Lisbon City Council rejects mandatory tests for inbound passengers

  • Lusa
  • 9 July 2020

Lisbon City Council rejected a motion calling for mandatory testing of passengers arriving in Portugal via air or sea borders because of the pandemic.

The Lisbon City Council on Thursday rejected a CDS – People’s Party motion calling for mandatory testing of passengers arriving in Portugal via air or sea borders in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The document, which was considered at a private meeting of the municipal executive, had the votes against by the socialists and the Left Bloc (BE) – which have an agreement on city governance – the abstention of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the votes in favour of the CDS-PP and Social Democratic Party (PSD).

The centrists highlight in the motion that currently Portugal is the second country in the European Union plus the United Kingdom to register the highest number of new cases of infection by Covid-19 per million inhabitants, arguing that the measurement of body temperature in force at the capital’s airport is a basic measure that does not allow asymptomatic cases to be identified and applied in any company, commercial establishment or public building.

In the view of CDS-PP, the largest opposition party in the municipality, more robust preventive measures are needed at Portuguese airports and ports, at a time when the country’s situation is particularly worrying in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region and when there is a need to reactivate key sectors of the national economy, such as tourism, which represents around 15% of GDP.

The centrists wanted travellers to submit a Covid-19 screening test with a negative result obtained in the country of origin in the 72 hours before the trip, or to take the test on arrival in Portugal.

The country registered 13 more deaths from Covid-19 on Thursday and a further 418 confirmed cases of infection, 328 of which in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region, according to figures from the health authorities (DGS).

According to the daily epidemiological bulletin, the total number of deaths from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic is now 1,644 and the total number of confirmed cases is 45,277.