Photo: INÊS LOPES/OPEN MEDIA GROUP

“Algarve holiday hotspots unfairly penalised”: mayors renew call for government action

Algarve mayors stress popular tourist destinations are being unfairly penalised and reiterate their calls for the government to change the way it tallies Covid-19 cases.

Their renewed plea came just one day before today’s announcement that Albufeira and Lagos are taking a step back in their lockdown exit, which effectively means more restrictions, while another six – Faro, Lagoa, Portimão, Olhão, Silves and São Brás de Alportel – are under ‘alert’ (click here)

Last week, the Algarve Municipalities Association (AMAL) had already expressed its concern about the government’s Covid calculation formula (click here).

“We continue to demand a different way of counting the cases that are attributed to the Algarve because, by including non-residents, the current formula does not reflect the real situation,” AMAL boss António Pina told Lusa news agency.

Pina, who is also mayor of Olhão, said the region’s 16 mayors are “unhappy” that the government has not listened to their call, stressing how boroughs like Albufeira, where “foreigners on holiday represent half of the cases”, are seeing their numbers skewed by the large number of visitors.

“The way the ratio is calculated by DGS (the national health board) is unfairly prejudicial to municipalities where tourism has great weight,” he said.

Algarve health delegate Ana Cristina Guerreiro has confirmed that holidaymakers who test positive for Covid-19 in the Algarve are added to the numbers of the location where they were staying “two to three days before” they tested positive. She added, however, that each case is analysed separately.

The regional health delegate has also commented on the Algarve’s growing case numbers, attributing them to family gatherings and the “large number of tourists” who visited the Algarve during early June’s long weekends (click here).

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com