New Year cancelled in popular Portugal tourist destination due to rising Covid cases

Covid: Travellers recall ‘stressful’ process of pre-travel tests

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The 16 municipalities in the Algarve region made a joint decision to cancel New Year’s Eve celebrations. They said the decision was made “in the context of the pandemic that is currently being experienced”.

They added that the emergence of the Omicron variant had pushed them to cancel traditional New Year’s Eve events.

Some of the region’s mayors have decided to go ahead with firework displays but others decided to scrap them.

It is feared that firework displays could encourage tourists and residents to gather in large groups.

The mayors said: “This decision could bring constraints to businesses and traders in the region.

“At this time, the focus should be centred on protecting the health and well-being of the population of the Algarve.”

One of the Algarve’s most popular parties, held at the Praia de Pescadores in Albufeira, has been cancelled.

Albufeira will still have firework displays but has said they will be held in a variety of locations rather than just one.

In Faro, a popular tourist destination, the money that would have been spent on festivities will be used to support local business.

Faro officials said they had decided “not to promote this year any public events to celebrate the New Year in the municipality, namely musical shows or fireworks”.

British tourists can currently still travel to Portugal for the festive season as long as they comply with restrictions.

Britons must show a negative Covid test to enter Portugal. Antigen tests must have been taken within 48 hours of departure.

PCR tests must be taken within 72 hours of departure. If tourists opt for an antigen test they must check it complies with EU standards.

The rules apply to all travellers over and including the age of 12. Everyone must complete a passenger locator form.

In Portugal, British tourists must keep a social distance of 1.5 metres at all times and wear a face mask indoors.

Face masks must also be worn outdoors where it is impossible to maintain social distancing.

Tourists must also show a Covid certificate to enter restaurants, tourist establishments and hotels in Portugal.

Even fully vaccinated tourists will need to present a negative Covid test to enter bars and nightclubs in Portugal.

Children under 12 are exempt. The Government has also announced that bars and nightclubs will be closed from January 2 to 9.

On return to the UK, British tourists will need to take a test within 48 hours of their departure.

They must also take a PCR test on or before day two after arrival in the UK and must self-isolate until they receive the result.

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