Brussels assesses whether German ban on travel to Portugal is proportional

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Álvaro Millán / Flickr

The European Commission will analyze whether the German decision to place Portugal on the “red list” of travel is “proportional”, and could then put pressure on Berlin, a source in the community Executive told Lusa news agency.

“The European Commission has been notified and is analyzing whether Germany’s measures in relation to Portugal are proportional or not“, the source of the institution said to Lusa agency.

The clarification comes after Germany classified, last Friday, Portugal as an area with “concern variants”, namely due to the spread of the Delta variant, which in practice results in a travel ban in force since this Tuesday due to the activation of the European Union (EU) brake mechanism to deal with worrying situations.

At the moment, Germany only allows German citizens or those residing in that country to travel from Portugal, who still have to be subjected to a quarantine of 14 days after arrival.

As an official source at the German Embassy told the Público newspaper, the imposed quarantine will be reassessed in the end of next week, the exact day has not yet been defined.

Today, at a press conference in Brussels, the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, recalled that, faced with similar bans imposed in recent months, the European Commission “had to intervene to ask that travel bans be avoided”, namely putting pressure on countries .

“We proposed the adoption of other mechanisms, such as tests and quarantines, but defending that prohibitions or similar measures on travel should be avoided”, recalled the European guardianship commissioner, when asked specifically about the German ban on Portugal.

“[Nessas anteriores situações], we managed to make progress in several Member States, starting with Germany a few months ago, but also Belgium, Sweden and Hungary, which have moved towards the creation of a system without travel bans”.

“As far as the German situation is concerned, we are going to verify exactly the information that was communicated to us, but we will also have to compare this with a recommendation, adopted by the Member States”, said Didier Reynders, in an allusion to the position agreed upon by the 27 Member States. two weeks.

In practice, Brussels may press Germany on the ban on travel from Portugal, but the last word is always from Berlin.

In mid-June, the EU Council adopted a recommendation for a coordinated approach to travel, proposing that vaccinated at least one dose and recovered from covid-19 should not be subjected to restrictive measures such as quarantines or testing.

These recommendations are aimed at the entry into force, this Thursday, of the covid-19 digital certificate.

Remember that, last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the lack of common rules in the EU regarding travel and used as an example the increase in infections in Portugal, a situation that, she considered, “could have been avoided” .

This Tuesday, it was the turn of the head of the Federal Chancellery of Germany to criticize the lack of stricter rules from other countries for the entry of travelers from hazardous areas, due to the presence of the Delta variant.