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Lisbon blocks mandatory tests for passengers arriving in Portugal

80mandatory testsThe Lisbon City Council on 9 July rejected a motion by the CDS-PP party that required mandatory testing for passengers arriving in Portugal by air or sea borders, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The document, discussed at a private meeting of the municipal executive, had votes against it from the Socialists and BE – who have a city governance agreement -, the PCP abstained and the CDS-PP and PSD voted in favour.

The centrists emphasise 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 the identification of asymptomatic cases” and “applied to any company, commercial establishment or public building”.

“By absurdity, it can be admitted that the buildings of Lisbon City Hall are as safe as Lisbon Airport: in both cases, only the temperature at which one arrives is checked”, the text reads.

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

The centrists wanted travellers to present a screening test for covid-19 with a negative result obtained in the country of origin in the 72 hours prior to the trip or to perform the test upon arrival in Portugal.