Portugal has created a label that allows it to be above any suspicion.
Publius Clodius Pulcher was a Roman populist politician, and perhaps this does not interest you very much. Julius Caesar was another Roman politician, populist and dictator, and perhaps this does not interest you much either. But if I remind you that Clodius was judged for trying to seduce Pompeia, Caesar's wife, perhaps this might interest you already. And that’s because you know by heart the proverb resulting from this, which is one of the most repeated anywhere in the world. It is used whenever it is necessary to prove seriousness. The story is known. In court, Caesar said he had nothing against Clodius, who was finally acquitted. When asked why he had then separated from Pompeia, if he did not believe in the betrayal, he replied: "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.”
This is exactly what Portugal, one of the countries in Europe with the best reaction to the covid-19 pandemic, intends to do by creating the "Safe & Clean" security label. Portugal is one of the countries that has tested the population the most, that has taken the fastest precautions, that has seen the pandemic stagnated the quickest and that has registered the fewest deaths. In spite of this, Tourism of Portugal has decided to create a platform that works as a life insurance for foreign tourists and, beforehand, also provides the appropriate training for this label to be given.
Launched less than a month ago, the platform already has over 12,000 members. They are tourism companies and related sectors - developments, local accommodation, tourist entertainment, travel agencies, restaurants, golf courses, 'rent-a-car', interpreter-guides, casinos and cultural equipment - which, in this way, undertake to comply with the strict hygiene and health safety requirements imposed by the National Tourism Authority, in articulation with the guidelines of the General Directorate of Health, to reduce the risk of contamination of their spaces with covid-19 or other infections.
And because self-assessment is not enough to "be above suspicion", the platform, available in Portuguese and English, also challenges tourists to assess the companies in question, thus making it possible to monitor, in real time, the confidence inspired by the members of the label. In addition, Tourism of Portugal carries out random audits of the members, in conjunction with the Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE) and other associations of the sector, to ensure that the premises that have justified the award of the label continue to be met.
It is a pioneering model of transparency in this post-Pandemic period. And one would not expect anything else in a country that is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world, with the Algarve, Porto and the north of the country contributing strongly to this high demand, which in recent years has been reflected in a train of international awards. Moreover, more than 40% of the labels already awarded relate precisely to these regions.
In a random search, to test the platform, we chose to stop in Vilamoura. Immediately, all the places that were awarded the "Safe & Clean" label were displayed. Afterwards, we chose a hotel, and the first information we were given, even before any photograph of the space or exhibition of valences, was the extensive list of basic prevention precautions taken by that establishment, followed by the cleaning operations permanently assured. These operations range from the total disinfection of the jacuzzi, with the discharge of all water followed by washing and disinfection, to the cleaning, several times a day, of surfaces and objects of common use, such as counters, light and elevator switches, doorknobs and cabinet knobs.
Not surprisingly, the international press continues to praise Portugal almost every week, and foreign tourists await the opening of borders, which should happen in July, to fly to what is proven to be one of the safest countries in the world. Just think that there are whole parts of the country, both inland and on the coast, where the pandemic has not even entered.