Fears of reduced tourism in Portugal

The concern was again expressed yesterday by the businessmen and mayors of the towns of Tui and Salvaterra do Miño in Pontevedra, Enrique Cabaleiro and Marta Valcárcel, as it became clear that Portugal is one of the 137 countries included by the Xunta in the list for which the “duty” is indicated to communicate their transfers to all persons who have stayed in the neighbouring country 14 days before being in Galicia.

With a first morning reading of the Official Journal of Galicia, the councillor from Tudela already advanced the difficulties for the thousands of workers who every day cross the border between Valença and Tui and, according to the official rule, have to communicate their movements. “I think that for the urban border, with a daily and constant traffic, because this is not a transit area, but of exchange, this measure would be totally inapplicable,” said the councilman on Tuesday.

Author: Sunyu

With traffic greatly reduced by the health crisis, “not as intense as we would like it to be, especially of tourists and pilgrims,” Cabaleiro expressed his desire that the new measure does not affect tourism. “I hope that the affection is not very big, but it is always a handicap because in the end this kind of approach shows that there are sanitary situations in one place or another”, that according to the mayor of Tui, influences the increase of the reservations to travel. He recalls that a large part of the local tourist sector relies on the neighbouring country and that is why he warns that “this type of measure with Portugal is not good for us”.

Mr Cabaleiro explained that no functions have been transferred to the cross-border municipalities as a result of the new scenario. He recalled that “neither do we have competence in health regulation, nor in the protocol for the prevention of diseases”.

The new measure is “a bit cumbersome” until the adaptation process is completed. Early yesterday morning, he called for “another way” to favour the effectiveness of a traffic marked by constant journeys between Salvaterra and Monço, with nearly 10,000 daily transits, of which 9,000 are light vehicles.

Without having dispelled concerns about the new visitor control system, the manager of the Sergas, Antonio Fernández Campa, advanced that people who make a continuous transit, both with Portugal and with other autonomous communities, in the case of professional transporters, should only fill in the declaration once and leave blank the space that claims information about the date of departure from Galicia. In the event that the journeys are to several different destinations, you must provide information on each of the territories to which you are going.

All those who register will be informed of the regulations in force in the Galician community, from the use of masks to the various obligations, explains Fernández Campa.

“THIS WILL BRING COLA” With her company at half gas, the hairdresser of Arbo with the business in the Portuguese town of Monção, the businesswoman Cecilia Puga expresses her concern at the conviction that the new measure will worsen the already complex situation.

“We live in a rural environment and to people who have to come here to the hairdresser, to shop or go to the restaurant, having to register will seem a little violent, and many will not come, especially knowing the mentality of the area,” she predicts.

The businesswoman questions how the control of the thousands of people who cross the border will be carried out. She wonders about the possible presence of police controls and already warns with pessimism that “this is going to bring a tail.

Author: Maite Gimeno, El Correo Gallego