At the digital conference ‘Portugal Seguro – Férias dos Tempos de Pandemia’, organized by the PS parliamentary group, Berta Nunes stated that ‘Portugal is a safe country’ and that apart from the cases identified in 19 parishes in Great Lisbon, ‘the rest of the country has few cases “. The minister began by explaining that Portugal has open land and air borders. “Where the main communities are – Germany, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, there is no problem with arrival and departure, except in the UK, which we hope will change,” she said. For Bert Nunes, the current “new normality” should not prevent trading or “should not prevent Europe from opening the internal market”. “We don’t believe in closing borders because it won’t solve the situation. We can’t close the borders because it will bring other problems that also kill, like poverty, “she said.
Berta Nunes decided that it would not be the closure of borders that would solve the problem, but “surveillance measures, control in the event of infecting people, transparency, testing,” measures that are taken “in addition to people’s awareness.” “Our borders are open, but there are rules in Portugal,” she added. Paulo Pisco, the deputy Circle of Europe PS and coordinator in the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Portuguese Communities, warned against information overload, and above all about erroneous information about travel rules that confuse the community. “It is important that what is happening can properly reach the Portuguese who want to spend their holidays safely in Portugal,” he said. Information confirmed by Raúl Reis, founder of the newspaper Bom Dia Lu in Luxembourg, who took part in the debate to regret the difficulties associated with such a large flow of information, which may change several times in one day.
“People quickly lose orientation and don’t know what to expect,” he said. On the other hand, he said that some Portuguese hesitate to return because they see complicated situations such as ‘cancellation of TAP flights’. Rui Faria da Cunha, lawyer and president of the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, also defended updated information, praising Berta Nunes’s explanation of the lack of restrictions on entry and exit from Portugal. António Cunha, an honorary professor at the University of Lausanne and association leader, said from Switzerland that many Portuguese have already decided not to travel to Portugal, but this choice is due to several factors. “People are complaining about the loss of income and that their bills did not get COVID-19. Others are afraid that if they have difficulty getting back, bosses will not understand and may lose their jobs, “he said.
Rita Pinho, who works in the UK, who decided to leave Portugal from the “safe tourist corridor” because of covid-19, also identifies “information overload” that appeared in the “avalanche” at the beginning of the pandemic. Rita Pinho, working for University College London, said the situation has highlighted the differences between diverse employees and other employees, which translates into easier access to Portugal. Luísa Semedo, a university professor and adviser to the Portuguese communities in France, took to debate the comments circulating in social networks about the possible risk of more cases caused by the arrival of emigrants.
In the light of these comments, some emigrants expressed concern that they would not be accepted. Daniel Soares, a member of the Association of Foreigners in Bremerhaven and the association’s leader in Germany, praised the importance that the German government attaches to the transparency of data provided by management from other countries, with Portugal being well classified in this matter. For this and other reasons, Daniel Soares believes that Germany is unlikely to blacklist Portugal. He said, however, that there were other reasons why this community did not intend, as intended, to go to Portugal, namely the threat from some heads of dismissal of those who must remain closed or not pay this period. During the debate, some Internet participants raised concerns about control measures that they incorrectly considered to be in force in Portugal, such as quarantine or mandatory tests.