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  • View of a beach in Porto Santo, Portugal, Feb., 2020.

    View of a beach in Porto Santo, Portugal, Feb., 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @Esterpestana58

Published 9 May 2020
Opinion

The General Directorate of Health will establish standards for physical distance in the sand.

The Madeira Autonomous Region president Miguel Albuquerque announced that the Porto Santo island will open its beaches to the public on Sunday, an event that marks the restart of tourist activities in Portugal.

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Other beaches in the Madeira archipelago, which is 250 miles to the north of the Canary Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, will receive tourists from May 15, given the good evolution of the pandemic in this area.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s administration is working on the design of a catalog of standards to be met by citizens and business people once the Portuguese beaches are opened to the public in June.

Portugal's General Directorate of Health will establish a series of standards for physical distance in the sand, control of vehicle parking lots, and epidemiological monitoring at 481 maritime beaches and 133 river beaches.

The southern part of the Algarve, which is one of the coastal regions least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, remains waiting for tourists from Germany, England, or Spain, although these countries still keep their borders closed.

The Tourism Center President Pedro Machado announced that service providers will request the governments of Portugal and Spain to reach agreements so that Spanish tourists can go to the beaches of this Atlantic area during the summer.

For confidence in the tourist offer to be restored, however, it is necessary that not only controls by the authorities but also "civic behavior on the part of the users," Machado said.​​​​​​​

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