The Commission's internal scientific service project points to the airport as a "super site" with potential for early detection of variants of the virus that causes covid-19, the ministry of Environment and Climate Action said in a statement, noting that it serves as a link to Portuguese-speaking cities but also to others European cities in the United States, China and India.

The collection of samples will be carried out by the Portuguese Environment Agency and by the Águas de Portugal group and their analysis will be carried out by international partner laboratories of the European research centre.

The experience will serve as a basis for creating in the future a "regular surveillance system for the circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants and defining an early warning system" that uses the data collected in the analysis of wastewater.

The ministry said that the analysis collection team is already established and that the analyses will be paid for by the European research centre.