I should like to give a warm welcome to everyone who is here for the football or on holiday – or both. Although the focus will be on football during June (and the British Embassy has opened a separate office at Faro Airport for the period of the tournament), the British Consulate in Portimão will continue to be open during normal office hours and will offer the usual services.
We also continue to offer out-of-hours cover for genuine emergencies. The Portimão Consulate’s telephone number is 282 490 750 and the 24-hour national Euro 2004 consular help-line is 808 781 966.
The fans will receive a good reception from the Portuguese (I well remember the street banner in Faro earlier this year which said ‘Faro welcomes the English Fans’), but it goes without saying that everyone should respect local laws and customs. Don’t forget that the beer is stronger than in the UK!
If the worst comes to the worst and something goes wrong, we can help with: lost/stolen passports, advice on transferring funds, getting in touch with local lawyers/interpreters/doctors, contacting next of kin, visiting in prison/hospital. But we cannot get you out of prison, pay any bills or intervene in court proceedings.
Let me end on a positive note. The overwhelming majority of people who come to the Algarve enjoy themselves and nothing goes wrong. I see no reason for that to be different this year. Personally, as a lifelong football fan, I am looking forward to this tournament tremendously. I do not recall a tournament featuring such great teams ever before. But whether you like football or not, relax, soak up the sun and the atmosphere and – whatever you do – ENJOY!
Roger Nuttall, British Consul in the Algarve
The Resident would like to remind any fans intending to go to Euro 2004 matches to ensure that you allow enough travel time to get to the stadium. We recommend you arrive at least two hours before kick-off. There will be entertainment and refreshment stands at all the stadia to keep you occupied while you wait.