Now to the reason I am writing you. I am so very sympathetic to the plight of all business owners, workers and everyone affected by the lack of visitors from tourism to Portugal. I am fully understanding that the past year-plus has been extremely devastating for people and businesses who rely on visitors and tourism for their source of income which is needed to provide for themselves and their families. We all want to have things get as closely back to normal as soon as possible so we can all move on from this very difficult period in our lives. The need to move forward is also very important for our mental health. That being said, I am completely dumbfounded as to why The Portugal News has started a campaign to get the UK to reverse its recent decision to take Portugal off of the Green Travel List.

More than 90% of new COVID-19 cases in the UK are now the Delta variant.

The variant, first identified in India, has taken over from the Alpha variant as the most dominant in the UK and is 60% more transmissible than the previous Alpha Variant. Since last week, the number of Delta variant cases across the UK has increased by 243%.

New PHE research suggests the Delta variant is associated with a 64% increased risk of household transmission compared with the Alpha variant - and is 40% more transmissible outdoors. The Delta variant is also MORE RESISTANT TO VACCINES.

Now, taking into consideration the above statistical figures on the Delta Variant in the UK, why do we want to entice visitors from the UK to come to Portugal? Portugal adults are only 20% fully vaccinated. The spread of this more contagious and more dangerous variant in Portugal would be more devastating than what we had previously known, in part due to the low numbers of fully vaccinated residents of Portugal. In addition, Portugal itself is on an upward trend of new daily infections. Shouldn’t we hold on for a bit longer to ensure the health and safety of our loved ones and all of the people of Portugal before bringing planes full of UK tourists here, and with them the much more dangerous Delta variant? The Portugal News reported just today that the more contagious and more dangerous Delta variant is spreading in Portugal and “could become dominant in coming weeks”. It’s just common sense that we have to do all that we can to control the spread of the virus. Campaigning the UK, where the Delta variant is now dominant, to place Portugal back on the Green Travel list is not the way to control the spread of this deadly virus.

Kevin Bagley,
By email