"It was with surprise that we received information about this alleged decision," said João Fernandes, in statements to Lusa, stressing that the information that the event will not be open to the public, revealed today in Expresso, "is not yet official and has not been confirmed” by the authorities.
According to Fernandes, Turismo do Algarve “is working with the Directorate-General for Health”, and with other institutions, and “will continue to do so” so that the presence of spectators can be a reality at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve , in Portimão.
According to the Expresso newspaper, a government source reported that “until the end of this period of lack of definition”, events such as the final games of the 1st football league and the Formula 1 Grand Prix “will not have an audience”, contrary to what happened last year in the case of Formula 1.
João Fernandes gave the example of tests that will take place alongside the Portuguese stage of the Formula 1 World Championship - which takes place between April 30 and May 2, in the Algarve -, in countries such as Spain and Italy, which have the presence of public and are in “worse epidemiological situations” than the Portuguese.
Referring to the Formula 1 San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy, which precedes the Portuguese round and takes place on April 18, and the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 9, he noted that the authorities in those countries are “foreseeing less serious scenarios” than the one that is being worked on to guarantee an audience on the Portuguese track.
"The scenario in which we are working is more restrictive, but Portugal has an epidemiological situation better than that which occurs in these two places and the Algarve has an even better situation than the rest of the country", he argued.
The president of Turismo do Algarve guaranteed that the organisation “will continue to work” so that the events can have a public presence and will wait for the official decision of the Portuguese authorities, at a date yet to be defined.
In a joint statement with the Algarve Intermunicipal Community (AMAL) and three associations from the Algarve, Turismo do Algarve states that it has not received “any official communication from the Government regarding a decision on the presence of the public” at the Portuguese Grand Prix of Formula 1 ( F1).