Algarve tourism, mayors, businessmen and hoteliers surprised by F1 without an audience

"These major events are strategic for the start of the economy"

The Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), AMAL – Algarve Intermunicipal Community and three associations (AIHSA, AHETA and NERA) say that “it was with surprise” who learned today, March 19, of the absence of a public at the F1 Grand Prix, not least because «the event is being organized with the most restrictive measures of the entire circuit».

In a joint statement, these five entities said that they have not received "any official communication from the Government regarding a decision on the presence of the public in F1", despite the Expresso having announced today that the event will take place without spectators.

In this communiqué, it is explained that, «for months now, we have been working with the DGS, Regional Health Authority and with the Security and Civil Protection Forces to ensure that the Portuguese F1 Grand Prix is ​​held with all the security conditions for residents and visitors. And nothing points to such an eventuality (absence of public)».

Moreover, «the event is being organized with the most restrictive measures of the entire F1 circuit, namely the same requirements that are imposed on passengers for air travel: it is held outdoors and within a perimeter of more than 5 kilometers of extension where strong reductions in capacity will be applied, mandatory prior tests for all spectators, permanent mandatory use of masks and imposition of social distancing, in addition to teams in a bubble system, permanent surveillance and availability of alcohol-gel» .

RTA, AMAL, Algarve Hotel and Similar Industry Association, Algarve Hotels and Touristic Enterprises Association and NERA – Business Association of the Algarve Region also highlight the fact that, before and after the Portuguese GP, the Imola GPs ( 18 April) and GP Barcelona (9 May) are "predicted without such restrictive measures and with a public in the stands".

Giving the example of last year's competition, held in October also at the Autódromo, in Portimão, these entities recall how “a statistical analysis of the regional and local representation of spectators was carried out, compared to the regional and local incidence of the Covid-19 disease, which was definitive in the absence of any impact or correlation between them».

"Furthermore, no outbreaks originating from Formula 1 spectators were ever mentioned or reported," they say.

On the more economic front, it is recalled the «impact of the 2020 race for the Algarve and Portugal of over 30 million euros and the media impact of over 60 million euros, reaching 42 million people via television and 24 million people via social networks».

This press release also highlights the fact that, as of April 19, according to the decontamination plan, “shows are allowed in closed places, such as cinemas, theaters and concert halls, or the opening of shopping centers.

«The measures proposed for this event are much more demanding than any other event in Portugal. These major events are strategic to kick-start the economy of a region that is in direct competition with Mediterranean tourist destinations and that has been the most plagued by unemployment and, simultaneously, the one that has consistently better prevented and controlled the pandemic in the territory continental», reads further.

Finally, the five entities guarantee that they will continue to «work calmly, and in a coordinated manner, with the health authorities, the security and civil protection forces, the municipalities and the Government, in defense of public health and the inestimable value of life, creating all the conditions for this great showcase for the world to help the Algarve and the country to get out of the scourge that in economic terms has devastated us».