The decision by London to exclude Portugal from the list of countries to which the British will be able to travel without observing quarantine on their return is “absurd”, Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva reacted on Saturday. ” an interview on public television RTP.
“It is always horrible to compare the figures for illness and death, but it is absurd that the United Kingdom imposes a quarantine on passengers returning from a country which, in the light of all the indicators of the pandemic is showing better results than the UK itself, ”insisted Augusto Santos Silva.
On Friday, London announced that travelers arriving in England from more than 70 countries or territories, including most of the countries of the European Union except Portugal or Sweden, will be exempt from quarantine from July 10.
The Algarve is not affected
The Portuguese Foreign Minister admitted that certain sources of contamination in the Lisbon region were “worrying”, but considered that this should not prevent the British from spending their summer holidays in the Algarve region in the south of the country.
“The Algarve is a traditional British tourist destination that shows no signs of a lack of control of the Covid-19,” said the Portuguese minister.
The British represent the main source of tourism revenue in Portugal, with 2.1 million visitors in 2019 and revenues of 3.3 billion euros.
According to official national data compiled, the United Kingdom and Portugal each have a little over 4,000 cases of coronavirus per million inhabitants. But while the British counted 650 deaths per million inhabitants, Portugal counted 156 per million inhabitants.
First praised for its management of the health crisis when its population was confined, Portugal has since seen the number of new daily cases increase by a third between May and June, mainly due to the outbreaks located in Lisbon and its suburbs.