Portugal Extends COVID-19 Air Travel Curbs For Countries With High Incidence Rates Until Mid May.
Portugal has extended COVID-19 air travel curbs for travellers from countries where 500 or more cases per 100,000 people (high incidence) have been reported over a 14-day period. The list now includes India, South Africa, France, and the Netherlands.
People can only enter Portugal if they have a valid reason, such as for work or healthcare. Arrivals must then quarantine for 14 days, the government said on Saturday.
The decision to include India means Portugal is joining a growing number of countries imposing such restrictions. Neighbouring Spain also on Saturday said passengers arriving there from India must go into quarantine for 10 days to avoid spreading COVID-19, a government bulletin said.
Portugal said people from countries where the incidence rate is 150 or more COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, such as Spain and Germany, can also travel by plane to the country- but only for essential reasons.
They will have to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure for Portugal. Those without a test will have to take one on arrival and wait for the result at the airport.
The extension of air travel restrictions came on the same day most of Portugal moved to the final phase of a gradual easing of rules imposed in January to tackle what was then the world’s worst COVID-19 surge.
As infections dropped sharply, lockdown restrictions started to be eased in mid-March. Schools, restaurants and cafes, shopping malls, museums, and other non-essential services have since reopened, but under strict rules to reduce contagion risk.
Portugal’s 1,200 km land border with Spain also reopened today, Saturday, May 1, after more than three months of restrictions and border checks.
The Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, announced that the land border with Spain, which has been closed since January 31 due to the pandemic, will be reopened to normal traffic on Saturday, May 1. Until recently, only citizens and residents returning to the country have been allowed to cross, as well as vehicles transporting goods.
Costa said at a press conference that this measure is part of the last phase of Portugal’s deconfinement plan, which may now advance from this Saturday thanks to the positive trend registered by the pandemic in the country.