Government admits closing borders to those who do not allow Portuguese to enter


The Portuguese Government did not like that the name of Portugal appears on the black lists of eight European states, which thus prevent Portuguese citizens from entering their countries, and admits to respond with “reciprocity” if nothing changes. In response to Expresso, Augusto Santos Silva’s office says that he has taken note of the decisions of some member states that “despite the decisions taken by the European Union, they persist in maintaining restrictions on air connections within the European space”.

From now on, the Government says that it will continue to inform the other countries, but that “naturally, maintaining the current situation, Portugal reserves the right to apply the principle of reciprocity”.

At issue is the fact that countries like Denmark, Greece, Lithuania or Cyprus put Portugal on the list of restrictions. In other words, they do not let anyone who came from Portugal enter their countries. In the case of Denmark, for example, the criterion used is that of cases per thousands of inhabitants, an indicator that favors Portugal. An argument that Portugal opposes.

The MNE’s response, which has been sent “in a systematic and up-to-date manner” is based on two arguments. First, says the MNE, the decisions of these states are based on a “single criterion, which concerns the number of new daily cases of infected patients per thousand inhabitants, forgetting all other criteria as or more revealing of the incidence of the disease” . And this is where the main indicators of the country are unraveling, which show, says the Government, the state of health services. At this point, the Government recalls that the SNS has responded with “excellence” and therefore have 63% of positive cases “considered as recovered. In addition, says the MNE,” the number of victims per Covid-19 per capita is significantly more lower than in other European countries (149 victims per million inhabitants), and above all in the reduced numbers of inpatients and in intensive care units (only 1.4% and 0.2% of cases currently under surveillance) “.

In the reply sent to Expresso, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs adds that it has informed the other member states that Portugal “has carried out many more tests than most European countries” and that is why those looking for it, find it. So many tests raise “naturally, the number of cases detected in the country”. As a justification, Augusto Santos Silva’s office says that in addition to the usual tests, “Portugal has conducted tests in screening operations in geographic areas and sectors of activity that may reveal more incidence of the disease. This prudent and transparent testing policy should be seen as a positive fact “.

Despite the responses, there are countries that do not see it as a “positive fact” and therefore have not lifted the restrictions. From a political point of view, the MNE condemns this game of forces “against the rules” and says that if there are states, such as Greece, which has already started to “reverse” the path by failing to ask for tests on arrival, there are still ” Restrictions on air connections originating in certain Member States limit this opening and flagrantly contradict, not only the spirit of solidarity between European countries, but also the decision of the European institutions to restore free movement in European space from the 15th of June.”

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