The Government of Portugal has renewed the “state of calamity” until next March 20 and has increased by one month the restrictions on entry through the borders with Spain because of the increase in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The state of calamity came into force yesterday because of “the increased transmissibility of the disease without corresponding increased pressure on the services and income of the National Health Service”, as reported by the Council of Ministers on January 6. The new measures affect, above all, internal issues, such as teleworking, bars, discotheques and restaurants, shopping centers, schools, visits to patients, sports facilities and the isolation of positive cases and cohabitants according to vaccinations.
Portugal has registered 270,000 new cases of coronavirus since January 1, despite which it is one of the four European Union countries with the lowest number of daily deaths per million inhabitants. The Portuguese government is maintaining the utmost caution with the pandemic in order to guarantee the legislative elections of next January 31, in which the Executive is gambling its continuity after the parliamentary defeat of the Budgets for 2022.
As regards entry into the country, as the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated yesterday in its new travel recommendations, Portugal will maintain until February 9 the restrictions imposed on December 1. The measures were initially planned to last until January 9, but the Government has decided to extend them by one month, as already announced in mid-December by the Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, and the Minister of Health, Marta Temido.
According to these entry measures, all citizens wishing to cross any land border will have to provide an EU COVID digital certificate in any of the three modalities (vaccination, diagnosis or recovery). However, for travelers coming from a country classified as high risk (red or dark red in the classification established by the EU, which is updated weekly) the COVID certificate in the vaccination modality will not be sufficient and a mandatory negative test issued by the competent health authority will be required, either a PCR performed 72 hours prior to entry into Portugal or a rapid antigen test (TRAg type) performed 48 hours prior. This is the case in Spain and practically all the EU. Although there are no border controls, controls may be established for the verification of these measures.