Borders reopen, but not for Portugal

While most of Europe's internal borders are reopening, several EU countries have decided to maintain entry restrictions for travellers from Portugal on the grounds that the infection rate has recently risen to more than 20 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week. What does this mean for a country that depends on tourism?

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Expresso (PT) /

More testing should not be detrimental

Portugal's high official rate of infection is also due to the fact that the country carries out a comparatively large number of tests, notes Expresso, and sees this transparency at risk:

“When you talk about Portugal's economy you're talking about tourism. If several European governments keep the borders closed to travellers from our country - a decision that the president associates with the competition for tourists - experts contacted by Expresso fear that this increased level of honesty might be at stake. ... The prime minister doesn't understand this and is stressing that some of those who are closing the door to us are doing much less testing.”

Público (PT) /

Better not to be seen as lepers

The figures are also detrimental for the country's image, Público worries:

“Every country that closes its borders to the Portuguese intensifies the external perception that the virus is out of control here. Every news article that puts us on the list of the highest infection rates per 100,000 inhabitants increases the doubts among those who want to invest in the country or visit it. Every day on which Portugal has a higher number of infections than countries such as Spain or Italy damages the credibility we built up during the initial phase of the pandemic. Yes, we have a serious problem. And only proper awareness of what is going on can help to overcome it.”