“We realise that we are in an unusual situation, we have to realise that certain government measures have to be taken. This is not a whim. They are logical,” Xoan Mao told Lusa.

Mainland Portugal will enter on 1 December into a situation of calamity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with new rules for entry into the country.

A warning today from the Ministry of Internal Affairs clarified that citizens from EU countries considered to be at low or moderate risk must have a European digital certificate of vaccination, test or recovery proof to enter Portugal.

On the other hand, cross-border workers - who carry out their professional activity within 30 kilometres of the border - and workers in essential services, such as the transport of goods and passengers, emergency and relief services, security and emergency services, must also present the digital certificate.

Before this clarification, and given the possibility of requiring a negative PCR or antigen test on arrival in Portugal, many Galicians were “alarmed”, said the secretary general of the cross-border cooperation entity.

Next week, he added, with the two holidays in Spain, the 6th and the 8th of December, many are thinking of taking the opportunity to cross the border and take a holiday in Portugal and the requirement for PCR or antigen tests could lead to cancellations.

“This morning, in the Government communiqué, they only accepted PCR or antigen tests for the land border. We got in touch with Minister Cabrita, who fortunately clarified everything and for Spain, European vaccination certificates will be accepted at land borders”, he pointed out.

For the secretary general of the Eixo Atlántico in the Northwest of the Peninsula, European governments “are very alarmed because of the omicron variant”, and in the case of Portugal “they are also concerned by the fact that there will be elections at the end of January” and “it would be very complicated” if the pandemic forced its postponement.

“All of this forces us to be very understanding with the measures that the [Portuguese] government is taking. A different thing is that it is true that there is a lack of administrative coordination and that, perhaps, they should have coordinated the speeches better before making them public, because the first information was contradictory and very alarming”, he said.

Rules for coming from Spain

In a clarification today to the Axis, to which Lusa had access, the Ministry of Internal Administration indicates that Spain is at an intermediate level of risk and that, at the borders, “as a public health measure, random checks will be carried out”.

“Citizens of Spain will be required to present the EU Covid Digital Certificate. Anyone who does not have a certificate must submit a PCR test carried out in the last 72 hours, or a rapid antigen test carried out in the last 48 hours, with a negative result. This same measure includes cross-border workers”, he points out.

On Monday, a source from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers clarified that passengers from the Azores and Madeira destined for the Portuguese mainland are exempt from submitting a negative test for Covid-19 to board.