Due to the worsening Covid-19 pandemic, the Portuguese government has decided to suspend all flights to or from Brazil. The measure takes effect at midnight on Friday (29) and is initially valid until February 14.
In a note, the Ministry of Internal Administration justified the decision, citing “the increase in cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Portugal and the detection of new strains of the virus”.
The current decision of the Portuguese government suspends all flights, commercial or private, of all airlines. The exception concerns “humanitarian flights for the purpose of repatriation of nationals and members of their respective families, as well as holders of residence permits in Portugal”.
In addition, travelers are required to submit, even at the airport, a negative PCR test for Covid-19, carried out 72 hours before departure.
From now on, quarantine will also be required on arrival in Portugal.
Even with the test, passengers “must comply with a quarantine period of 14 days at home or in a place indicated by the health authorities”.
Portuguese authorities have also stopped flights to and from the UK.
With the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to Covid-19 breaking successive records since early January in Portugal, the government is under pressure to limit travel to Brazil, in particular due to the variant of the coronavirus identified in Amazonia.
Taking as justification the intense flow of Brazilian travel to Portuguese territory, the United Kingdom had already decided, on January 14, to include Portugal in the list of countries with banned flights. British action reached Brazil and 14 other countries, with Portugal being the only European representative.
Although the borders of the European Union have been formally closed to travelers from outside the bloc since March, Portugal continues to allow Brazilians legally resident in the country and people with dual citizenship from EU states to enter, in addition to travel considered essential – including deliveries to work, study and medical treatment.
Due to the large number of people meeting these criteria, Portugal has so far maintained a steady flow of flights with Brazil.
Officially, around 151,000 Brazilians live in Portugal, according to the SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service). The actual number, however, is much higher. This account does not include those who have the nationality of Portugal or of another country of the European Union, in addition to those who live in a situation of irregular migration.
The Portuguese community in Brazil is also expressive. According to the Embassy’s estimate, there are around 1 million Portuguese nationals in Brazil (including citizens with dual citizenship).