| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Portugal extends COVID-19 air travel curbs until mid-May

Portugal announced on Saturday that it was extending until May 16 flight curbs that stop non-essential travel from countries with high COVID-19 infections, including Brazil and India — a new addition to the list.

The government said travelers from countries where 500 or more infections per 100,000 people have been reported over a 14-day period — which also include the Netherlands, France and South Africa among others — can only enter Portugal if they have a valid reason, such as for work or healthcare. They must then quarantine for 14 days.

People from countries where the incidence rate is 150 or more coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants, such as next-door Spain and Germany, can also travel by plane to Portugal only for essential reasons.

They will have to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure for Portugal. Those without a test will have to take one upon arrival and wait for the result at the airport.

The extension of air travel restrictions came on the same day most of Portugal moved to the final phase of a gradual easing of rules imposed in January to tackle what was then the world’s worst COVID-19 surge.

As infections dropped sharply, lockdown restrictions started to be eased in mid-March. Restaurants and cafes, schools, shopping malls, museums and other non-essential services have since reopened, but under tough rules to reduce contagion risk.

Portugal’s 1,200-km-long land border with Spain also reopened on Saturday after over 3 months of restrictions and border checks.

  • Reuters