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Portugal: Algarve responds to rising demand for COVID-19 testing


According to a Lusa study, due to restrictions on access to tourist accommodation and restaurants in towns with the greatest levels of risk, pharmacists in the Algarve have been able to meet the increasing demand for quick tests to identify Covid-19.


Since July 1, the state has provided 100 percent funding for quick antigen tests, and there are presently 406 pharmacies around the country conducting free tests.


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The payment is restricted to four tests per person per month, and it does not apply to individuals who already hold a vaccination or recuperation certificate. The program also excludes testing for youngsters under the age of 12.

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“There has been no stoppage in the delivery of tests so far,” according to the four pharmacies contacted by Lusa in Albufeira.

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According to the head of the Association of Hotels and Touristic Enterprises of the Algarve, there has been no evidence of difficulty in obtaining tests by tourist accommodation units in the Algarve thus far (AHETA).

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Elidérico Viegas told Lusa that he is “dissatisfied” with the requirement to conduct testing in hotel units, which he feels has contributed to “driving away more individuals who might contemplate going on vacation to the Algarve.”


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It is disappointing “that the Government has not previously removed this duty to hotel units, because it is a provision that makes no sense,” according to the head of the largest regional hotel organization.


Elidérico Viegas expressed sadness that the self-tests were conducted “by people without technical expertise to be able to assess the findings,” a “very irrational item whose efficacy raises numerous issues,” according to Viegas. 



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