Image: Luís Forra/ Lusa

Frontier controls to come in from next weekend until August 7

Council of Ministers publishes resolution for World Youth Day

Authorities have decided that frontiers into Portugal will need to be controlled from next weekend, until August 7, to monitor incoming hordes for World Youth Day – the largest celebration on the Roman Catholic calendar, and this year taking place along Lisbon’s riverside.

The resumption of document checks at 21 authorised crossing points into Portugal will come into force at 00:00 hours on Saturday July 22 and remain active until 00:00 hours on Monday August 7.

Controls will be carried out by SEF immigration and borders service, with the assistance of PSP and GNR police, in addition to “possible collaboration by authorities from other countries”, explains Lusa.

The resolution published in State gazette Diário da República today stipulates that this control “must respect the principle of proportionality, limiting itself to the minimum strictly necessary to respond to possible threats to public order and internal security”, in order to mitigate the impact on the movement of people.

“Considering the size, characteristics, complexity of this event, its media visibility, the huge influx of people expected and the current threat context, there is a clear need to guarantee internal security, through appropriate measures, including preventing the entry into Portuguese territory of citizens or groups whose behaviour may be likely to compromise security”, reads the government’s diploma.

The resolution also recalls the adoption of this procedure in the context of a previous visit of Pope Francis to Portugal in 2017.

Emphasising the concentration of “millions of people from all over the world” at WYD (which actually may be an exaggeration, official estimates have been revised downwards from 1.5 million), including “high national and foreign entities”, the diploma also invokes as arguments for this restoration of border control “the size, characteristics, complexity of the event, its media visibility”, including the “current threat context” (which is not elaborated on).

The free movement of persons and goods in the Schengen area provides that internal border control may “be reintroduced, exceptionally and for a limited period of time” if that State considers that there may be a threat to public order or the internal security of the country.

Source material: LUSA