The recent exclusion of the Portuguese mainland from the UK’s newly issued travel list of ‘green’ and ‘amber’ countries has caused consternation in the Portuguese government. While the Azores and Madeira are classed as ‘amber’ in the list, meaning that British visitors to those areas do not have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return to the UK, the key tourist areas of Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve are facing a very bleak few weeks without their customary influx of British visitors.
Approx. 2.8m British holiday makers visit Portugal every year, so the Portuguese Minister for Tourism and the senior team at the Portuguese Tourist Office are all extremely keen that Portugal (mainland) is included in the UK’s ‘amber’ travel list as soon as possible.
To this end, strenuous efforts are being made by the Portuguese authorities to ensure the country is included in the UK government’s list by the time of the next review on 27th July. They have put together an excellent factual presentation (attached) to reassure visitors that Portugal is an extremely safe destination.
The all important R rate in Portugal is now mostly below the magic figure of 1. In the first five days of July, Portugal’s Rt (THE R NUMBER) stood at 0.98.
At today’s (8th July 2020) regular Portuguese government meeting with its health technicians at Infarmed, epidemiologists guaranteed that contagion is stabilizing in the five regions of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo currently most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Lisbon, which in the first five days of July had an average of 250 to 300 cases, now has an R rate of 0.97.
The Algarve is the region with the lowest risk of contagion (Rt): 0.77.
In Alentejo, that value also dropped and is now (Rt) 0.86.
The North and Center areas have higher values. In the North, the virus transmission rate is the highest at 1.09. In the Center, this figure is of 1.08.
In Portugal as at 1 July 2020, there were 42, 454 confirmed cases, with 1,579 deaths. Portugal is one of the countries (6th in Europe) that has done the most Covid-19 tests per % of population – namely +1,190,000 tests, meaning 10% of the population are already tested. Only 3.67% of tests showed positive results.
The Algarve has had 632 cases out of a population of 438,635. So a very low 0.14% infection rate in the population.