Portugal sees removal from UK red list as extremely positive

  • Lusa
  • 16 March 2021

The British transport ministry announced on Monday that the UK would allow direct flights and remove Portugal from the "red list" from Friday of countries whose travellers have to quarantine.

Portugal’s minister of internal administration, Eduardo Cabrita, said on Monday that Portugal’s removal from the British ‘red list’ was extremely positive as it was a recognition of what Portugal has done in recent weeks.

It is extremely positive because there was no basis for Portugal to be included in this list, Cabrita said.

Cabrita spoke to Portuguese correspondents in Brussels after chairing the ‘Jumbo’ Council, a meeting that brought together the European Union (EU) ministers of internal affairs and foreign affairs, which was dedicated to the external dimension of the migration phenomenon.

Stressing that Portugal now has particularly low incidence indicators regarding the pandemic situation, Cabrita stressed that the country needs to continue to consolidate these results and remain attentive to the risk of the variant detected in the UK and its impact on Europe.

On Monday, the British transport ministry announced that the UK would allow direct flights and remove Portugal from the “red list” from Friday of countries whose travellers are quarantined from hotels in the UK.

The announcement said that air links would also be resumed.

The decision was taken following evidence that the risk of importation of a variant of concern from these destinations has reduced, it said in a statement, noting that Portugal has adopted measures to mitigate the risk of its links with countries where the variants have become a concern and now has genomic surveillance in place.

However, air links are not expected to resume immediately, as the Portuguese government has extended the suspension of flights, commercial or private, to or from the United Kingdom and Brazil until 31 March.

Portugal was the only European country on a list of African and South American countries whose travel to the United Kingdom was banned to reduce the risk of importing variants of the new coronavirus that are more infectious and resistant to vaccines discovered in Brazil and South Africa.

Travellers from the 33 countries on the so-called “red list”, including Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique, are required to serve a 10-day quarantine in a hotel designated by the authorities and pay the cost of 1,750 pounds (2,030 euros).