Portugal denounces UK decision to leave quarantine list ‘absurd’

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(CNN) – The Portuguese government has denounced the British government’s decision not to lift the quarantine for people from mainland Portugal as “absurd” and “insane”, claiming that the United Kingdom has seven times more cases of coronavirus than it.

Augusto Santos Silva, the country’s foreign minister, said Portugal was “very disappointed” to have been excluded from a list of countries whose travelers would be exempted from spending two weeks in solitary confinement after arriving in England.

The exemption list, which was released Friday by the British government and will take effect on July 10, includes 59 states and 14 British overseas territories.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Friday, Santos Silva said: “We are very disappointed with this decision by the British authorities. We think it’s crazy and unfair. It is quite absurd.

“The UK has seven times more cases linked to Covid-19 than in Portugal, so we think this is not how allies and friends are treated,” he added.

Although he acknowledged that Portugal experienced “specific outbreaks” from Covid-19 to Lisbon, the minister stressed that destinations popular with British tourists – such as the Algarve – were not hot spots for tourists. coronavirus.

António Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal, also said that the Algarve was a safe place to vacation this summer.

In a tweet released on Friday, Costa included a graph comparing the number of Covid-19 cases in the UK unfavorably to those in the Algarve, adding the words: “You are invited to spend a safe vacation in Algarve. ”

To date, health authorities in Portugal have recorded 1,587 deaths from coronavirus in all settings. According to Johns Hopkins University, 44,216 people died from the virus in the UK.

According to British government data, around 2.5 million Britons visited Portugal last year.

Isabela Tejera and Milena Veselinovic of CNN contributed to the report.

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