Algarve mayor tells EU: “Protecting lives and our economy are mutually compatible”

Portimão Mayor has reiterated the message that “the Algarve is a safe destination” during a virtual meeting of the European Committee of the Regions held on Thursday (July 2) to discuss the EU’s plans to deal with the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

Isilda Gomes, who is the committee’s Portuguese representative, said the region has been working “very hard, every day, to ensure the safety of its residents and tourists”.

Several measures have been taken to ensure the region is as ‘Covid-safe’ as possible, she told her European peers, including mass testing of hotel staff, the deployment of  “beach assistants” trained to support tourists and the creation of the ‘InfoPraia’ app which provides real-time information about beach occupancy levels.

“This hard work should be supported by all member states,” said Gomes, adding that the efforts being made to save the economy should not be seen as a disregard for the safety of tourists. “Protecting our health and saving our economy are mutually compatible.”

“We are facing serious problems, which is why Europe must work as one by defining common strategies on a national, regional and local level,” the mayor said, calling for the reopening of borders between all European countries, which she defined as one of the pillars of the EU: the “free circulation of people and goods”.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com