‘Irresponsible people must not ruin everything’ defends Algarve council head, warning of 2nd lockdown
During the press conference of the District Civil Protection Commission, which took place this morning in Loulé, António Miguel Pina, AMAL president, and José Apolinário stated that the region is fully prepared to receive tourists during the coming summer season, but underline the importance of responsibility and awareness, especially amongst younger visitor.
“There is work that is done by everyone in the region, and that has been instrumental. The Algarvians can be proud of the work that has been done in the region, which stands out at the national level”. These were the words that Pina, chairman of the District Civil Protection Commission, used to open his speech at the conference to journalists, on the morning of Friday, June 5, at the premises of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, in Loulé.
“This leaves us with a hope that the economic recovery may be closer or that we can move a little further than other regions, but always with a great sense of responsibility,” he said.
For Pina, also the mayor of Olhão and president of AMAL (Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve), the success of the next phase of lockdown relaxation, already with the opening of the ‘bathing season’ scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, June 6, will only stay as it is “if we continue to know behave as before. We must start the bathing season with a lot of effort from everyone, with a lot of effort from the municipalities and their businessmen. It is the work of all the players in the region”.
The certainty, in the words of the president, “is that regular inspection will be present. We cannot let that five percent of irresponsible people spoil the work of the other 95 percent”, warning of a possible reversion further into lockdown if measures are not complied with.
In this sense, “we ask the young age group especially to make an effort. It is necessary that during the summer, those who want to enjoy the holidays and enjoy life, be aware. We will be alert” he guaranteed.
“We want to maintain this idea that the Algarve is a COVID-19-free destination, to better convey this message of security to our main tourist entertainment markets. But this good COVID status is the work of everyone, rules and the maintenance of this civic awareness, because it is necessary to maintain this same dynamic of being prepared, aware and alert”, added Pina.
For tourists, national or international, Pina also left a message of safety: “come on vacation. We are prepared to receive you, but we are also vigilant for those who are less responsible”.
Regional Health Delegate calls for caution in the use of outdoor seating for bars and restaurants
Moreover, Ana Cristina Guerreiro, Regional Health Delegate responsible for monitoring the Algarve’s pandemic evolution, revealed that at the moment, the pandemic “is in a stable phase” in the Algarve.
However, “once we are in a relaxed stage, I would like to warn people not to overuse these new possibilities, such as terraces (outdoor seating). I have received complaints from citizens from one end of the region to the other, asking, making an alert, so that people are not too close to each other, which is sometimes what happens in these establishments. People have the right to be without masks” when using outdoor seating, “but they must comply with the distance so that there is no facility of contagion”, said the delegate to reporters.
Paulo Morgado, president of the governing council of the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of the Algarve, reinforced the message. “This is an extraordinary situation and the risk of new cases will continue to exist for the next few months. It is good that we all have this perception. This leads us even more to have a responsible attitude as a community and to respect what are the rules that are defined”, he recalled.
Morgado calls for compliance with rules such as “the use of masks and distancing, which is essential for those who are in the Algarve and who visit us. If we all fulfill what is determined, obviously, health services will have less work. We all stand to gain as citizens, as companies and as a community”.
For the new summer season ahead, Morgado left a message. “Nobody wants to go back and to a phase of confinement. For that to happen it is necessary that there is a sense of responsibility that has to be passed on and that the community has to assume. We will have a flow of visitors and borders will open, but the rules are the rules and must be followed by everyone. If everyone is responsible, we can minimize the number of cases and the contagions that may happen”.