Open-border Portugal ensures no barriers to the arrival of emigrants

in News · 17-07-2020 12:37:00 · 4 Comments

The Secretary of State for Communities, Berta Nunes, has guaranteed during a debate with representatives of Portuguese communities, that land and air borders are open and there are no barriers to entry and exit from Portugal.

During the digital conference “Portugal Seguro - Férias dos Tempos de Pandemia”, organised by the PS parliamentary group, Berta Nunes stated that “Portugal is a safe country” and that, in addition to the cases identified in 19 parishes in Greater Lisbon, “the rest of the country has few cases”.

The minister began by clarifying that Portugal has open land and air borders.

"Where the main communities are - Germany, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, there is no problem with coming and going, except for the situation in the United Kingdom, which we hope will change," she said.

For Berta Nunes, the current “new normality” should not prevent circulation, “nor should it prevent Europe from opening the internal market”.

“We don't believe in closing borders, because that won't solve the situation. We cannot have borders closed, because that will bring other problems, which also kill, like poverty”, she said.

Berta Nunes considered that it will not be closing the borders that will solve the problem, but “surveillance measures, control when people are infected, transparency, tests”, measures that are being taken, “in addition to awareness of people”.

"Our borders are open, but there are rules in Portugal that have to be followed," she added.

Paulo Pisco, deputy for the Circle of Europe of the PS and coordinator in the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Portuguese Communities, warned of the excess of information and mainly of wrong information about the rules for travelling, which are confusing the community.

"It is important that what is happening could adequately reach the Portuguese who want to spend their holidays in Portugal safely," he said.

Information corroborated by Raúl Reis, founder of the newspaper Bom Dia Lu, in Luxembourg, who participated in the debate to lament the difficulty in following such a large flow of information, which can change several times in one day.

"People quickly lose track and don't know what to expect," he said.

On the other hand, he said that some Portuguese are hesitant to return because they are seeing complicated situations, such as the “cancellation of TAP flights”.

Rui Faria da Cunha, lawyer and president of the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, in Belgium, also defended updated information, praising Berta Nunes' clarification on the absence of restrictions on entry and exit from Portugal.

From Switzerland, António Cunha, an honorary professor at the University of Lausanne and an associative leader, said that many Portuguese have already decided not to travel to Portugal, but that this choice is due to several factors.

“People complain about losing income and that their bills didn't get covid-19. Others fear that if they have difficulties in returning, the bosses will not be understanding and may lose their job”, he said.

Rita Pinho, working in the United Kingdom, a country that chose to leave Portugal out of the “safe tourist corridor” due to covid-19, also identifies an “excess of information” that at the beginning of the pandemic appeared in an “avalanche”.

Working for University College London, Rita Pinho said that this situation made the differences between differentiated workers and others more explicit, which translate into greater ease, or not, in access to Portugal.

Luísa Semedo, university professor and Advisor to the Portuguese Communities in France, took to the debate the comments that have been circulating on social networks about the possible risk of more cases caused by the arrival of emigrants.

In light of these comments, some emigrants have expressed the fear of not being welcomed, she said.

Daniel Soares, a member of the Bremerhaven Foreigners' Association and an associative leader in Germany, praised the importance that the German Government gives to the transparency of the data provided by executives from other countries, Portugal being well classified in this matter.

For this and other reasons, Daniel Soares believes that it is unlikely that Germany will put Portugal on a black list.

But he said that there are other reasons for this community not to go, as intended, to Portugal, namely the threat of some bosses to dismiss those who have to stay in confinement or not pay that period.

During the debate, some online participants raised some doubts about control measures, which they mistakenly believed to be in effect in Portugal, such as quarantine or mandatory testing.


Le Portugal opère un virage à 180 degrés en donnant priorité à l'économie maintenant au détriment de la santé. Il a constaté que son économie due au tourisme devenait catastrophique pour la population et change dès lors son fusil d'épaule....un peu lamentable, je m'attendais à mieux de la part des portugais...

By Michel Schuermans from Algarve on 19-07-2020 09:39

My wife, a Filipina, is yet to join me from Nassau, Bahamas. The VHS Global website is very confusing and keeps giving error messages. At one stage I was advised to email the New York consulate, and an automatic response from them confirmed that. Further requests for details were met with an instruction to deal with VHS Global, whose website still didn't work. I am tired and frustrated, and really need my wife, since I recently had a medical emergency. Why can't they wave the biometrics, like the Canadian government? She could get to Turkey. Does anyone know if we could cross the land border into Greece? She should be able to get a visa at the border in theory. Technically, if she could get on a plane to Portugal they can't deny her entry. But would they let her on a plane without a visa?

By Francis B Banks from Algarve on 18-07-2020 11:04


By Shakeel Ahmad from Other on 18-07-2020 02:46

This is encouraging for those of us trying to emigrate to Portugal, who have been caught in limbo. Sadly, getting residency visas from the USA is still currently a headache. The Portuguese consulate says they have no idea of when the D7 visas will resume. Hopefully they will resume sooner than later.

By Ian from USA on 17-07-2020 05:29
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