Portugal - alongside with Saudi Arabia, Cancun (Mexico), Barcelona and Seville (Spain) - is one of the first tourist destinations to receive the "Safe Travels" global safety and hygiene stamp, created by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to recognise governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The initiative, which is backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), was designed to rebuild confidence among consumers so they can travel safely once restrictions are lifted.
The new "Safe Travels" protocols put the health and safety of travellers and workers at the forefront of tourist activities and are based upon the best available medical evidence, following guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The objective is to have a set of consistent, standardised, global health and safety guidelines for countries, destinations, travel providers, operators, and travellers, thus avoiding the emergence of multiple standards, which would only delay the sector’s recovery.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: "Travellers will be able to recognise the businesses and destinations worldwide which have adopted the new set of global protocols that will encourage the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world. It will, in turn, help the Travel & Tourism sector to reopen for business and move in a coordinated approach. For the first time ever, the global private sector has rallied around 'Safe Travels' protocols which will create consistency across the sector. Implementation by governments around the world will restore much-needed confidence in order to restart the Travel & Tourism industry.”
Rita Marques, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism, said: “Portugal has been committed in reassuring our tourists they will always have the best experience in our country. This stamp, together with our “Clean & Safe” program, is one step further in reassuring everyone that we care, our destination is focused on recovery, and trust is at the core of our business.”
As the country is slowly easing COVID-19 restrictions, with the outbreak under control and with its national health service responding well, Portugal is ready to welcome back tourists. While some health checks will be introduced at airports, there will be no compulsory quarantine for those flying in. Across Europe, Portugal has been one of the least affected countries by the new coronavirus. Restrictions, which were put in place in mid-March, are being lifted as the rate of growth of infections has lessened.
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