Covid rules dropped for fans in Porto

At the Champions League final in Porto, visiting fans of the British clubs Manchester City and Chelsea FC enjoyed freedoms that are still denied to the Portuguese under Covid restrictions. The policy was at the very least poorly communicated to the public, if not completely misguided, national media criticise.

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Público (PT) /

The government has offended the people

The government has broken a basic rule here, Público rails:

“Portugal needs tourism, and to get it it must demonstrate to the world a certain level of normality. A Champions League final is undoubtedly a good opportunity for this. But you have to balance the potential gains for the country's international image against the possibility of insulting the dignity of the Portuguese people. A decent country doesn't just adapt or suspend the rules that are in force. Neither for sports fans, as was done at the end of the national championship, nor for foreigners. Everyone is equal before the law. The government allowed this basic rule to be broken. It was blinded by the final and committed a grave error.”

Jornal de Notícias (PT) /

It's not the fans who were the problem

The government should have been more restrained with its pompous announcements, Jornal de Nóticias says:

“The problem was not so much the presence of Chelsea and Manchester City fans in Porto, because they all had to be tested for Covid-19 before getting on the plane. The problem was the words chosen by the government, or rather its announcement that it had a plan for organising the match to take place under safe conditions. ... The country quickly realised that there was no plan to curb or avoid any excesses among the British. There was no bubble. And nor was there a strategy. The country saw nothing but fans eating, drinking and meeting friends.”