LISBON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The Portuguese government announced on Saturday that commercial flights to and from most countries outside the European Union (EU) are not to resume until the end of this month as a measure to control the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement published in the Official Gazette of Portugal.
The new rules allow air traffic from countries associated with the Schengen area, such as Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, as well as Portuguese-speaking countries and the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, Canada and South Africa.
The restrictions also do not apply to nationals of the EU countries and states associated with the Schengen area, or those who have legal residence in one of these countries and those who travel for study reasons.
Portuguese airspace has been closed since the beginning of the state of emergency enacted on March 18 and extended till June 15.
In late May, Portugal's flag carrier TAP Air Portugal already published its flight schedule for the coming two months, which involves 27 weekly flights in June and 247 in July.
Portugal has been planning for flights to EU members to start from June 15.
The Portuguese government noted that the restrictive measures were implemented "taking into account the guidelines of the European Commission of 11 June 2020," which coordinated the opening of the EU's external borders "according to the evolution of the epidemiological situation."
Portugal registers seven more deaths related to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the toll to 1,512, while another 283 cases of infections have taken the tally to 36,463. Enditem