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Portugal suspends all Brazil flights over virus fears

Portugal announced Wednesday that it would suspend all flights to and from Brazil for two weeks due to the surge in the number of coronavirus cases and the spread of new virus variants.

“The government has decided to suspend flights arriving from and departing to Brazil from January 29, in view of the evolution of the global epidemiological situation and the detection of new strains of the virus,” the Portuguese government said in a statement.

“Until February 14, all flights to and from Brazil, both commercial and private by all airlines, will be suspended,” the statement said.

Only Portuguese and EU residents will be able to travel between the two countries on presentation of a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours prior to their flight, it continued.

Portugal joins other countries, such as Turkey, Morocco and Peru in suspending flights to and from Brazil.

The EU member reported 293 deaths in the past 24 hours on Wednesday, a new daily record, bringing the total death toll so far to more than 11,000.

The number of people in Portugal hospitalised with Covid-19 also rose to a record 6,603, of whom 783 were placed in intensive care.

The country of 10 million went into a second nationwide lockdown on January 15.