Coronavirus: British government’s quarantine list is “nonsense”

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The Portuguese foreign minister said that excluding his country from a list of countries for which quarantine would not apply to people returning to England was “absurd”.

Augusto Santos Silva told the BBC that Portugal was not insane and unfair.

On Friday, the list of countries exempt from quarantine was published.

Boris Johnson said 14-day quarantines would remain for countries where the virus was not under control.

The other countries excluded from the list, which will take effect on July 10, are the United States, China, the Maldives and Sweden.

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Mr. Santos Silva told the PM program of BBC Radio 4: “We are very disappointed with the decision of the British authorities. We think it is insane and unfair.

“It is quite absurd that the UK has seven times as many Covid-19 cases as Portugal, so we think this is not how allies and friends are treated. ”

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa tweeted comparing the number of coronavirus cases in the UK with those in the Algarve, saying: “You are invited to spend a safe holiday in the Algarve. “

Minister of Labor, ghost transporter Jim McMahon, said residents of the country wanted quarantine measures to be reduced, but said “it’s a mess.”

“We were quarantined at first that they were slow to implement, and then they said they would be flying bridges,” he said.

“Now we see a plan to allow residents of 60 or more countries to enter England without any reciprocal agreement. ”

Scotland and Wales have yet to decide whether to ease travel restrictions and have called these changes “chaotic”.

Quarantine rules will also remain in place in Northern Ireland for visitors from outside the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Some of those on the list include popular short-haul destinations such as Turkey and Cyprus, as well as long-haul destinations such as Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and Vietnam. .

However, some countries will require visitors to isolate themselves upon arrival or prevent them from entering.

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Media captionCoronavirus: how to fly during a global pandemic

A list of countries which will be exempt from the Foreign Ministry’s advice against “all travel except essential” from Saturday has also been published.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is expected to update its travel guidelines on Saturday, including specifying which countries will have a reciprocal agreement with the United Kingdom and will not require British visitors to be quarantined upon arrival.

The introduction of quarantine on June 8 has drawn criticism from the travel, tourism and hospitality industries, and the relaxation of restrictions on arrivals from certain countries has been welcomed.

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