Since Wednesday, December 1st, all passengers traveling on international flights, regardless of having a vaccination certificate, are required to submit a negative diagnostic test to covid-19 at the time of boarding, with the exception of travelers with a recovery certificate of covid-19.
Circulation at airport arrivals has changed, there are security and police throughout the space, it is not possible for those waiting for family members to enter or circulate in that area, only passengers, now with ‘micas’ in their hands where they keep the negative test certificate ready to show the authorities or the mobile phone with the respective application where the ‘digital code’ can be read.
This morning, Lusa’s report addressed passengers who arrived in national territory, both nationals and foreigners, and there was unanimity in all those contacted, who agreed with the new mandatory rules for traveling to Portugal, despite not being equal in all countries.
Brenda Lopes arrived from Fortaleza, Brazil, after a three-week vacation. He found out about the new rules needed to travel to Portugal “just in time”, but he admits that it was ok.
“[Aqui] they even asked for the covid-19 test, but with regard to the vaccination certificate, they didn’t ask me”, said the young woman, adding that she agrees with the new rules. She even considered that “there could be more control”.
“It’s a concern that everyone should have, even at this point, people still need to be warned to wear a mask and keep their distance. I have nothing against it,” he said.
Lusa explained that, despite many people, he felt that in the arrivals area the space was “freer”, perhaps because of the control of the planes’ route, he explained, recognizing that the entire process of disembarking and even leaving the airport took place with “all normalcy”.
Luis Santos, a resident of Porto, arrived in Lisbon today after a vacation in Brazil, having been “taken by surprise” and that he had to schedule the test at the last minute to be able to board.
“It went well, it was negative and here I am. It was easier than what I thought, I thought there would be endless lines, but it was smooth, fast, without any problems, it was normal,” he said.
The young man explained that the new rules made him “more relaxed” to travel, confessing that he didn’t want to catch covid-19 and the fact that everyone around him on the flight has a negative test makes him lower his mask to eat more serenely.
Also João, who travels frequently due to work, explained to Lusa that Alicante’s arrival took place with “all normalcy, without any problem”.
“It was very fast here in control, everyone is very friendly”, he said, recalling, however, that he has only traveled to origins where there are no internet complications, not knowing if when traveling to destinations in Africa will be the same.
When asked if he felt more secure with the new rules, João said it was “hard to say”, remembering that “the enemy is invisible” and, therefore, “any rule is better than none”.
Carlos Vicente, who is going to England today, explained that he has always been updating information about the rules required in the countries “through the internet and TV news”, since the “requirements are different”.
“They don’t require the test to board, but upon arrival we have to take a test and wait for the results in home quarantine. Each country has its rules and how they will deal with this crisis”, he said, admitting traveling “more calmly” with the rules imposed, because he knows the “danger of contagion”.
In Portugal, airlines that transport passengers without a negative covid-19 test incur a fine of between 20,000 and 40,000 euros per passenger, and travelers are also subject to administrative offenses for not presenting a test on arrival, which can be fined between 300 and 800 euros.
Passengers on domestic flights, children under 12 and crews are exempt from mandatory testing, PCR or rapid.
Also since 00:00 on Wednesday, citizens of countries outside the European Union (EU) and EU countries considered to be at risk red or dark red need a negative test or recovery certificate to enter Portugal, through the land borders.
Citizens from EU countries considered to be at low or moderate risk must carry a vaccination, test or recovery certificate to enter Portugal.
Covid-19 has caused at least 5,233,111 deaths worldwide, among more than 263.61 million infections by the new coronavirus registered since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the most recent report by the Agence France-Presse.
The respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and currently with variants identified in several countries.
A new variant, Ómicron, was recently detected in South Africa, with 34 cases having been identified so far in Portugal.