Not just the bars: young Dutch students on vacation in Albufeira ignore beach rules

79dutch studentsGiving hugs, kisses, no social distancing, all as if everything were normal, with no care for the pandemic. At the beginning of this week the behaviour of the young Dutch tourists led the GNR to issue dozens of fines outside bars on a popular Albufeira street, with approximately 2,400 recent Dutch high school graduates crowding in one place. Similar sights have been witnessed at beaches throughout this week.

This Wednesday, in the late afternoon, the Dutch youth began to arrive at Praia da Oura, in Albufeira. They come in groups and very few wear masks around each other, despite being from different households. On the beach, they greet the new friends they meet, with no special care in relation to Covid-19.

They are part of the approximately 2000 young Dutch people who are on vacation in the Algarve city this week, and caused gatherings on Sunday and Monday nights on Avenida Sá Carneiro (the infamous bar street in Oura), forcing the intervention of the GNR. As in the evening, also during the day, on the beach, few comply with safety measures. “How they arrive is how they stay, in groups, without a mask, give hugs, kisses, as if everything were normal”, describes a lifeguard from Praia da Oura. "Maybe they don't have the same rules in their country," he says.

Interview by the Expresso newspaper about the behaviour of these tourists, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs limited itself to saying that it “reinforces”, to those traveling to Portugal, the need for “compliance with local safety rules”, in particular “the importance of keep two meters of social distance and the obligatory use of a mask in many places, such as shops, restaurants and public transport”.

But these are rules that almost all Dutch people, mostly in Albufeira on high school graduation trips, have not followed since they arrived in the Algarve, with social networks becoming full of images of hundreds of young people outside bars consuming alcohol , acquired in establishments operating with music and dubious snack-bar licenses.

On Sunday and Monday nights, the GNR raised “dozens of administrative offenses” to young people for disregarding the safety rules related to the pandemic, as well as to the owners of the establishments, “who operated outside legally authorized hours”, said an official source of the GNR, without revealing an exact number. The same source guaranteed that, "yesterday evening [Tuesday], things have been calmer", after an "adjustment of means to needs" - which went through a presence with greater visibility of police personnel in the area.

The authorities say they are confident that this type of situation will not be repeated over the summer. However, this can be difficult when attracting customers is done on the beach by the bars themselves. Like other years, during the day, on the beach bracelets are distributed to young people, promising discounts on the purchase of drinks at night. And also at that time, they are informed of where the ‘parties’ are going to happen. As bars continue to be prohibited from resuming activity, some establishments have started to provide food, allowing them to keep their doors open at night. “We cannot refuse or discriminate against tourists, not least because they are important for the economy, but safety rules must be observed”, says José Carlos Rolo, Mayor of Albufeira.

Albufeira Council met this Wednesday with the owners of a number of local establishments "to raise awareness of the importance of the rules" and promises to put a van on the streets, blasting information on virus safety measures through speakers, in which the measures in force in Portugal will be indicated.

A few hundred more young tourists are expected to arrive in Albufeira next week, also from the Netherlands.

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Comments  

-2 #12 Stuart Wood 2020-07-13 14:35
Quoting Chip:
JC's post is an 100% factual report. Not an opinion.

The fact that there are several down votes shows there has been some cheating - perhaps by those with vested interests in tourism and/or stupidity.


Seems to be a common theme in all these posts, Chip!! I guess someone has to agree with them, even if it is themselves...!
-2 #11 Chip 2020-07-13 11:05
JC's post is an 100% factual report. Not an opinion.

The fact that there are several down votes shows there has been some cheating - perhaps by those with vested interests in tourism and/or stupidity.
+3 #10 JG 2020-07-11 07:38
Quoting Ronald Wiggill:
...With regards to these youngsters ignoring rules, with no feeling for the elderly folk they may infect there remains one solution to me...


What's new? See https://proto-knowledge.blogspot.com/2010/11/what-is-wrong-with-young-people-today.html?m=1
-5 #9 Reg 2020-07-10 15:22
Quoting David:
Good to see the Dutch treating the virus scam with the contempt it deserves.


David so you think it's just a virus scam?

Are you saying "Come to the Algarve and bring your EHIC card"? Any tourist with or without symptoms is welcome because it's ONLY flu? The Algarve has plenty of hospital beds and ventilators in case they develop breathing problems?

So you don't care if restaurant and catering staff get infected? They probably would love to have a few days sick leave? Who cares if the hotel or restaurant has to close? Are you going to volunteer to disinfect the premises? These students and your inane comments don't help the Algarve tourist industry.
+5 #8 Ronald Wiggill 2020-07-10 13:43
Firstly if we learn nothing else from this pandemic it is that we need to respect each other and their opinions.
With regards to these youngsters ignoring rules, with no feeling for the elderly folk they may infect there remains one solution to me.Deport them and fly them back to where they came from. As someone else has said, maybe others will learn from this. It is unacceptable behavior and they should suffer for their wanton disregard for others.
-9 #7 JC 2020-07-10 10:18
Maybe you should read before feeling the need to open your mouth and spouting hot air again.

"The levels are based on input from the physician members of the task force and the committee, who worked from the assumption that - no matter the activity - participants were taking as many safety precautions as they can," the TMA said


As you will have seen from the Albufeira strip bar photographs,people are not wearing masks,are standing very close together,touching.They are likely to be speaking loudly therefore spreading more covid through aerosolisation in the air.
+6 #6 David 2020-07-10 09:30
Good to see the Dutch treating the virus scam with the contempt it deserves.
-10 #5 JC 2020-07-10 09:28
Embarrassing to see photos of the President pulling his mask down to drink a beer.
Sums it all up really.
+4 #4 Steve 2020-07-10 09:20
Quoting JC:
Going to a bar poses the highest risk of contracting the coronavirus
I'm willing to bet that hospitals and nursing homes pose a greater risk.
+8 #3 Stuart Wood 2020-07-10 07:04
The "authorities" say that the situation will be better over the summer, really? It is embarrassing to see government officials all over the country beg and plead for tourism money. Has Portugal any pride left at all? Rather than come up with alternative long term plans to address these concerns it continues to fawn and complain about being left out of tourist corridors. This is shameful. Offenders should be sent back home, not tolerated because they haven't been fleeced of all their money yet. This would send a clear message to other 'visitors' what the consequences will be. If this goes on there will no turning back later.

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