Stressing that inspections of compliance with the measures is the responsibility of the Ministry of Internal Administration, Berta Nunes told Lusa that she is "convinced that there will be a very strong reinforcement" of the control of traveller entrances at airports in Portugal during the Christmas period.

"There will be a reinforcement of inspections and of the entire operation at the airports over Christmas", she added.

Land border inspections

As for inspection at land borders, "it will be random", she said, when speaking to Lusa about the new pandemic situation and how this could affect the arrival of Portuguese emigrants during the festive season.

The land borders "will be open, however, there will be random checkpoints to assess if people are bringing a test with them, if not, there will be the respective fines", she warned, for those who are travelling to Portugal by car.

"In relation to air, we have already strengthened and changed the procedures in relation to return flights, which are mainly from Mozambique, (...), from Southern Africa, and on Monday it went perfectly well. We had to put INEM there to help with the organisation because on the previous flight, ANA Aeroportos had that responsibility and it didn't go well", she said, referring to the long queues at Lisbon airport related to passengers coming from Maputo on Sunday, who were surprised by the need to carry out tests on arrival in Portugal.

Repatriation flights

At Christmas, the Secretary of State admitted that there could also be more repatriation flights from Maputo to Portugal, if the demand justifies it.

For now, they are scheduled for the 9th and 11th, 14th and 16th, on the Lisbon-Maputo-Lisbon route. But, she pointed out, "there are a lot of people who are cancelling" tickets.

"If there is more demand before Christmas, we will organise more flights" from Mozambique to Lisbon, she guaranteed, given that the country is one of those on the list of southern African states with suspended flights to Europe.