China suspends direct flight from Portugal after detecting cases of Covid-19 in passengers

The Chinese authorities announced this Monday the suspension of the air connection between Portugal and China, for a period of one month, after detecting ten cases of Covid-19, on June 12, on a flight from Lisbon.

In a statement posted on its official website, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said that the flight between Lisbon and the Chinese city of Xi’an, operated by the airline Beijing Capital Airlines, will be suspended from June 27.

Flights to China are subject to the “circuit breaker” policy: when five or more cases are detected on board, the connection is suspended for two weeks. If there are ten or more cases, the call is suspended for one month.

Under the ‘zero cases’ strategy of Covid-19, China has practically closed its borders since March 2020. The country authorizes only one flight per city and per airline, which has reduced the number of international air connections to the country by 98%, compared to the pre-pandemic period.

The air connection between Portugal and China was resumed precisely on June 12, with the frequency of one flight a week, after being suspended for more than six months.

The authorities in Xi’an, the capital of central China’s Shaanxi province, suspended the link with Lisbon on December 25, at a time when the region was facing an outbreak of Covid-19. The city only resumed international calls this month.

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