“It remains crucial to ensure the proportionality of any measures taken and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in contact with the Portuguese authorities. There will certainly be a need for an assessment of the measures in the very near future”, indicates a written response sent to Lusa, from the spokesperson for the community executive for the area of Justice, Christian Wigand.
The reaction comes after the Portuguese Government announced the imposition of a test on all citizens arriving in the national territory, despite the fact that the regulation of the EU's Covid-19 Digital Certificate does not provide for additional measures for those who have the valid document, as vaccinated or recovered from the disease.
“Given the current unclear and evolving situation with the new variant [Omicron], we understand that the measures notified by Portugal are a means of precaution”, adds Christian Wigand.
According to the European Commission, Portugal was, until the beginning of this week, the only member state that required additional measures for passengers with a valid EU Covid-19 Digital Certificate, after having also been the country that promoted the signing of the regulation about this free transit for free movement in the community space, during the Portuguese presidency of the Union, in the first semester of this year.
However, the community executive was informed by Ireland of the imposition of “pre-departure tests for all travellers arriving during a period of two weeks, starting on December 3”.
In response to Lusa, the spokesperson recalls that the regulation of the Covid-19 Digital Certificate provides that “Member States refrain from imposing additional restrictions on certificate holders, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health in response to the pandemic”.
“When Member States decide to impose additional restrictions, for example due to a new variant of concern, they must inform the Commission and other Member States 48 hours in advance”, he said, speaking of the need to “preserve a coordinated approach” .
In a recommendation released last week, the European Commission suggested a “person-based approach”, providing that anyone who has “a valid EU Covid-19 Digital Certificate will not, in principle, be subject to additional restrictions such as testing or quarantine, regardless of their place of departure” in the Union.
For its part, "people without an EU Covid-19 Digital Certificate may be required to take a test carried out before or after arrival", the institution proposed to the Member States, which make the final decision on travel.
Knowing that passengers on a recent flight from South Africa could alls travel on a covid19 vaccination passport (no tests needed) and still had 10% positive PCR tests results on arrival clearly shows the correctness of this decision. Europe is only worried about vaccination, not about actual health situations.
By peter from Lisbon on 03 Dec 2021, 12:25
Sounds as though they’re upset that vaccinated people need to be tested and will not be allowed to freely transmit the virus.
By SS from Algarve on 03 Dec 2021, 16:18
More Brussels nonsense. Leave Portugal alone for making the right decision. All because you have not got the nerve to do it.
By J from Lisbon on 04 Dec 2021, 08:29
What Portugal did starting on 1 Dec. is absolutely non-sense. I traveled by air in that day to Portugal and in spite of being fully vaxxed + a recovery certificate valid till 30 Jan 2022, I had to show at the departure country a negative COVID-19 test. When I arrived to Lisbon I was asked again to show either the test OR a certificate of recovery!!! The guy at the airport told me "why have done the test if you had the recovery certificate"? No further comments...
By Fernando from Lisbon on 05 Dec 2021, 10:25
Fernando, sorry for you. But the rules clearly state that from Dec 1 on, you have to show either a test result OR a recovery certificate! So, a test is only required if you just have a vaccination certificate, but NOT if you are recovered and have a certificate of that! See for example the info on the websiote of the Lisbon airport.
By Henk from Lisbon on 06 Dec 2021, 19:11
These new variants are powerful mutations of covid 19. Even if you got the 2 vaccines and a Vax pass, you can still get very sick and contagious to the point where you're transmitting the virus to other people and still cause another outbreak of another surge of the virus. People can still die as a result. The EU should back off, leave Portugal alone to do it's job in keeping the Portuguese population safe and alive. Portugal doesn't want virus breathing Dragons spreading the variants around.
By Tony from Other on 07 Dec 2021, 19:05
Reply to Tonys comment: Where do you see all of these viruses? We have not seen any very sick people the past 2 years and if you study the official annual mortality statistics there was no significant higher mortality in year 2020 compared with past 20 years, and it is people 80 years or older with other serious health issues that die from season flu influenza, this madness must stop, we cant continue this insanity, children and people between 18 and 65 are suffering and the economy is going down the dumps, also in 1969 where was masks, lock downs and 4 injections in less then one year when Hong Kong flu swept over Europe?
By Magnus from Other on 09 Dec 2021, 06:24