The position of the Algarve's municipalities was expressed by the Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve (AMAL), which in a statement asked the Government “to maintain support for the Algarve businesses who prepared to receive UK tourists and who, therefore, are now in an even more difficult situation”.

The decision to remove Portugal from the list of countries considered safe comes into force from Tuesday at 4am.

From then onwards, anyone arriving in the United Kingdom from Portugal is required to undergo a quarantine period of 10 days and to undergo two PCR tests during this period.

“The Intermunicipal Community of the Algarve [AMAL], representing the 16 mayors of the region, condemns the decision of the United Kingdom. In AMAL's view, it contradicts the effort being made by European countries to allow the movement of people and contribute to economic recovery”, said the organisation chaired by António Pina.

AMAL acknowledged that the British decision “took the region by surprise”, and was taken “shortly after a positive expectation was created, which reanimated the Algarve”, with Portugal's entry on the “green list” on May 17, and “it has a huge negative impact on a region that, being so dependent on tourism, has already been one of the most punished since the beginning of the pandemic”.

The same source said that, after the decision, "many English cancelled their holidays in the Algarve", where entrepreneurs were relying on reservations that are now being cancelled and that led them to hire more workers to respond to the increase in work.

“For this reason, the mayors appeal to the government to maintain support for the Algarve's businessmen as a way to minimise the impact of any commitments assumed, as well as the postponement of the process of recovery of the regional economy”, said AMAL.

The Algarve's municipalities also hope that the British decision “does not contaminate the perception that other countries” have of the region and the country and ensure that the Algarve is “prepared to receive tourists in safety”.