Airlines have had to pay €359,000 in fines, so far, for allowing passengers to fly to Portugal who did not comply with the applicable sanitary rules, imposed due to the Covid-19 epidemic: evidence of a negative test or full vaccination.
According to the data provided by the National Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority, ANAC, 718 complaints have been submitted so far, involving 7,315 passengers, of which 4,619 were detected this year (the period during which the air traffic recovery occurred, during which vaccinations began and submitted a Covid certificate).
Last year, according to ANAC, 17 carriers participated, a number that rose to 55 carriers this year. Some of the complaints, originating from the PSP and SEF, are grouped into one case, with ANAC reporting that 288 cases have been completed so far, and that another 368 are under investigation.
“We note that the airlines unfortunately have not fulfilled their obligations” to control passengers at the time of boarding, the prime minister said on Thursday.
In the wake of a cabinet in which new measures were approved to try to control the pandemic, Antonio Costa announced that Portugal would require that all passengers wishing to land on the national territory be given a negative test from December 1 – a measure in progress analyzed by the European Commission.
In parallel, it announced increased penalties for airlines, increasing the fine to 20 thousand euros for “every passenger who disembarks on Portuguese territory without being properly tested.” At this time, in accordance with applicable law, the violation is punishable by a fine of 500-2000 euros per passenger.
The measures announced by the Prime Minister also mean strengthening control at airports, using private companies, in addition to the SEF and PSP, “so that there is a systematic, not random, verification of all passenger entry”.
Contacted by PÚBLICO, an official source at TAP, Portugal’s main air carrier, it said it had “meticulously carried out this monitoring, with failures remaining”. The latest public data, referring to the period from July 1 to August 31, in the scope of the state of disaster and emergency, indicates the discovery of 779 passengers without tests at the airports of Lisbon, Porto and Faro, in a world of 523,243 passengers.
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