After pressure from Brazilians imprisoned in Portugal due to the suspension of flights with Brazil, the Foreign Ministry announced late Friday afternoon (19) that it had negotiated an extraordinary commercial flight between Lisbon and Guarulhos with the government of the European country, scheduled for next Friday. (26).
In the text, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said it has been in contact with the Portuguese government since the suspension of operations on January 29 for extraordinary flights.
According to the note, the flight of 26 is a private operation, and passengers who want a seat must deal directly with TAP, the Portuguese airline that will make the trip, to purchase or benefit from the plane tickets already purchased.
Itamaraty also informs that the travel document requirements, as well as the presentation of a negative test for Covid-19 and the completion of the Anvisa travelers’ health declaration, remain unchanged for entry into Brazil.
“The possibility of new flights being carried out, on an equally commercial basis, continues to be examined by the two governments through the appropriate channels,” the note said. “Itamaraty, through the embassy in Lisbon and the consulates general of Lisbon, Porto and Faro, will continue to provide all the assistance applicable to Brazilians detained on Portuguese territory,” concludes the ministry.
The request for a repatriation flight was made by Brazilians imprisoned in Portugal after the decree suspending connecting flights between countries, extended until March 1.
Many of these people lost their jobs due to the pandemic, are without the means to live in Portugal and were already planning their return to Brazil when the flights were canceled.
There are Brazilians in an even more difficult situation, who have to turn to food banks and NGOs to obtain food. A group on WhatsApp brings together more than 200 people in this situation.
The group had asked the Portuguese and Brazilian authorities to organize a repatriation flight from Portugal to any city in Brazil. Although the decree of the Portuguese government cancels all trade routes between the two countries, it allows humanitarian flights.
Under the rules of the current state of emergency in Portugal, all borders were closed as of January 31. Departures are only authorized in exceptional cases.
Before the announcement of the extraordinary flight, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended to the Brazilians concerned to contact the airlines to reschedule their tickets or to check “other possibilities of return to Brazil from the Schengen area”.
In other words: boarding for Brazil in connection with other countries of the European Union that remain with regular flights to the country, which caused discomfort among Brazilians, since tickets would be expensive, especially for people already in financial difficulty.
The reverse situation also generated a movement of Portuguese in Brazil, who sought to return to the European country. On Wednesday (17), the Portuguese government announced that it would organize a repatriation flight, without a date for the moment.
During a session in the local parliament, the Minister of Foreign Affairs (equivalent to the portfolio of Foreign Affairs in Brazil), Augusto Santos Silva, said he had asked the Portuguese embassy to identify citizens who are due to return in Portugal “for humanitarian reasons”.
“There are 70 Portuguese who are in Brazil, but who do not reside in Brazil, who, for health reasons, have to return to Portugal,” he said.
In addition to health issues, Portuguese with financial difficulties to stay in the country and citizens with family needs can also benefit.
Although the Portuguese government has so far identified 70 people in need of repatriation, a much larger group has requested official support from the authorities to return to Europe.
More than 150 people, including Portuguese and Brazilians residing legally in Portugal, signed an open letter asking for help with repatriation.