The Algarve's main hotel association (AHETA) was highly critical of the decision announced on Thursday by the Council of Ministers to introduce the requirement for a test or certificate in hotels.
The Algarve’s main hotel association on Friday considered the obligation to present a Covid-19 certificate or test to access hotels “an exaggeration” and asked the government to “immediately revoke” the measure.
Speaking to Lusa news agency, the president of the Algarve Association of Hotels and Tourism Developments (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas, was highly critical of the decision announced on Thursday by the Council of Ministers to introduce the requirement for a test or certificate in hotels in mainland Portugal, and within the catering industry in high and very high risk municipalities, from 7 p.m. on Friday and at weekends and public holidays, a measure that currently affects nine of the 16 municipalities in the Algarve.
“An unnecessary exaggeration, an impractical measure of dubious efficacy. Contrary to what the Government claims – that it promotes development – it further restricts people’s availability for holidays, and contributes decisively to many Portuguese opting to spend their holidays abroad, instead of choosing to do so in their own country”, said Elidérico Viegas.
“Hotel professionals are not health professionals, nor security forces, nor health authorities” and “are not qualified nor have the conditions to comply with the measure that was announced by the Government”.
“And, therefore, we strongly appeal to the Government to quickly and urgently reverse this decision, because it is detrimental to the public interest.”
Elidérico Viegas said that the decision announced on Thursday, at the end of the Council of Ministers, by the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, “makes no sense,” because, “hotels are not places where there are outbreaks of infection” and “there is no knowledge of outbreaks of infection since the beginning of the pandemic in hotels and tourist resorts”.
“The hotels are being bombarded with phone calls all the time from people who had made reservations, outraged by this decision”, he warned, clarifying that, for the time being, there have been no cancellations of reservations, but warning that the decision “will not motivate people to take holidays in the country.”