The Algarve region of Portugal is preparing to open its beaches for tourists on Saturday.
The news comes as the destination, renowned for its 200 kilometres of coastline, gears up for flights to resume to Faro international airport from the UK and Ireland.
On re-opening, beaches will have new safety measures and beach assistants that will help visitors with information.
There will be colour coded signage indicating the level of occupancy of the beach (low/medium/full), and will be updated in real time on the app “Info Praia” (available in English) and APA website.
Visitors will be expected to keep 1.5 metres apart unless they are in the same household and parasols will be three metres apart.
Swimming, water sports and surfing will be permitted.
João Fernandes, president of Algarve Tourism, comments: “With over 100 sandy beaches to choose from, and with some several kilometres in length, it will be easy for visitors to distance themselves from others, should they want to.
“This year 87 of our beaches have been given ‘Blue Flag’ accreditation, an award given annually based on criteria such as water quality, services and user safety.”
Commenting on the new procedures, Fernandes added: “We hope this manual becomes a reference for everyone involved in tourism in Algarve.
“As the biggest tourist destination in the country, the health of our visitors is our first priority and we hope this guide will help to give them reassurance.”
Airlines are showing their confidence in the region with the following companies confirming flights from UK and Ireland to Faro:
- Ryanair – from June 21st the low-cost carrier will offer flights from Stansted, Dublin and Manchester.
- easyJet – from June 16th flights from Belfast will take-off.
- Wizz Air – from June 16th the carrier will operate four weekly frequencies from Luton.
- British Airways – the flag-carrier expected to return to Faro in July.
There are currently no quarantine requirements on entry to mainland Portugal.
Portuguese tourism officials are currently in discussions with the British government about the possibility of an ‘air bridge’ that would negate the need for Brits to quarantine on their return from holiday.
Restaurants, golf courses, marinas, car hire companies, taxis, museums, monuments, art galleries, palaces and churches are open for business already.
In June 75 per cent of hotels in Algarve are expected to be open and by July most will be open.