Moneycontrol PRO
Upcoming Event : Register for INTRAZON 3.0 India's Largest Retail Intraday Traders Online Conference
you are here: HomeNewsWorld

Portugal prepares to welcome back tourists, says no compulsory quarantine for those flying in

Portugal's Foreign Minister Santos Silva explained that while some health checks will be introduced at airports, the country will not impose compulsory quarantine for those flying in.

May 24, 2020 / 12:05 PM IST
File image: Portugal

File image: Portugal

Portugal’s doors are open to tourists, the country’s Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said on May 22. It is one of the first European countries to welcome back visitors from elsewhere in the continent.

“Tourists are welcome in Portugal,” Santos Silva told newspaper Observador, explaining that some health checks will be introduced at airports but there will be no compulsory quarantine for those flying in.

Portugal, which has so far recorded 30,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,289 deaths, is slowly easing restrictions in place since it locked down in mid-March.

It has been less affected than its neighbour Spain or Italy, which both plan to reopen next month.

Many shops and restaurants in Portugal have already reopened under strict restrictions as part of an effort to revive the country’s export-oriented, tourism-dependent economy.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

“Portugal’s health system responds well, and this is very important for us to be able to welcome people,” Santos Silva said.

The minister’s comments came a day after British low-cost airline easyJet, which operates in various Portuguese cities, said it would restart a small number of flights next month.

Earlier this month Portugal’s flag carrier TAP resumed some of its international operations, with flights to London and Paris.

Flights to and from outside the European Union are still temporarily suspended until June 15, with some exceptions, including some routes to and from Portuguese-speaking nations like Brazil.

The Spain-Portugal land border, which has been closed to tourists since March, will also remain shut until then.

“We are gradually going to start looking at easing border controls,” Internal Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita said on May 22.

The tourism industry, one of the hardest hit by the outbreak, contributed 14.6 percent to gross domestic product in 2018, according to the latest official data, and helped Portugal to recover from a severe debt crisis.

The sector registered a 62 percent slump in the number of people staying in holiday accommodation in March from a year ago and total hotel revenues fell by over 57 percent.

Unemployment in the Algarve region more than doubled in April compared with the same month last year as the lockdown kept foreign visitors away and wiped out seasonal jobs.

(With inputs from Reuters)
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 24, 2020 11:56 am