The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve around the globe, and each country is in a different phase of managing the crisis. Aires is constantly monitoring each country location, and we continue to provide several weekly updates. We would like to highlight two European countries that are in the later phases of re-opening. As you will see, each country has its own nuances and requirements. Similar phased re-openings exist around the globe and are driven by cases of COVID-19 in their nation.
The third stage of reopening began on June 22, as France has announced an update to deconfinement plans.
- Borders with Spain have been reopened.
- Non-essential travel from the EU’s “safe list” of countries is allowed as of July 1st; exclusions from this list include the U.S., Russia, Brazil, and Turkey. Business and vacation travel to the EU is approved for 14 countries by the Council of EU: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. China is also on the list but is awaiting confirmation.
- Border re-opening will be reviewed every two weeks, and more countries will be added as safety criteria is met.
- The French government is to launch "large scale" coronavirus testing in the greater Paris region, in a bid to identify possible coronavirus clusters.
- All schools, except high schools, have re-opened as of June 22. This makes France one of the few countries to completely resume classes before September, but it involves easing rules on distancing that have greatly limited the scale of re-openings so far.
- A face covering must be worn when social distancing.
- It is compulsory to wear masks on all public transport, in taxis and hired cars, and on school buses (for those over 11 years of age).
- Shops are allowed to reopen, with one exception: the shopping centers larger than 40,000 square meters must receive permission from the local authorities in order to open
- Cinemas, stadiums, and exhibition halls will prepare to reopen in the upcoming months.
Portugal has entered Phase 3 of reopening but with specific restrictions from July 1-July 14.
- New measures were published for the period of July 1-July 14:
- State of Calamity will remain in place for 19 parishes in Greater Lisbon; residents are only allowed to leave home for work, shopping, sports, and family member assistance; public gatherings will be limited to 5 people.
- State of Contingency will be in effect in the other parishes of Lisbon (public gatherings will be limited to 10 persons, shops must close by 8 pm, supermarkets by 10 pm; no alcoholic sales after 8 pm are permitted).
- State of Alert will be in effect for the remainder of the country; public gatherings will be limited to 20 people.
- Masks or face shields must be worn in closed spaces.
- Social distancing to be maintained.
- Consumption of alcohol in public spaces is not allowed (other than bars and restaurants).
- Fines may be imposed in cases where individuals fail to comply with the measures.
- Most schools remain closed
- Borders began progressive reopening in June and will continue through July:
- Disembarking from cruise ships not allowed.
- All non-resident third-country nationals traveling from Portuguese speaking countries, Brazil (only Sau Paulo and Rio), and the U.S. must show a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the past 72 hours upon departure. Nationals and residents traveling from these locations are allowed to have the test conducted in Portugal upon arrival at their own expense.
- Travel to Portugal is only allowed from Portuguese-speaking countries, Brazil (only Sau Paulo and Rio), and the U.S. for Portuguese citizens, legal residents, and for professional, study, family reunion, health, or humanitarian purposes and according to the principal of reciprocity (through July 15).
- The land border with Spain reopened on July 1.
- All flights to and from EU (and Schengen) countries and the UK are beginning to resume.
- Flights to and from non-EU countries (with the exceptions of Brazil and other countries under bilateral agreements) remain suspended through July 15. Flights from the following countries have resumed under the principal of reciprocity: Algeria, Canada, South Korea, Morocco, Tunisia, and China (provided reciprocity is given).
As demonstrated by the current state of the two countries above, reopening is tentative and based on a variety of factors that can change rapidly. Due to constantly changing country rules, Aires highly recommends checking for the most current regulations prior to relying on the above information. Aires will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as the pandemic progresses. For more information on the countries above or any country location of importance to you, please contact your Aires representative.