Portugal restricts flights from UK to nationals and ‘legal residents’

Coming through during the evening news bulletins this evening was the announcement that Portugal will be restricting flights from UK from midnight tonight (ie 00.00 hours Monday December 21).

The only people authorised for entry into national territory will be Portuguese citizens and legal residents.

These passengers will have to show a negative Covid test. If they arrive without one they will be required to take a test at the airport, remaining in isolation until the result is known.

The decision comes hours after foreign affairs minister Augusto Santos Silva said the government was waiting for a ‘universal’ approach by Europe. This is likely to come tomorrow as a result of an emergency meeting by the Council of Europe.

The reason stems from the highly contagious variant of the new coronavirus that has been identified in the UK and is believed to be responsible for a sudden spike in the number of new infections.

Stresses the announcement made by the interior ministry this evening: “In Portugal the circulation of this variant of SARS-CoV-2 identified in the United Kingdom is not confirmed, according to data obtained this far by the National Institute of health Dr Ricardo Jorge which has already analysed samples from the month of November and the second wave”.

Rádio Renascença however suggests the variant has already been identified in Italy and Denmark.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com