Portugal to come off the UK “red list”

By TPN/Lusa, in News, COVID-19, Health & Environment, Europe, UK · 13-03-2021 11:26:00 · 5 Comments

Portugal is to be removed from the 'red list' of countries whose travellers are subject to quarantine in hotels in the United Kingdom, with the official announcement expected on Monday.

According to British press reports the final decision is expected to be announced by Transport Minister Grant Shapps.

While the news is being hailed as a positive indicator for the tourism industry, it is understood that the British Government must maintain the current restrictions that only allow nationals and residents to enter and that prohibistravel abroad without valid justification until at least mid-May.

Portugal is the only European country among 33, mostly African and South American countries, whose travel has been banned, except for nationals or residents, to reduce the risk of importing more infectious and vaccine-resistant coronavirus variants, such as those discovered in Brazil and in South Africa.

Travellers from countries on the so-called 'red list', which also include Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique, are required to comply with a 10-day quarantine at a hotel designated by the authorities and pay the cost of 1,750 pounds (2,030 euros).

The measure was introduced on February 15, but the United Kingdom had already suspended direct flights from Portugal on January 15, a measure that Portugal also brought in on January 23.

Currently, passengers from the United Kingdom (and Brazil) bound for Portugal are required to comply with 14 days of prophylactic isolation, a measure expected to end on Tuesday.

A petition to the British Parliament to convince the British Government to remove Portugal from the list gathered more than 24,000 signatures in one week, having crossed the 10,000 barrier that implies an executive response.

The inclusion of Portugal on the list of countries subject to quarantine in hotels was considered "discriminatory" by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, who spoke by phone with the British counterpart, Dominic Raab, at the beginning of the month.

"These restrictive measures are all the more incomprehensible as the Portuguese epidemiological situation has evolved very favourably and there is no significant prevalence of the Brazilian and South African variants", wrote the Ministry on Twitter.

Days before, Portugal's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Manuel Lobo Antunes, had criticised the “huge financial burden” and considered the measures “disproportionate and unfair”, in an article published in the Daily Telegraph.

"In my view, subjecting any human being to an extreme quarantine regime, under security surveillance, for a period of ten days, and at his own expense, is not something that should be considered," he argued, and said that travellers arriving in the United Kingdom from Portugal may be quarantined "in the warmth and comfort of their own homes".

Last week, the international law firm PGMBM announced that it was preparing a lawsuit against the quarantine policy, alleging that it contained elements of illegality, namely the need to pay for potential violations of international law and human rights, especially for children.

The British government began easing the confinement in England on Monday with the reopening of schools, but said it would continue to ban non-essential travel abroad, including holidays, until 17 May at the earliest.

Until then, it intends to evaluate a study with recommendations for the safe restoration of international travel, including the possible introduction of vaccination certificates.

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Maybe portugal should ban all flights from the uk, as there rate of infection is greater than here.

By David Pinheiro from Beiras on 15-03-2021 09:47

The threshold for petitions to the UK government to garner a response is 100,000 not 10,000 as you listed.

By bob from Other on 14-03-2021 07:00

I think that Portugal should put UK on a red list.
To avoid getting more of thr Brittish mutation here.
Now when we after months of State Of Emergency, finally is on track toward acceptable levels.
I si a large misstake to allow a inflow of tourists,
Particular from UK.

The urge for tourist industry to make money is not worth an escalating number of Covid19 cases

By Gustav from Algarve on 14-03-2021 03:24

Maybe Portugal should put UK on a red list. To reduce the risk of getting more of the brittish mutation of the virus into Portugal. The spread is from UK to Portugal. Not the opposite way.

It is important that the state of emergency and lcok down rules are valid also for tourists.

By Gustav from Algarve on 13-03-2021 06:56

Why does it say ”uk” when it really its really England. This is good news but you Will still need to quarantine when flying to Scotland.

By Chris from Algarve on 13-03-2021 04:52
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