British travel ban is “absurd”, Portuguese foreign minister suggests

LISBON (Reuters) – Britain’s determination to suspend flights from Portugal since of fears about a new coronavirus pressure in Brazil is “absurd”, Portuguese Overseas Minister Augusto Santos Silva said.

FILE Photo: Portuguese Minister for International Affairs Augusto Santos Silva attends a meeting of EU overseas ministers at the European Council setting up in Brussels, Belgium July 13, 2020. Stephanie Lecocq/Pool by means of REUTERS/File Picture

Santos Silva advised the state-owned news agency Lusa late on Thursday he had asked for a assembly with British international minister Dominic Raab to explain the predicament.

Britain’s transport minister introduced on Thursday that Portugal had been additional to a record of South American nations around the world from which arrivals had been remaining banned since of its near journey links to Brazil.

“This is an absurd measure, and we really do not realize what it is based on,” Santos Silva mentioned.

There is no proof that the Brazilian strain is present in Portugal, according to wellness authorities.

Flights involving Portugal and Brazil continue to be offered as aspect of a broader Portuguese coverage of protecting vacation to international locations with significant Portuguese diasporas. The coverage makes it possible for only necessary travel and does not involve tourism.

Travellers must current a unfavorable coronavirus test taken up to 72 hours ahead of departure.

Santos Silva criticised the brief observe given by Britain for the new evaluate, which went into drive at 0400 GMT on Friday.

He reported Portugal experienced not banned vacation from Britain when a new strain of the coronavirus was initial identified in the United Kingdom, but had followed European Union policy by simply just requiring a destructive coronavirus exam from travellers.

“I think in the price of reciprocity,” he mentioned.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee and Catarina Demony, Modifying by Andrei Khalip andTimothy Heritage