In the case of the last two groups of Moroccan citizens, who set foot on Portuguese land this month, seven are awaiting interviews because they have also applied for asylum and are located, in charge of the Portuguese Refugee Council, in Lisbon.
The only ones who did not apply for asylum and who now have an expulsion order are the 22 who arrived this week. These, yes, were arrested and presented to the court, which ordered the repatriation. Until they happen, they are distributed by Temporary Installation Centers: two in Porto (Santo António Housing Unit and at Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport) and another at Faro Airport. They can stay there for 60 days. Repatriation costs are borne by Portugal.
The 13 migrants from the first two groups entered the “unknown whereabouts” label even before the pandemic was enacted worldwide. The last two groups arrived in Portugal in June and all tested negative. As of today, they are still under the authority of the authorities. José Barão refers the decisions on possible health surveillance to the Ministry of Health. “All measures have to be determined at the level of the health authority. It is not the SEF that will say whether a public health precautionary measure should be determined ”.
But the SEF's deputy national director assures that “whenever the signs have appeared, the SEF articulates with Civil Protection, municipalities, the Portuguese Refugee Council, Social Security organizations and everyone working together managed to deal with possible outbreaks of contagion. and the situation was controlled through the articulation of these entities ”.
All migrants intercepted in the Algarve tested negative for Covid-19
The number of migrants who managed to reach the Portuguese coast in small boats is still low compared, for example, with Spain. But the frequency and the number have increased, which has already made the SEF assume that the possibility that Portuguese territory is becoming an illegal immigration route is being investigated.
However, this Tuesday in Parliament, the Minister of Internal Administration defended that Portugal "should not be ridiculous" of considering that this route exists. “I don't dramatize what I see being discussed a lot, we shouldn't be ridiculous, we should anticipate and be rigorous in the investigation. Speaking of four landings since December of 48 people, we must have some dimension of the ridiculous when comparing what there are 7,500 arrivals to Spain since January, even with a significant reduction in arrivals seen this year ”.
In Portugal, since December and until now, no one had been repatriated. That will be the destination of this group of 22 Moroccan migrants intercepted this week on the beach of Vale do Lobo, in Loulé, because, according to SEF, none have requested asylum.