Mandatory Covid vaccinations in Portugal “not on the agenda”… yet

Making yet another appeal to citizens to make sure they get vaccinated, President Marcelo has responded to questions about the ‘hot topic’ of mandatory vaccinations against Covid-19, saying “the issue is not on the agenda” for the time being, and therefore he prefers not to comment.

That doesn’t mean Portugal won’t follow Europe if Member States do indeed decide in favour of mandatory vaccinations.

His words to reporters today were: “This matter on a European level is being debated, and will be debated. We will go forwards (with voluntary vaccinations) and we will wait for mandatory vaccination. We will go forwards with spontaneous, voluntary, mass vaccinations. It is better to prevent than remedy and by moving forwards we will be anticipating what other countries will still take time over in discussions”.

Pressed on whether he could rule out the likelihood of Covid vaccinations being made obligatory, the head of State said: “I won’t pronounce on that because it is not the matter in hand at the moment. The matter in hand is that vaccination, even if not obligatory, should advance in force…”

In other words, Portugal is likely to follow Europe on any decisions made on mandatory vaccinations for Covid-19.

The subject was raised yesterday by European Commissioner Ursula Von der Leyen, and comes as various countries get tough on citizens who have chosen, for whatever reason, not to be vaccinated.

Greece has announced it will be introducing monthly fines of €100 for anyone over the age of 60 who refuses the vaccines from mid-January; Germany is moving forwards with banning unvaccinated citizens from shops, restaurants, museums and cinemas, while  Austria is enforcing mandatory vaccines from February, considering fines of up to €7,200 for anyone flouting this order.