Portugal has implemented its threat to require British people travelling to Portugal to self-isolate for 14 days from today unless they can prove that they have been fully vaccinated.
The new regulations were announced yesterday and took effect nearly three weeks after the UK decided to remove the country from the green list. This has caused thousands of people to shorten their holidays so that they can complete before the new quarantine period.
Angela Merkel has been pushing for the quarantine of British tourists within the European Union, including those who have suffered a double blow.
Portugal’s move came after its Prime Minister Antonio Costa admitted last week that if a joint decision is made, the country will follow the leadership of the European Union as part of meeting the requirements of the German leader.
Anyone travelling to Portugal by land, sea or air from the UK must prove that they received a second jab or self-quarantine at least two weeks in advance. The new regulations will last at least until July 11.
The United Kingdom has joined the ranks of South Africa, Brazil, India and Nepal, which are already on the Portuguese list of isolated countries.
Mr. Costa was forced to resolve Merkel’s quarantine request when he arrived at the EU summit last Thursday, after she was criticized for noting that Portugal had contributed to the spread of the coronavirus delta variant for being too tolerant of British tourists.
When asked whether quarantine would be imposed on all British holidaymakers, he told a Portuguese reporter: “We will discuss in the council what decisions will be made regarding the entry control of people from a third country, the United Kingdom. Portugal has always Follow the principles agreed at the European level.
“Furthermore, since we are currently the President of the European Council, it will be particularly bad if we do not comply with the consensus reached at the European level.”
When asked whether Portugal would consider quarantining the British, he added: “If this is the wish of the council, yes. The UK should not be treated differently.”
Neighboring Spain continues to welcome British tourists without testing or quarantine requirements, even though most of the country is on the British Amber List.
The Balearic Islands including Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca will turn green on Wednesday.
Politicians on the island have been urging the Spanish government to push for more “origin” tests before allowing British tourists to enter, but no news has been announced so far.
Despite stricter regulations in France and Germany, Spain was open to British tourists at the end of May.
At that time, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez issued his personal invitation to holidaymakers from the United Kingdom. He announced in English that they could return without Covid testing or vaccine requirements.
Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya confirmed last Thursday that the country will continue to let British tourists enter the country without forcing them to quarantine, in order to snub Angela Merkel.
After meeting in Madrid, she said at a press conference with her Panamanian colleague Erika Mouynes: “At the moment, we are maintaining measures to enable British citizens to enter our territory.”
After Downing Street removed the country from the list of green traffic lights on June 8, a leading Portuguese politician urged his government to “take a hard line” against the United Kingdom.
Relio, chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Party, once criticized the decision to allow “irrespective foreigners” to enter Portugal to watch the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea while home fans are still barred from participating in the game.
Three weeks after the UK listed Portugal as the only major European resort to receive a green light tourism rating, the UK decided to put it “amber”, causing confusion and he asked the government to take a hard line.
Let’s fix it
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Mr. Rio did not specify what he thinks the Portuguese leaders should do to get Britain to reconsider their “unfair” behavior.
But he insisted: “The Portuguese government should take a very firm stand against Britain.
“I don’t know if this is enough to change its position. Now Britain’s behavior and behavior towards Portugal is very unfair.