oura-Leste, Peneco, Pescadores, Rocha Baixinha, Rocha Baixinha Nascente, Rocha Baixinha Poente, S. Rafael, Salgados, Santa Eulália e na Marina.

This year, the theme of environmental education is “Back to the Sea with an attitude of change” and, according to the Associação da Bandeira Azul, “considering the context in which we live, we cannot go to the beach in the same way; the seaside remains undoubtedly a place of well-being, but now it implies restrictions, safety distances and increased measures for individual protection. ”

For this reason, the Environmental Education teams of the Municipality and the Municipal Civil Protection Service will be daily on the beaches with awareness actions.

“A beach with the Blue Flag means, among other things, that it has good water quality, that it is clean and equipped with rubbish bins and toilets in good hygienic conditions, that has good accessibility and where there are lifeguards (from Jaune 15 to September 15, 9.30–19.30), emergency equipment and information and activities on environmental education. A beach has to meet a total of 32 different requirements before it is allowed to hoist the Blue Flag.”European Blue Flag Programme (ABAE)/Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

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Should I go to the beach? A new app tells you whether it’s full or not before you go.

May 25 2020 Published by under COVID19,Lifestyle,Local News

If you are planning your weekend at the seaside, social distancing won’t be the only thing to ‘safely care about’. Under the motto “Information on our beaches, in the palm of your hand” the Portuguese government introduced  Info Praia, an app which tells you – in real-time – how much the beaches are crowded, thus accessible. 

Good weather and rising temperatures invite you to take a dip. But this year, as we know, the bathing season will unfold in a different way, because of the pandemic.

From June 6 2020, it will be possible to visit beaches in Portugal, but with restrictions. Hopefully ever since Portugal has come up with a plan to get people back on the sand. Sunbathers will stay 1.5 metres away from each other while umbrellas can’t stay closer than 3 meters.

Available for App and Androids,  Info Praia, works using a traffic-light system of red, yellow and green colours indicating whether beaches are full, partially full or have few people.

Developed by the Portuguese Environment Agency, the app is one of the main steps to tool up Portugal for this – extraordinary – summer. 

According to the online newspaper Observador, the Portuguese Environment Agency (PEA) not only ensure to monitor the quality of services but also respect the privacy of the users while using the app. Indeed, it does not collect your data neither requires any registration. The location is only needed in order to give you updatings about the beaches nearby you.

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39º Motard Concentration in Faro canceled

May 21 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

President of the Moto Clube de Faro, José Amaro, announced through a video that this year’s Motard Concentration will not take place due to Covid-19.

Today was announced, through a video published on the Facebook page of Moto Clube de Faro, that the event was cancelled this year. In the video, the president of the organization, José Amaro, left a message:

“For 38 years we celebrated and shared our joys. This is where we will seek strength and overcome our sadness, but this year it will not be like this. We know that health is our most precious asset. It is difficult to cancel an event in the 39 years, but we are sure that in any part of the world, the days that were of the concentration, will be together in thought. We will return stronger in the defence of motorcycling culture. A big thank you to everyone!“.

Obrigado a todos pelos 38º anos

Opublikowany przez Moto Clube de Faro- oficial Czwartek, 21 maja 2020

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Summer is cautiously coming back

May 21 2020 Published by under COVID19,Lifestyle

After months of lockdowns, European governments are finally lifting some Covid- restrictions allowing Summer 2020 to cautiously come back. 

“Even if it’s with security measures and limitations, our message is we will have a tourist season this summer” is what Paolo Gentiloni, European Union economic affairs commissioner told during an interview with BBC a week ago. 

Despite the risks, Brussels recommended the revival of tourist services right in time for the summer season inviting each state to tool up social distancing and disinfection procedures. 

Going slowly but healthy and far

From Brussels “We are helping European tourism get back on track while staying healthy and safe” stressed the European commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton “..because we know the virus will stay for us for some time.” 

The new European guidelines released by the European Commission promised a gradual and careful reopening of the hospitality amenities.

No sector is left behind. The EU plan encourages a judiciously reopening for beaches, hotels, campsites, B&Bs, cafes and restaurants to protect not only guests but also employees. 

For those looking for beaches, swimming pools and playgrounds the Community advises to “..ensure physical distancing of 2 metres between tables, beach lounger sets, guests” as well as “regular maintenance and environmental cleaning of these facilities”. 

By respecting these and other guidelines sorted out by the Commission we can “minimise the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19”. 

Portugal will start to shine again

As the country proudly succeeded in keeping Covid new cases and deaths low, it’s now ready to face a new stage. Luckily for you, this summer may not probably be that bad. 

As Prime Minister Antonio Costa recently said: Portugal beaches will reopen officially from June 6.

However, self-discipline and personal responsibility are required to return ‘normal again’. People are encouraged to download an app to track the capacity of the beaches and check in advance and if there’s still some place. 

Sunbathers have to respect the rule of keeping 1.5 metres away from each other with umbrellas at least 3 metres apart.

Since Hotels and Airbnbs are slightly reopening, the country’s Secretary of State for Tourism Rita Marques, encouraged not to cancel arranged holidays and opting for vouchers instead. The validity of the vouchers will be until December 21 of the next year. Those unable to make this trip in this length of time they can ask for a complete reimbursement.

At the end of the day, holidaymakers are invited to enjoy this desired season as long as they remember to respect every guideline. 

This summer will be like any other but only by cooperating together Portuguese tourism sector will be able to shine – once – again. 

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