"What we have done is what we have to do, it is to give all the information, all the data, so that the United Kingdom can decide", he said, stressing that the Portuguese Government maintains "open dialogue channels" with the British government, in order to explain that the measure is not justified.

"The State has done what it is supposed to do", he reinforced, specifying: "That is, is to provide information, to maintain the channels of dialogue with the British Government, with a view to explaining, from our point of view, that the measure is not justified and the serious damage this causes, from the outset to the British, who, at this moment, cannot leave without being subject to quarantine anywhere in Europe and also the damage it causes to the national economy."

The prime minister admitted however that British rulers are "less sensitive" to the damage they cause to the Portuguese economy, but said he hoped they would be aware of the "serious damage to the freedom of movement of their fellow citizens".

"We cannot have this system of instability every three weeks to have changes here, this is not good for those who plan their holidays or for those who have to organise the tourist industry to accommodate them in good conditions," he warned.

António Costa stressed that his Government has sought to explain to the United Kingdom the "inadequacy" of the measure, given the pandemic reality in the country, at national and regional level.

"We have been providing regionally broken down information, the United Kingdom does not ignore this situation. It does not ignore, in particular, that here, in Madeira, the pandemic situation is clearly better than that existing in the United Kingdom itself, both in general terms and in terms of variants. They do not ignore it," he said.

The prime minister considered, on the other hand, that the pandemic situation in the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region will not have influenced the decision of the United Kingdom, although he recognises that it "deserves the concern" of the authorities.

"The region of Lisbon and Tagus Valley is a situation that obviously deserves all our concern and we are following it with due attention and that is why a special testing campaign was started two weeks ago," he said. .

On Thursday, the British Ministry of Transport announced that Portugal, including the Madeira and Azores archipelagos, will leave the British Government's "green list" of international travel on Tuesday at 04:00.

According to the ministry, Portugal is on the "yellow list" to "safeguard public health against worrying variants" and protect the British vaccination programme.