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

LISBON (Reuters) – Britain’s choice to suspend flights from Portugal since of issues about a new coronavirus strain in Brazil is “absurd”, Portuguese International Minister Augusto Santos Silva claimed.

Augusto Santos Silva wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva attends a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels

© Reuters/POOL New
FILE Photo: Portuguese Minister for Overseas Affairs Augusto Santos Silva attends a conference of EU international ministers in Brussels

Santos Silva informed the point out-owned news agency Lusa late on Thursday he experienced asked for a conference with British overseas minister Dominic Raab to make clear the scenario.

Britain’s transportation minister declared on Thursday that Portugal experienced been added to a record of South American nations around the world from which arrivals ended up currently being banned for the reason that of its near travel one-way links to Brazil.

“This is an absurd measure, and we you should not recognize what it is centered on,” Santos Silva mentioned.

There is no evidence that the Brazilian strain is existing in Portugal, in accordance to wellbeing authorities.

Flights amongst Portugal and Brazil stay accessible as aspect of a wider Portuguese policy of protecting journey to nations with huge Portuguese diasporas. The coverage lets only vital travel and does not consist of tourism.

Travellers will have to present a unfavorable coronavirus check taken up to 72 hrs ahead of departure.

Santos Silva criticised the limited see offered by Britain for the new measure, which went into pressure at 0400 GMT on Friday.

He claimed Portugal had not banned journey from Britain when a new pressure of the coronavirus was initial determined in the United Kingdom, but experienced followed European Union policy by simply necessitating a negative coronavirus exam from travellers.

“I feel in the value of reciprocity,” he mentioned.

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