Carcavelos, Portugal, May 22 (EFE).- Portugal has brought the summer season forward and opened its borders, and beaches, to foreign tourists.
The train service between the capital Lisbon and the nearby seaside town of Cascais is packed during the week with students, who head down to the beach as soon as class is over. At the weekend, the trains are busier still.
It’s a welcome relief for the bars and restaurants in the popular tourist spot after months of dormancy due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“We think it’s going to be pretty good,” Renan Dias, chef at La Plage restaurant in Cascais, tells Efe of the season ahead. “They opened the borders, and Spanish, French and English tourists are arriving. You can see the difference each day.”
A growing trickle of British tourists began to arrive in Portugal after May 17, when the United Kingdom’s government added the Iberian nation to the so-called green list of safe countries to visit.
The Brits are breathing life back into the Algarve in particular, a popular destination in Portugal’s south.
Reservations for flights from the UK to the Algarve increased 600% after the government’s announcement. Spaniards have been able to travel to Portugal since 1 May, when the border was reopened after months of closure.
Public mask use is still in force in Portugal although visitors can remove the protective gear once sat on their towel at the beach, which must be at least 1.5 meters away from the next beachgoer.
Failure to adhere to health and safety protocols can land you with a fine of 50-100 euros.EFE