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Tourists will be ‘welcome’ and citizens in France may have ‘traffic corridors’, says Foreign Affairs minister

44travel corridorIn the wake of the meeting of the Political Committee of the PS, on Thursday night, Santos Silva commented on the issue that is creating some divisions among the socialists: What is to be done in regards to lifting measures to allow for tourism?

The Minister of State and Foreign Affairs stated that with the approach of summer, and even with the population movements associated with it, he believes that “tourists are welcome in Portugal” and adds that for those who usually travel in cars, mutually-beneficial solutions are being worked out with Spain, so as not to compel the Portuguese population to comply with the mandatory quarantine decreed by Sanchéz’s government in Portugal’s neighbouring country.

“Portuguese returning to Portugal (from other European countries) via Spain, and those entering from France will not be subject to quarantine. The Spaniards have also told us that they agree to create traffic corridors, without staying overnight, without having to quarantine. This is what we are working on”, said Santos Silva. The minister says that the situation experienced at Easter was “exceptional and has passed” and that the current phase is “very controlled in terms of health” and that all emigrants from these countries “are very welcome” on their return to Portugal this summer.

Regarding the arrival of tourists to the country, now that the good weather is beginning to make its way further on to the scene, Santos Silva makes it clear that “tourists are welcome in Portugal”, but there will be “health controls at minimum” to those arriving by plane.

“To tourists who come by air, Portugal will not impose quarantine, it will impose health controls that the health authorities will oversee.  Portugal has a health system that responds well, and this is very important to welcome people, and it has already published rules regarding public spaces, monuments, museums, beaches, hotels, restaurants, which are known and guarantee the security of people”, stressed the minister.

Regarding the Portuguese who have been stranded abroad since the beginning of the lockdowns, worsened by the suspension of flights around the world, Santos Silva explained that there are still Portuguese stranded abroad. Santos Silva explained that there are still Portuguese “who went on vacation in March or April” who are stuck “in Morocco and Cape Verde”. Ultimately it seems that there is still much uncertainty over this topic, and the takeaway here is that the outlines for tourism over the summer are still being negotiated and discussed.