The UK government has released the full list of countries with air bridge agreements, meaning from July 10, Brits won’t have to quarantine when returning home.
It’s “absurd,” Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said on RTP3 television station. “When a country that has 28 times more deaths from Covid-19 than Portugal wants to impose quarantine rules to passengers from Portugal, I would say that the problem is not with Portugal but with that nation.”
France, Spain and Italy were among the 59 nations and territories whose visitors are exempt from quarantine when they return to England. Like Portugal, the U.S., Canada and Sweden were among the countries left out of that list, which goes into effect July 10.
Santos Silva said he hopes the U.K. would correct that decision as soon as possible and that his government didn’t plan to adopt similar measures toward the more than 35,000 British residents in Portugal when they return to the southern European country.
Tourism accounts for about 15% of Portugal’s economy and 9% of employment. The British rank as the biggest group of its visitors. About 2.5 million British nationals visited Portugal last year, according to the U.K. government.
“I am very pleased that this vast community of British citizens have chosen Portugal to live,” said Santos Silva. “This is a sad moment in the relationship between Portugal and the U.K.”