Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva announced that “Portugal is open to tourists” yesterday, making it one of the first European countries to welcome back visitors from elsewhere in the continent since the coronavirus crisis.
Santos Silva proclaimed “Tourists are welcome in Portugal,” and went on to explain that some health checks will be introduced at airports but there will be no compulsory 14-day quarantine for those flying into the country, “Portugal’s health system responds well, and this is very important for us to be able to welcome people.”
Portugal, which has so far recorded 30,200 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 1,289 deaths, is slowly easing restrictions in place since it locked down in mid-March. It has been less affected than its neighbour Spain or Italy, which both plan to reopen next month.
His comments came a day after British low-cost airline easyJet, which operates in various Portuguese cities, said it would restart a small number of flights from next month.
Earlier this month Portugal’s flag carrier TAP resumed some of its international operations, with flights to London and Paris. Flights to and from outside the European Union are still temporarily suspended until June 15, with some exceptions, including some routes to and from Portuguese-speaking nations like Brazil.
The border between Spain and Portugal which has been closed to tourists since March will also remain shut until then. “We are gradually going to start looking at easing border controls,” Internal Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita said on Friday.