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Immigration – Applicable rules in the context of the Covid-19 disease pandemic

GENERAL RULES APPLICABLE TO AIR TRAFFIC AND AIRPORTS
  • Air traffic to and from mainland Portugal is only authorized for flights to and from European Union countries, to and from countries associated with the Schengen Area (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) and to and from the United Kingdom.

It is recalled that the European Commission created REOPEN, a platform that brings together national measures regarding safety and travelling, including quarantine and screening requirements for all Member States in order to facilitate consultation by travelers and the planning of their travels:

https://reopen.europa.eu/en

Additionally, the EU COVID Digital Certificate will be available in all EU Member States from 1st of July 2021 in order to facilitate the free movement of EU citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, such certificate will not be a precondition for the free movement, which is a fundamental right in the EU.

The Digital Certificate will be accepted in all EU Member States. When traveling, holders of a Digital Certificate are, in principle, exempt from restrictions on free movement: Member States should not impose additional travel restrictions on holders of the Digital Certificate unless they are proportionate and necessary to protect public health.

Vaccination certificates will be issued to people vaccinated with any vaccine against COVID-19. However, with regards to exemption from restrictions on free movement, Member States must accept vaccination certificates for vaccines that have obtained an EU marketing authorization. Member States may however decide to extend this possibility also to EU travelers who have received another vaccines.

It is also up to Member States to decide whether to accept a vaccination certificate after one dose or after completion of the vaccination cycle.

  • Without prejudice, air traffic is also authorized for:
  1. a) Conducting essential trips, considering as such those carried out for professional, study, family reunion reasons, for health reasons or for humanitarian reasons;
  2. b) Traveling to and from countries and special administrative regions whose epidemiological situation is in accordance with Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/912 of June 30, 2020, and respective updates, regarding air connections with Portugal and mentioned in the authorized list to be defined by the Portuguese Government, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

 

The Council of the EU reviews the list of countries for which Member States should start lifting travel restrictions every 2 weeks and updates it if necessary. On May 6th the list corresponds to:

  • Australia
  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • China, Hong Kong and Macau, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

 

AIR TRAFFIC TESTING RULES
  • Airlines must only allow passengers to board flights with destination or stopover in mainland Portugal upon presentation, at the time of departure, of a proof of laboratory performance of a nucleic acid amplification test (TAAN) or rapid antigen test (TRAg) for screening SARS-CoV-2 infection with a negative result, performed within 72 or 24 hours prior to the time of boarding, respectively.

The obligation to take the test does not apply to children who have not yet reached the age of 24 months.

Having changed the type of tests accepted for the purpose of traveling, namely the inclusion of the rapid antigen test (TRAg), it is important to point out that only the rapid antigen tests (TRAg) that are on the list agreed by the European Union Health Security Committee are allowed.

 

AIR TRAFFIC RULES ON MANDATORY CONTAINMENT
  • Passengers on flights originating in countries that are part of the list to be defined, according to an incidence rate equal to or greater than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, must comply, after entering mainland Portugal, with a period of prophylactic isolation of 14 days, at home or in a place indicated by the health authorities, not being considered as origin, to purposes of this rule, an airport stopover in any of these countries. The current list is in force until June 14th, 2021.

The same obligation applies to passengers on flights, regardless of origin, who present a passport with a departure record from South Africa, Brazil, India or Nepal within 14 days prior to their arrival in Portugal.

The following passengers are exempted, and must limit their movements to the essential that motivated their entry into national territory when:

  1. a) They travel on essential trips and the period of stay in national territory, attested by a return ticket, does not exceed 48 hours;
  2. b) They travel on essential trips within the scope of events organized by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, regardless of the period of stay;
  3. c) They travel exclusively to the practice of sports activities integrated in international and professional competitions, included in the list to be defined, provided that the fulfillment of a set of adequate measures to the maximum reduction of contagion risks is guaranteed.

 

RULES APPLICABLE TO LAND, SEA AND RIVER BORDERS
  • Citizens entering the national territory by land or river, from countries in the list to be defined, must comply with a period of prophylactic isolation of 14 days, at home or in a place indicated by the health authorities.

The same obligation applies to citizens who, regardless of origin, have left South Africa, Brazil, India or Nepal in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Portugal.

 

CURRENT SITUATION

On June 11th, a  total of 6.522.899 vaccine doses have been administered in Portugal, covering 41,85% of the population. The current status of the pandemic in the country is available online and to consult the evolution on other countries the World Health Organization provides a general overview, daily updated.

Citizens traveling to Portugal are responsible for filling out the form available the Immigration Office platform. The easing plan after the lockdown is currently in the last stage, being the rules in force available online for consultation.

El contenido desta información no constituye asesoramiento jurídico específico: esto supone una situación concreta claramente definida. Póngase en contacto con nosotros para cualquier aclaración adicional sobre la aplicación de la ley.

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ÁREA DE PRÁCTICA
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