What are the current international flight restrictions imposed by Portugal?

According to Council of Ministers Resolution No. 45-C/2021, of 30 April 2021 (as amended by Council of Ministers Resolution No. 64-A/2021, of 28 May 2021) and Order No. 5418-A/2021, of 28 May 2021, air traffic to and from mainland Portugal of all flights are suspended, with the exception of flights: (i) to and from countries within the European Union and countries associated to the Schengen Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), as well as to and from the United Kingdom; (ii) to and from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, People's Republic of China, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, subject to reciprocal confirmation; (iii) to and from countries that are not part of the European Union or countries that are not associated to the Schengen Area, exclusively for essential trips; (iv) destined to allow the return to the respective countries of foreign citizens that are in mainland Portugal, provided that such flights are promoted by the competent authorities of such countries, subject to previous request and agreement, and in respect to the principle of reciprocity; and (v) of a humanitarian nature recognised by the competent services of the member of the Government responsible for the area of foreign affairs and by the competent authorities in matters of civil aviation for the purposes of: (a) repatriation of national citizens, of the European Union and countries associated to the Schengen Area, and their family members within the meaning of Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 29 April 2004, as well as third country nationals with legal residence in national territory; (b) repatriation of foreign citizens who are in mainland Portugal.

Essential trips are those undertaken for professional, study, family reunion, health or humanitarian reasons.

These bans do not apply to State aircraft and aircraft belonging to the armed forces, aircraft which are or will be part of the Special Device for Combating Rural Fires, flights carrying exclusively cargo and mail, emergency medical services and technical stopovers for non-commercial purposes, nor to their crew members.

Passengers on flights from the following countries: Brazil, India and South Africa have to comply with a prophylactic isolation period of 14 days. The obligation to comply with a prophylactic isolation period of 14 days also applies to (i) passengers on flights originating in Brazil, India and South Africa, who have stopped off or transited through other airports; and (ii) passengers on flights, regardless of origin, who present passports registered as having left Brazil, India or South Africa in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Portugal.

However, passengers are exempt from this obligation and must limit their journeys to what is essential for the purpose for which they arrived in Portugal: (a) if travelling on essential trips and whose period of stay in national territory, attested by a return ticket, does not exceed 48 hours; (b) if travelling on essential trips within the scope of events organised by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, regardless of the period of stay; (c) if travelling exclusively for the practice of sports activities integrated in international professional competitions referred to below, provided that compliance with a set of appropriate measures is guaranteed to reduce the maximum risk of contagion, namely avoiding non-sporting contacts, and observance of the rules and guidelines defined by the DGS. The professional competitions are the following: (1) Concentração da Seleção Nacional sub-17 (Under-17 National Team Meeting); (2) The Ocean Race Europe; (3) Jogos da Seleção Nacional sub-16 (Under-16 National Team Matches); (4) Rugby Europe 7’s Championship Men; (5) Rugby Europe 7’s Championship Women; (6) Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy; (7) Competição Saltos Internacional 2* (International Show Jumping Competition 2*); (8) Campeonato do Mundo F2 (Vila Velha de Ródão) (F2 World Championship (Vila Velha de Ródão)); (9) Golden League Seniores Masculinos (Golden League Men's Senior); (10) Competição Endurance Internacional 1* (International Endurance Competition 1*); (11) Jogos da Seleção Nacional sub-18 (Under-18 National Team Matches); (12) Concentração Seleção Nacional feminina (Women's National Team Meeting); (13) Jogo AA Portugal vs. Israel (Match AA Portugal vs. Israel); (14) Estágio Internacional de Boccia (International Boccia Stage); (15) 2021 Cascais 49er & 49er FX Championship — ACT II; (16) ITF Women’s Montemor; (17) Campeonato Mundo Paraciclismo (World Paracycling Championship); (18) Competição Saltos Internacional 1* (International Show Jumping Competition 1*); (19) Lagos Windsurfing International Meeting; (20) Meeting Cidade de Lisboa (Lisbon City Meeting); (21) 50.º Rali Rainha Santa — Fia Trophy for Historic Rally (50th Rainha Santa Rally - Fia Trophy for Historic Rally); (22) Vilamoura Open by Magnesium K-Active — APT Future 1000 e FPP 10 000; (23) 8 Horas de Portimão (WEC) (8 Hours of Portimão (WEC)); (24) Campeonato do Mundo F2 (Ribadouro) (F2 World Championship (Ribadouro)); (25) Taça da Europa de Coimbra (Coimbra European Cup); (26) Torneio Internacional do Carnaval (Carnival International Tournament); (27) Jogos da Seleção Nacional feminina B: Portugal vs Zâmbia (Women's National Team B Matches: Portugal vs Zambia); (28) Lisboa Open — APT Tour Open (Lisbon Open - APT Tour Open); and (29) ITF Women’s Figueira da Foz.

In addition to the above-mentioned restrictions, it is also worth mentioning other sanitary measures that may also be applicable (without prejudice to some exceptions), namely the obligation to present proof of a test (molecular by RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 infection, with negative results, carried out in the 72 hours prior to departure, or the fulfilment of a prophylactic isolation period of 14 days.

These rules are valid until 11:59 pm of 13 June 2021.

 

Can my body temperature be controlled on arrival at international airports of mainland Portugal?

Yes. All passengers arriving at an international airport in mainland Portugal may be subject to body temperature screening through infrared.

If a body temperature of 38°C or higher is detected, passengers should be directed immediately to a space suitable for repeating the body temperature measurement. In addition, they may also be subjected to testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection, if deemed necessary. This procedure must be carried out by duly qualified health professionals, being ANA, S.A. the responsible entity for it. 

 

Was Covid-19 deemed as an “extraordinary circumstance” for the purposes of Regulation 261/2004 on air passenger rights?

The European Commission has release on 19 March, the “Interpretative Guidelines on EU passenger rights regulations in the context of the developing situation with Covid-19” under which air passengers rights following flight cancelations were analysed.

Typically, in case of flight cancelations, and depending on the circumstances, passengers may be entitled to (i) reimbursement (refund); (ii) re-routing; (iii) right to care and (vi) a compensation.

However, the operating air carrier will not be obliged to pay the abovementioned compensation if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by “extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken”. 

In this respect, the Commission considered that this condition should be deemed as fulfilled:

  • “where public authorities either outright prohibit certain flights or ban the movement of persons in a manner that excludes, de facto, the flight in question to be operated” or
  • “where the airline decides to cancel a flight and shows that this decision was justified on grounds of protecting the health of the crew”.

The Commission also considered that the abovementioned condition could also be deemed as fulfilled, depending on the circumstances, “where the flight cancellation occurs in circumstances where the corresponding movement of persons is not entirely prohibited, but limited to persons benefitting from derogations (for example nationals or residents of the state concerned).”

This means that in the first two cases mentioned above, compensations to passengers in case of flight cancelation will not be owed and, in the last case, it may not be owed, depending on the circumstances.

It is also worth highlighting that the abovementioned “extraordinary circumstances” cannon be deemed as exhaustive.

 

What measures were approved regarding trips organized by travel and tourism agencies?

In this regard, please refer to the exceptional measures analysed in the tab "Tourism".

 

 

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This information is being updated on a regular basis.

All information contained herein and all opinions expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to substitute recourse to expert legal advice for the resolution of real cases.