Portugal ditches Covid restrictions for incoming visitors

From today, no need to present proof of negative tests, of vaccinations or Covid recovery

Civil Aviation authority ANAC has announced that as of today anyone flying into Portugal can do so without having to take a Covid test, and without having to show a Covid Digital Certificate.

In a statement, ANAC refers to dispatch nº 8022-D/2022 (coming out of the Council of Ministers yesterday) which said air carriers “are no longer obliged to require passengers, when boarding flights to or through mainland Portugal” to present proof of carrying out a test to screen for infection by SARS-CoV-2 with a negative result, of an EU Covid Digital Certificate or recovery certificates issued by third countries, accepted or recognised in Portugal.

With the entry into force of this new regime, air carriers and passengers are no longer subject to the restrictive measures applicable to air traffic, in the context of combating the pandemic”, the statement continues – stressing the new rules will remain in place until June 30 (presumably to be continued after that date, all being well).

Dispatch nº 8022-D/20222 revokes an earlier dispatch of April which left it up to airlines, airports, land border and maritime/ river frontier authorities to determine their own entry requirements.

According to the new dispatch, the “epidemiological situation being experienced in Portugal (…) remains relatively stable, resulting from elevated vaccine coverage, the emergence of new pharmaceutical treatments for serious consequences (of Covid-19) and a “greater understanding of the infection”. So too has the epidemiological situation elsewhere in Europe vastly improved.

Minister of the Presidency Mariana Vieira da Silva hinted at this news at the press conference of the Council of Ministers yesterday, in which she said nonetheless that Portugal’s ‘Situation of Alert’ with regard to the pandemic is to continue until the end of July, as is the need to wear masks in hospitals, health centres, old people’s homes and pharmacies.

Very soon, the isolation period for anyone infected by SARS-CoV-2 will reduce to five days – even though some media sources have stressed today that people can still be ‘positive’ after five days in isolation.

What the news effectively means is that Europe and the country are now living almost without restrictions when it comes to SARS-CoV-2. 

The lack of checks for the virus at airports and all other land/ sea/ river borders actually means people can arrive in this country positive for the virus (whether they are aware of it or not) and carry on with their lives as normal.

It also means that people who opted not to become vaccinated are once again free from any kind of stigma.