Passengers coming from the Azores and Madeira to the Portuguese mainland are exempt from submitting a negative test to covid-19 to board from Wednesday, explained today to Lusa, a source of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
Last Thursday, in the announcement of the new measures defined by the Council of Ministers, the chief executive, António Costa, referred that, from December 1st, “the tests will be mandatory for any entry into national territory, either whatever the point of origin and whatever the nationality of the passenger”.
Subsequently, the Government released the statement with the decisions of the meeting, specifying that the requirement of a negative test concerns “all flights to mainland Portugal”, which would exclude the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.
The Resolution that regulates the declaration of the situation of calamity within the scope of the covid-19 pandemic, published on Saturday in the Diário da República, determines in its article 19 the “rules applicable to entry into national territory by air in matters of testing and temperature control”, but number 1 of that article defines the conditions for “passengers on flights with destination or stopover in mainland Portugal”, that is, which would also have to be applied to passengers originating in the Azores and Madeira.
“Airlines should only allow passengers to board flights with destination or stopover in mainland Portugal upon presentation, at the time of departure, of proof of laboratory performance of the nucleic acid amplification test (TAAN) or rapid antigen test (TRAg) for screening for SARS-CoV-2 infection with a negative result, carried out within 72 or 48 hours prior to the time of boarding, respectively “, is read in number 1 of article 19.º.
However, questioned by the Lusa agency, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM) clarified that “the negative test is required for all passengers arriving on mainland territory from international flights, therefore, it does not apply to flights from the autonomous regions” .
Lusa also questioned the PCM about the control of the negative test requirement in the case of passengers on flights originating abroad with direct destination or stopover at the airports in the Azores or Madeira, and the same source indicated that the provisions of the Resolution apply. of the Council of Ministers at the level of special measures in the field of testing.
“Regarding the last question, the provisions of article 23 of the Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 157/2021 apply to any international flight whose final destination is mainland Portugal. In the case of flights whose destination is the archipelagos of the Azores or Madeira, it is a matter of the autonomy of the autonomous regions”, he adds.
The document published on Saturday in Diário da República provides for the exemption of the presentation of proof of negative test when the passenger is in possession of a European Union covid-19 digital certificate, “a digital certificate relating to a vaccine against covid-19” or there is also a “proof of vaccination attesting to the complete vaccination schedule”, as determined by law, but this waiver does not apply until January 9, 2022, which results in the requirement, at least until that date, of a negative test for shipment passengers traveling to Portugal.
Citizens with a covid digital certificate from the European Union in the form of recovery can present it to airlines instead of the negative test, as provided for in the diploma.
In addition, “national citizens and foreign citizens legally resident in mainland territory, as well as diplomatic personnel located in Portugal who, exceptionally, do not carry proof” of the negative test, must perform it “on arrival, before enter mainland territory at their own expense”, that is, bearing the costs.
For this, it is indicated, they will be “referred by the competent authorities”.
The obligation for unvaccinated citizens to take a negative test applies, “with the necessary adaptations, to land, sea and river borders”.
Airlines that transport passengers without a negative covid-19 test incur fines of 20 thousand euros per person and the Government will also “increase the additional sanctions that may culminate in the suspension of the flight licenses of these companies for national territory”, according to said the prime minister.
“It is the obligation of all airlines, at the time of ‘check-in’, to only allow the boarding of flights to Portugal by people who prove that they are properly tested and cannot transport anyone who has not been duly tested to Portugal”, said António Coast on Thursday.
“I would like to send a very clear message to the airlines: we consider that it is profoundly irresponsible to transport people who are not tested and to disembark people in national territory who are not tested”, he added, indicating that the Government intends to keep the borders open.
Mainland Portugal will enter on Wednesday in a situation of calamity due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Among other measures, it is now mandatory to present a covid digital certificate from the European Union to access hotels, restaurants, gyms and events with marked places, as well as the presentation of a negative test (even for vaccinated) when visiting homes and hospitals, sports venues and bars and clubs.
It’s a bit long winded. So a straight translation.