The terrace of the Torel Avantgarde in Porto
A couple days ago, after the first weekend of Portugal’s new modified lockdown, in which a 1pm quarantine came into force on Saturdays and Sundays, a friend in my adopted city of Lisbon told me that he had had a lovely weekend in a hotel.
He complied with all the rules, got there via bicycle, socialized only with his girlfriend, avoided circulating during the curfew hours, and did nothing to compromise his health or anyone else’s. He also had a weekend in a luxury hotel room, with a great view and 24-hour room service, that was more pleasant than staying in his city apartment.
Across Europe, hotels have been allowed to remain open even as other restrictions have tightened. This is because people still sometimes genuinely need to travel and because governments care about the survival of this sector. But if no one stays in them, the decision to keep hotels open becomes meaningless.
In other words, for people who live in Europe and need to travel for business or are just sick of staring at their own four walls, booking a hotel getaway close to home is still possible right now and an investment in making sure these hotels are still around whenever we can travel more safely and freely. (Emphasis on close to home—long-distance travel is a bad idea right now.)
Here’s how a few hotels in several countries are making it work.
The current restrictions in high-risk areas (most of the country) include an 11pm curfew on weekdays and a 1pm curfew on Saturdays and Sundays, and sometimes a ban on movement between districts.
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Torel Avantgarde, Porto