Portugal caught by new restrictions announced by neighbouring Spain

Portugal woke up today to find itself included in the new ‘bulletin’ of at-risk destinations issued by Spain.

This means that from November 23, anyone flying or sailing into Spanish territory from Portugal will need to show a negative Covid test.

The only area excluded from these new restrictions is the autonomous region of the Azores.

For now, the new rules do not appear to apply to people driving in and out of Spanish territory from Portugal.

Say reports, other countries ‘caught’ by the restrictions are Cape Verde, the United States and the United Kingdom.

According to the bulletin: “all passengers entering Spain from a country or area at risk as enumerated in Annex II have to undergo a diagnostic test for active infection of SARS-CoV-2 in the 72 hours prior to arrival”. That test must have a “negative result” – otherwise entry will be prohibited.

Most European countries are already on the Spanish list, with the exception of Greece, Finland and ‘various regions of Norway’, reports Rádio Renascença today.

Curiously, the Spanish criteria for identifying at risk countries is one where the accumulated 14-day incidence of Covid infections involves 150 people in 100,000 (that is well down on the criteria being used in Portugal to ‘lockdown’ virus-hit boroughs).

This could be because Spain’s struggle with the virus is much more intense than Portugal’s. Yesterday, the country registered 19,096 new cases in the previous 24-hour period, elevating the number of infected people in Spain to 1.4 million. Portugal currently has ‘only’ 78,716 active infections, though its population is a great deal less than Spain’s (10.2 million people versus Spain’s 46.9 million).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com