Algarve tourism boss João Fernandes has reacted to the latest ‘air bridge rejection’ – this time by the Irish government – saying he doesn’t believe it will make much difference. The Irish will keep coming, he says, because flights are in place… and they like us.
Ireland is one of the region’s “seven principal external markets”. With 35% of air links between Ireland and Algarve currently running, Fernandes says he is confident people will still come over.
Yes, for the time being, the travel ‘guidance’ is that anyone who has travelled to Portugal should self-isolate for 14-days on their return, but Fernandes considers this won’t put families off. It is patently clear that virus numbers in Portugal are steadily decreasing, and infection rates in the Algarve remain a ‘fraction’ of those registered in the main trouble spot: the Greater Lisbon area.
Indeed, the Telegraph is suggesting that the British government’s travel guidance is due to change on Monday, and start analysing ‘regions’ instead of countries a whole. On this basis, the Algarve, Alentejo, Madeira and Azores would instantly be considered ‘safe’ as virus numbers have been consistently low, and deaths almost negligible (click here).
Fernandes added that by August roughly 50% of habitual flight connections between Ireland and Faro will be back in operation – thus he’s hoping “for a gradual recuperation of the sector” at least for the last month of the high-season.