Hotels “absolutely taken by surprise” by government’s New Year shutdown

Hotels throughout the country were totally wrong-footed yesterday evening when prime minister António Costa announced New Year would be ‘cancelled’ (click here).

They have been waiting all day for clarification of what they can and cannot do, as clearly the announcement made last night did not take them into consideration.

Explains SIC television, does ‘staying inside’ over the New Year period (after 1pm on January 1, 2 and 3) mean guests must stay within the hotel, or in their rooms?

Can guests eat in restaurants inside the hotel? For example, on January 1, 2 and 3, how will they eat lunch and dinner?

Nothing is clear. And for the Algarve, the news could not have been worse. Said Elidérico Viegas, the long-suffering president of hoteliers association AHETA, it put paid “once and for all to any hopes of business” over the New Year period.

Other regions have registered ‘a good rhythm of reservations’, says SIC, adding that so far there hasn’t been a flood of cancellations. But prospective guests want answers, and so far hotels have not been able to give them.

Updates to follow.

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