"We are apprehensive", but, at the same time, "we have a lot of expectations for this week coming, which is a very strong week of visits from Spaniards", said João Pires.

The director stressed that he expects sales volumes in this period of the year "to be at least the same as last year" or "even better".

The fact that only citizens from European Union countries considered to be at low or moderate risk are required to have a vaccination certificate “facilitated” the visit of Spanish clients to Elvas, a city classified as World Heritage by the United Nations Educational Organization , Science and Culture (UNESCO).

In the coming days, the association will develop Christmas-related initiatives to “attract” domestic consumption and, across the border, is promoting a campaign to explain to the Spanish public how to cross the border, since “there are no major limitations” to enter Portugal.

"We are trying to take the steps that we believe can be taken at this time, because there is uncertainty every day", as the numbers of those infected by SARS-CoV-2 "are increasing", not only in Elvas , but also in Badajoz and in Spanish Extremadura.

To "liven up" the Christmas season and help attract visitors to Elvas, the municipality has lit several streets with festive illuminations since the beginning of this month, representing an investment of around €35,000.

One of the “great attractions” was the placement of a 14 metre Christmas tree in Praça da República.