Government approves 14 more days’ suspension of flights to, from Italy

  • Lusa
  • 24 March 2020

he new statute extending the suspension of air links with Italy comes into force at midnight on Tuesday and runs until April 7th.

Portugal’s government on Tuesday announced a continuation of the suspension of flights to and from Italy for another 14 days, given the intensity of the Covid-19 pandemic that is still occurring in that territory.

“In view of the intensity of the Covid-19 pandemic still occurring in Italy, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Internal Administration, has decided to extend for a further 14 days the March 10th order that suspended flights by all airlines, commercial or private, to or from Portuguese airports or aerodromes to all regions of Italy,” the government announced in a statement.

The new statute extending the suspension of air links with Italy comes into force at midnight on Tuesday and runs until April 7th, but does not apply to “state aircraft, flights for the exclusive transport of cargo and mail, as well as humanitarian or medical emergency flights and technical stopovers for non-commercial purposes,” the text states.

The legislation, signed by the assistant secretary of state and communications, Alberto Souto de Miranda, has already been published in the state gazette and the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) and the European Commission, notified; all EU member states must also be informed.

The new coronavirus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, has already infected more than 345,000 people worldwide, of whom more than 15,100 have died.

Since it broke out in China in December, the outbreak has spread around the world, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare it a pandemic.

Europe is currently the region with the highest number of cases, and Italy the country with the highest number of deaths, with 6,077 out of 63,927 confirmed cases. According to the Italian authorities, 7,024 of those infected have already recovered.

In Portugal, there have been 23 deaths and 2,060 confirmed infections, according to Monday’s bulletin from the Directorate-General of Health. Of those infected, 201 are in hospital, 47 of them in intensive care units.

Portugal has been in a state of emergency since midnight on Wednesday and until midnight on April 2nd.