Ireland leaves Portugal off air bridge list

in News · 24-07-2020 01:00:00 · 10 Comments

The Minister of Foreign Affairs said on 22 July that the measures that combat Covid-19 do not cover the closing of borders, highlighting that Ireland, which has imposed quarantine on those returning from Portugal, does not belong to Schengen Area.

“Ireland does not belong to the Schengen Area and is not subject to the free movement obligations that bind the member countries of the Schengen Area and the list that Ireland has submitted [of countries whose travellers are exempt from quarantine upon arrival in Ireland] is very restrictive”, said Augusto Santos Silva.

The Dublin Government on 22 July published a ‘green list’ of 13 countries whose travellers are exempt from quarantine when they arrive in Ireland and which excludes countries like Portugal, Spain, France and neighbouring United Kingdom.

Excluded from the Irish list was also the United States, whose visitors must continue to restrict movement when arriving at any port or airport on the island with a 14-day self-isolation period.

“We work with the Irish authorities at a political and technical level. The Irish authorities have all the information related to the pandemic in Portugal”, he said.

According to Augusto Santos Silva, the two countries present indicators that are not very different from each other and are very similar in terms of new cases, with Portugal having more favourable results in terms of the number of deaths.

“Let’s hope that Ireland can evolve in a less restrictive sense and that its list includes other countries,” he said.

The minister said that diplomacy will continue, although he does not equate the case of Ireland with other member countries of the Schengen Area.

And he added: “Ireland, being a member of the European Union, is included in the general orientation that our Home Affairs Ministers approved in June of the general opening of the EU’s internal borders, as a step prior to the opening of the external borders”.

“Portugal did this and still does not understand how other European countries do not do the same,” he declared.

Augusto Santos Silva underlined that “all measures to fight the spread of the virus” - such as wearing masks, social distancing and hygiene measures – have been applied “without sacrificing freedom of movement”.

“None of this has to do with closing borders,” he concluded.

At the time of going to press, the death toll from the Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland stood at 1,753 and 36 new infections have been detected since 21 July.


The Irish Government should give the green light to Travel to Portugal I’ve payed for flights @ an apartment And I can’t get a refund the dates are from the 2/9 until The 9/9 I’ll be out of pocket 900 00 Euros the Irish Government should be ashamed of them selfs

By Philip carrie from Other on 18-08-2020 07:53

The Algarve Region should be on the Irish Green List..v similar covid figures to Ireland. Lisbon figures shoulld not be takren into consideration as the Irish tourists will be safe in the Algarve, The current officials in Ireland do not understand that the Algarve is v safe now(17 August)

By Norman Lowther from Other on 17-08-2020 08:47

We are due to travel to albuferia in two weeks I am praying Ireland includes Portugal on the green list I’ve been watching Portugal’s progress and I think they have done very well less deaths than Ireland with 10 million population. We still haven’t heard wether it’s going ahead but it’s fully paid for so I’m praying Portugal will be on the green List in the review. It’s been booked since February before our world was turned upside down with Covid. I would be in contact with more people in Ireland than I would away plus I heard it’s so safe over there I have a friend who’s 7 months pregnant only returned from there two weeks ago she said she felt safer over there than in Ireland

By Marie stamp from Other on 30-07-2020 11:01

I can't believe what is happening with the government, I have a holiday home hear in the algarve. We have been hear since the beginning of outbreak and I feel safer hear then I would if I was in UK. All our children are desperate to see us but can't do the self isolation going back.
As the figers for covid hear are so much better then uk. So why are they keeping the restrictions going for the algarve.
PS only 15 deaths and under 400 cases on the whole of algarve since the beginning.

By Brenda brownlow from UK on 24-07-2020 05:43

Why leave Portugal off tbe list when Spain has more CV19 than Portugal are all the irish and british MPs thick or what Time to get to grips

By John from Porto on 24-07-2020 04:05

Susan - I couldn't have put it better myself.

By I Wonder from Lisbon on 24-07-2020 01:41

Hello im from wicklow in ireland i love ur country so much especially lisbon i go at least twice a year if i can but this year no because of covid and my aer lingus return flights were cancelled but unfortunately the apts i was meant to stay will not refund me which is so unfair as im at a loss over €600 im so upset about this as i can not easily afford to lose the money and im getting no joy from or the owners of apartment

By Mai Kelly from Other on 24-07-2020 10:57

Thank you Minister Silva for highlighting this valid point. I am an Irish citizen, patiently waiting for the opening of travel between our two countries as I have urgent Dental work at the Malo Clinic. I hope you are able to persuade our newly appointed Government to change this policy, as Portugal may have fewer Covid numbers & deaths than most European states. This being the case, it is a pity that the Irish Government has taken this stance and hopefully they will review their decision.
I am hoping that governments will consider health emergencies, even though its in the minority, an important issue for some of us.

By Mildred Jaichand from Other on 24-07-2020 10:43

I have been in Ireland for the past 12 years, I miss my family a lot since I won't be able to visit Portugal. Ireland to try and provide freedom for their own, involves cultural aspects, they have been opressed in the past and making some things mandatory might remind them of that. My husband is a Frontline worker and we understand how hard it can be. Our Portuguese hearts understand and supports Portugal's choices but we also understand the Irish position.

By Miriam Duarte from Other on 24-07-2020 09:09

Thankfully a country that is protecting it's own citizens and inadvertently other countries. Ireland is doing a great job. A country with only 699 active cases, compared to 13,305 active cases for Portugal. I wish everyone would stop whinging about the air bridge. I know that the economy is suffering, that tourism is nothing like it should be, but maybe, if people were less selfishand less egoistical in the beginning, we would be doing much better now. Maybe we would be much nearer to a recovery.
A holiday is more important than your life. Really?
Be thankfull that the UK is not on the air bridge. Has anyone seen the figures in Spain? Yesterday hit 2,615 new cases. Not all due to tourism, but a large proportion is. Entire families are arriving at the tourist hot spots with the virus. Do we really want that in the Algarve?
When I read about illegal parties being held in the Algarve, or see large groups of people without masks, I despair.
It turns out that covid-19 may be a lifelong infliction for some of those who get it, with lingering symptoms. Compared to a 14 day holiday, is it worth it?
Let's be strong, help and support each other and stay safe. Let's not follow in Spain's footsteps, for in the end we will only return to lockdown whilst having increased infections, more deaths and putting unnecessary strain on an already underfunded and overstretched health system.

By Susan from Lisbon on 24-07-2020 07:40
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