A Covid-19 test centre has opened today in Porto’s World of Wine experience as a service for tourists visiting the city.
The centre will offer antigen as well as PCR and PCR-express tests, having gained a licence from the local government to run the facility within the new tourism facility, which is a €100 million visitor attraction housed in historic warehouses owned by The Fladgate Partnership – the owner of Taylor’s Port.
Having opened last summer in the Vila Nova de Gaia on the southern banks of the river Douro – overlooking the city of Porto – the World of Wine comprises as many as six museums, and nine restaurants and bars.
It was the brainchild of Adrian Bridge, CEO of major Port producer The Fladgate Partnership, who described the tourist attraction as “the biggest urban regeneration project in the nation and probably the biggest in Europe,” when speaking to the drinks business ahead of its construction in 2017.
Yesterday, Bridge told WLC about his decision to add a coronavirus testing centre to the long list of facilities at the World of Wine, which he said was done “as a service to visitors” to the city of Porto.
“The challenge today for tourisms is the need to have a [negative PCR test] certificate to travel back, and if you look at the testing infrastructure in cities, then it tends to be in suburban areas, but tourists tend to visit town centres, so we have up a testing centre inside the World of Wine,” he said.
Continuing, he commented, “While visitors are waiting for the results, they can have lunch or visit one of the experiences; it’s an important service that we can add.”
Inspiring Bridge to install the testing centre at the World of Wine was the football match last weekend in Porto which saw Chelsea beat Manchester City to win the UEFA Champions League.
“We had 14,110 people in the stadium, and I went to the match, which was magnificently organised – there were no queues of complications – and the city rose to the occasion very well, but it brought home to me that fact that all the British fans who came to the match had to have tests before returning to the UK, which led me to take the decision to get a testing company in and start the licencing process for a centre in the World of Wine,” he explained.