The leafy, shaded, forestry park of Monsanto is as off-limits this week as it was last week under the situation of contingency: businesses in the area threaten legal action. Image: Nuno Ferreira Santos / Lusa

Businesses complain of “elevated damages” due to fire-risk restrictions

Threat of legal action to ensure no further enforced closures in Monsanto 

Businesses have started complaining about the fire risk restrictions which they claim are causing “elevated damages”.

SIC Notícias today highlights the fact that hospitality businesses have been hit hard by the ban on any kind of activity in forested areas.

Access to forests is prohibited as much under the current situation of alert as they were under the higher level (situation of contingency) which fell at 00.00 hours today.

Elsewhere, tourism has been deeply affected by the closing of monuments, like the various palaces and attractions in Sintra, as well as similar closures in other parts of the country.

Explains SIC “businesses never expected this”. The country has been in a situation of aert before (due to the pandemic), and monuments were not forced to close…

“Businesses understand the need to prevent and reduce the probability of fires breaking out in forested areas, in the face of a heatwave. But they consider the government has to find solutions which do not mean that certain sectors are prejudiced”, says SIC.

There is even the threat “on the table” of legal action by businesses in Monsanto forest (close to Lisbon) to ensure they are not prevented from operating any further through the summer. 

As tensions smoulder, SIC adds that authorities (the government backed by Civil Protection) will be making a new evaluation of the situation tomorrow. There is nothing to say a situation of contingency won’t be returning.