I returned to the Algarve last August, with the intention of being back for the TravelTime World 25th anniversary celebrations in April. Following the Covid-19 outbreak, that was postponed to April and later because of my previous health issues, Jackie and I decided it was safer to remain in the Algarve.
That in hindsight was an excellent decision, to put it into perspective there have been 33,000 confirmed cases and around 1,400 deaths in Portugal. The Algarve accounts for less than a quarter of that total and only 5 in the Lagoa district where I live.
Portugal acted early and has been recognized by the World Health Organisation for taking strong measures to control the outbreaks, although the Portuguese are great receptors of the law and the police, possibly because of their history and a population of just 10 million.
The country has gone to great lengths to attract tourists back this summer, especially to the Algarve where safety is still the primary importance whilst allowing us to do the activities we love. You can come here and enjoy life again, the beaches and walks are open, restaurants, bars, and cafes are open, and hotels are slowly reopening and getting ready to welcome visitors.
Life for me here is nearly back to normal and the restrictions on the number of people we can meet together have been relaxed, but many are still wary and cautious. We socially distance, wear face masks when in enclosed spaces, transport, supermarkets, stores, cafes, and restaurants until seated. The water parks are still closed, but I’m not one of those ever seen down a shute!
At restaurants, all drinks or food are brought to the table and the staff always wear masks. They have even come up with some great solutions like imprinting menus on the table or single throwaway paper ones so they are not touched multiple times. There is a relaxed but cautious atmosphere, and we can return to having home BBQs.
So I invite you to come to and visit the Algarve in particular, although recommend avoiding some of the more built-up destinations such as Albufeira and Vilamoura. There won’t be any buffets for a while, but still plenty of things to do. Tennis and golf (but clubhouses not open) are well known, and swimming in the sea – although there are restrictions on the number of people allowed on the beach.
I just love living here, and would be perfect if Jackie could fly out and see me soon!!!
All my love and best wishes from the sunny Algarve