The Portuguese-Brazilian community in São Paulo asked for recognition of the vaccines against covid-19 administered in Brazil, in a meeting with Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who said that an agreement was being negotiated between the two countries.
On the second and last day of his visit to São Paulo, on Saturday, the President of the Republic met around fifty representatives of the Portuguese community at the Casa de Portugal, and was asked when it would be possible for Luso-Brazilians to be vaccinated in Brazil travel to Portugal without the need for quarantine.
“Why does Portugal not accept our vaccines? I really miss going there”, said one of the Portuguese women present at the meeting, while the vice president of the Casa de Portugal, Paulo Machado, expressed the expectation that the Portuguese Government’s diplomatic efforts could lead to the recognition of vaccines between Portugal and the Brazil.
The head of state added that, throughout the official visit, which ends on Monday in Brasília, meetings were taking place between representatives of the two countries with the aim of reaching “a mutual agreement” to recognize the vaccines.
The idea is, according to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to see “on what terms, respecting the rules of the European Union” it is possible to achieve that “both vaccinated Brazilians and Portuguese can enter the same regimen of vaccines recognized so far in Europe”.
“See if it’s possible to dispense with quarantine,” he added.
To journalists, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa considered that the “optimal solution” would be the recognition of an agreement between the two countries, which, in the case of Portugal, would have to bear in mind its integration in the European space.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has so far authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen vaccines, but in Brazil they are being administered, among others, mainly Covishield, from AstraZeneca produced in India, and Coronavac, of the Butantan Institute.
The Portuguese President said that the first meeting on this matter between the two Governments “went well” and “opened up avenues” for a process “which is expected to be carried out quickly” and “to make the interests of both countries compatible”.
The Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, who coordinates the work for an eventual agreement on the Portuguese side, added that “it is about moving forward bilaterally” so that circulation between the two countries can be facilitated, “always maintaining every precaution Sanitary”.
Currently, circulation between Portugal and Brazil is limited to essential travel, with a negative PCR test and a 14-day quarantine.
“We are going to see which of these restrictions can evolve in the coming weeks or months,” said Santos Silva, adding that the two countries have scheduled a new meeting on this matter after the holidays.
The meeting with the Portuguese-Brazilian community was one of the last points of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s two-day program in São Paulo and the head of state was received with applause at the Casa de Portugal, where he sang the anthem, posed for selfies and received as a gift a shirt from the Portuguese Sports Association, Lusa, one of the community’s traditional football clubs.
The President of the Republic considered that 2022, when the 200th anniversary of Brazil’s independence is commemorated, will be “a year full of rapprochement” between the two countries, with Portugal joining the commemorations, namely, by participating as a guest country in the São Paulo Book Biennial, among other initiatives.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s visit to Brazil continues today in Brasília with a visit to the Oréades exhibition, at the chancellery of the Embassy of Portugal, and ends on Monday with meetings with the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira, and with the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.