Author: Sarah Jorge

Covid-19: France estimates impact on tourism at around 40 billion

The French government today admitted that the covid-19 pandemic caused immediate losses in the tourism sector of at least 30,000 to 40,000 million euros.

“Typically, tourism generates € 180 billion in revenue, of which € 60 billion is from international tourism. The immediate impact of the pandemic is at least 30 to 40 billion”, Secretary of State for Tourism Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told “Le journal du Dimanche”.

In the balance of the summer he made to the newspaper, the Secretary of State recalled that part of the international clientele “disappeared” and that many operators foresee a drop in turnover of 20 to 25% by the end of the year, although he is beginning to see a progressive increase in Dutch, German, Belgian and Swiss tourists.

Paris is one of the main cities affected by the absence of Chinese, Russians and North Americans due to the closure of borders.

“One in two hotels is closed and the Louvre receives 10,000 visitors a day, instead of 50,000, but I hope that, as of September 1, the resumption of the large fairs and professional salons will allow the capital to reconnect one of the its economic engines”, he concluded.

The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed about 722,000 deaths and infected more than 19.4 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.

Measures to combat the pandemic paralyzed entire sectors of the world economy and led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to make unprecedented predictions in its almost 75 years: the world economy could fall 4.9% in 2020, dragged by a contraction of 8 % in the United States, 10.2% in the euro zone and 5.8% in Japan.

The portuguese president says that “There is an evolution in black lists favorable to Portugal”

The President of the Republic said today that he hopes that Portugal will integrate, by the end of August, the lists of countries without restrictions related to covid-19, in terms of the circulation of tourists, including the United Kingdom.

“I am hopeful that, as the days go on and until the end of the month, there will be a complete transition from the worst or intermediate lists to the best lists in terms of tourism,” said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in Porto Santo, Madeira archipelago, where a short vacation ends today.

The head of state said that tourism is increasing, albeit slowly, and, on the other hand, said that the pandemic situation in Portugal has evolved positively, which favors the lifting of restrictions on the movement of people.

“This is very important for Madeira, it is very important for the Algarve, it is very important for Porto, it is very important in general for Portugal”, he declared, just before taking a dip in the sea of Porto Santo, despite the rain that today it is felt on the island.

“There is an evolution in the black lists – let’s call it that – in favor of Portugal”, he said, reinforcing: “Portugal, in fact, has been following a path opposite to that of many other European societies, which are experiencing aggravations, which some consider that it’s already a second wave “.

The President of the Republic underlined that the forecasts point to an increase in tourism in the country by the end of the month, so he expects the United Kingdom to change the restrictions it imposes on citizens traveling to Portugal.

The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 715,000 deaths and infected more than 19.1 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French agency AFP.

In Portugal, 1,746 people died of the 52,351 confirmed to be infected, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.

After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent is now the one with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.

Commerce will reopen “on the 4th and 18th of May and the 1st of June”, announces Costa

The prime minister Antonio Costa said today that on April 30th , the Council of Ministers will announce which commercial sectors will restart their activity with security standards on May 4 and 18 and June 1. António Costa spoke to journalists after meeting with the Confederation of Portuguese Commerce, which, in turn, invited the Lisbon, Viseu and Fafe traders’ associations to be present.

According to the prime minister, the meeting aimed to “test the hygiene rules for everyone to feel safe when going to establishments” from the moment the restrictions on the operation of these sectors are lifted.

“All sectors of activity are setting safety standards, which will have to be validated by the General Health Directorate. These standards must all be in a position to be applied when, on April 30, the Council of Ministers announces what is the release schedule for the containment rules “, stressed the executive leader.

According to António Costa, “the confinement release rules will come into force every 15 days, the first on 4 May, the second on 18 May and the other on 1 June”, although they do not yet include all sectors of activity.

“Therefore, on April 30, after the Council of Ministers, we will announce the activities that the 4th, 18th or 1st of June will be able to resume – and always with restrictions on capacity and in terms of protection of individual equipment, whether for those who are meet, in some cases for customers “, he stressed.

António Costa said that the executive’s objective, with this phased reopening calendar, “is to measure the impacts of the previous measure every 15 days, seeing if it is possible or not to take another step” in terms of lifting restrictions.

“It is better to go slowly and safely now than after having unpleasant surprises that force us to step back. Each time we release a containment rule, the risk of contamination increases. We know this and, as such, we have to maintain that level of controllable contamination, capable of responding to the National Health Service (SNS) “, he claimed.

Before the journalists, the leader of the executive said that the meeting also involved the association of hairdressers, so that this sector can also resume the activity in safety for professionals and their customers. “Naturally, safety standards are not the same for all sectors, pointing as an example the fact that the work of a hairdresser inevitably requires proximity to the client” .

Regarding the reopening plan for the commerce and services sectors, António Costa stressed that there will be no “pre-covid-19 normality, until there is a vaccine”.

“With all sectors of activity, we must prepare what are the conditions so that the rules of containment can be eased,” he added.

António Costa also said that, on the part of the Government, “an effort is being made to increase the response capacity of public transport, ensuring its hygiene”. “The Minister of Infrastructure [Pedro Nuno Santos] is currently meeting with the mayors of Cascais and Sintra to increase the offer and safety on trains”, he revealed.

“These are the two railway lines where there are greater difficulties in ensuring social distance”, he justified.

The latest developments on Covid-19 in Portugal and worldwide.

This Friday, Portugal registered 854 deaths associated with Covid-19, 34 more than on Thursday, and 22,797 infected (444 more), according to the epidemiological bulletin released by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).

The North region continues to register the highest number of infections, totaling 13,707, followed by the region of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, with 5,277.

The Prime Minister announced today that “the Government is going to enact for the weekend of the 1st of May the ban on inter-city travel”, in a similar way to what happened at Easter.

The United States today recorded one of the most deadly days since the pandemic began: 3,176 dead in the past 24 hours. In total, almost 50,000 people died in the country. At European level, Italy, Spain and France remain the countries affected by Covid-19 in the world.