The flight will be operated by TAP Air Portugal, the company that will be responsible for contacting passengers who, "being Portuguese or foreign citizens living in Portugal, were affected by the suspension of flights" due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and "have expressed, at the Portuguese consular posts in Brazil, the need to return immediately to national territory," the embassy said.
In a message published on social network Facebook, the Portuguese embassy in Brasilia also explained that contact with citizens wishing to board the flight will preferably be made by telephone, using the data previously provided to the consular offices, also appealing that "no attempts are made to contact TAP directly.
Speaking to Lusa, André Serpa Soares, from TAP's Communication and Public Relations office, clarified that the flight will be of a commercial nature.
"This flight is for all those who have registered with Portugal's consular networks in Brazil, who are on a list given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to TAP, which will subsequently contact the people on that list," he said.
According to current legislation, passengers on this flight will have to present proof of a laboratory test (RT-PCR) for screening for SARS-CoV-2 infection, with negative results, carried out within 72 hours prior to boarding, with the exception of children under 24 months old.
They will also have to comply, after entering national territory, with a prophylactic isolation period of 14 days, at home or in a place indicated by the Portuguese health authorities.
Also according to Serpa Soares, on 10 March, Brazilian citizens or residents in Brazil will be able to take advantage of this flight that will leave Lisbon for Sao Paulo to return to Brazil. To this end, flights could be purchased on TAP's website or tickets already purchased through the Portuguese airline could be rescheduled.
On 27 January, the Portuguese government suspended flights to and from Brazil between 29 January and 14 February, a "last resort" measure, which has already been extended, and which the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, admitted was necessary in view of the "very difficult situation" that Portugal was experiencing in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, on 17 February, Augusto Santos Silva announced the repatriation of Portuguese nationals who were in Brazil and needed to return to Portugal for "humanitarian reasons”.
However, the Portuguese in that situation complained about the prices TAP asked for on the repatriation flight and criticised the government.
"It's shameful what's happening. TAP is asking 890 Euros for each São Paulo-Lisbon ticket, on a flight that was announced by the Portuguese government as a repatriation and humanitarian flight", an inspector from the Setúbal Criminal Investigation Department, who only asked not to be named for professional reasons, told Lusa.
For the inspector, "it is even more shameful because the money the state is injecting into TAP is going to be paid by all" Portuguese "citizens".