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COVID-19: Portugal tightens border restrictions with other EU member states

Praia de São Rafael, Albufeira, Portugal
Praia de São Rafael, Albufeira, Portugal   -   Copyright  Dan Gold / Unsplash

On Monday, the Portuguese government extended and tightened border restrictions along with other European Union member states as the continent battles a COVID-19 third wave.

Speaking about the move, Portugal's Interior Ministry said that people coming from EU countries where the incidence rate is over 500 cases per 100,000 population may only enter for essential business and submit to a 14-day quarantine.

This covers 11 EU member states: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland and Sweden.

Travellers from EEA countries where the incidence rate is greater than 150 per 100,000 are allowed only for essential trips but do not need to observe a quarantine. This includes Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Romania and Switzerland.

All passengers, whether by land or air, must present a negative PCR test carried out over the previous 72 hours. Those who have not taken one will have to have one done at the airport, at their own expense.

Flights from Brazil and the United Kingdom continue to be suspended except for repatriation flights.

Once in the country, travellers are expected to abide by the same COVID-19 restrictions as citizens. Currently, travel is prohibited between different areas of the country.

These new measures are to last until at least April 16.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the 14-day incidence rate for the EEA's 31 countries currently stands at 434 cases per 100,000 population.

Czechia and Hungary are the hardest hit with more than 1,000 cases per 100,000. Portugal has the second-lowest rate at 71 cases per 100,000 after Iceland.

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