Britain has confirmed 44,131 deaths and 284,276 positive tests, while Portugal has reported 1,587 fatalities and 42,782 cases.
Portugal’s tourism sector has reacted with fury and disbelief at Britain’s decision to leave Portugal off its list of almost 60 countries deemed safe enough for travel without coronavirus-related restrictions which would see holidaymakers have to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK.
This will be a major deterrent for British tourists, who accounted for 2.1 million of Portugal’s foreign visitors last year, the second-biggest market after Spain.
Over a dozen countries have imposed restrictions on travel from Portugal as a high toll of several hundred new cases per day concentrated on the outskirts of Lisbon in the past month has worried authorities.
Portugal furious after being left of quarantine-free list
In a tweet, the foreign ministry said “it is absurd that a country, the UK, with 28 times more deaths than Portugal due to #covid-19, imposes quarantine on passengers from Portugal”.
Portugal attributes this to its high testing rate, though Britain has surpassed Portugal in terms of tests per million people, according to the worldometer.info website.
Foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva told reporters: “We hope that this decision, which seems to us profoundly unfair and wrong from the British authorities, is corrected as soon as possible. Countries that are friends treat each other differently.”