Coronavirus: UK government’s quarantine-free list ‘absurd’

Image copyright

Portugal’s foreign affairs minister has said his country’s exclusion from the list of countries which is why quarantine won’t apply for people returning to England is “absurd”.

Augusto Santos Silva told the BBC not including Portugal was “senseless and unfair”.

The list of countries exempt from quarantine was published on Friday.

Boris Johnson said 14-day quarantines would remain for countries where the virus was not in order.

Other countries excluded from the list, which makes effect on 10 July, are the US, China, the Maldives and Sweden.

  • Where can I carry on holiday? Helpful tips to destinations
  • The countries you can visit

Mr Santos Silva told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “We are very disappointed with your decision of the British authorities. We believe that it is senseless and unfair.

“It is quite absurd the UK has seven times more cases of Covid-19 than Portugal so we think this is not how allies and friends are treated.”

The Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, tweeted comparing the UK’s quantity of coronavirus cases with that of the Algarve, saying: “You are welcome to pay a safe holiday in the Algarve.”

Labour shadow transport minister Jim McMahon said people down and up the country were keen for the quarantine measures to be lessened but said “this is a mess”.

“First we had the quarantine that they were slow to implement, then they said they’d do air bridges,” he said.

“Now we see a plan to let residents of 60 or more countries into England without any reciprocal arrangements.”

Scotland and Wales are yet to determine whether to help relieve travel restrictions and described the changes as “shambolic”.

The quarantine rules will even remain in devote Northern Ireland for visitors arriving from outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Some of the on the list include popular short-haul destinations such as for example Turkey and Cyprus, in addition to long-haul locations including Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam.

However, some countries will demand visitors to isolate on arrival or will bar them from entering at all.

Media playback is unsupported on your own device

Media captionCoronavirus: How to fly throughout a global pandemic

A list of countries which will be exempt from the Foreign Office’s advice against “all but essential travel” from Saturday has also been published.

The Foreign Office is expected to update its travel guidance on Saturday, including naming which countries will have a reciprocal arrangement with the UK rather than require British visitors to quarantine on arrival.

The introduction of the quarantine on 8 June was met with criticism from the travel, tourism and hospitality industries and the easing of restrictions on arrivals from some countries has been welcomed.

  • ILLEGAL LOCKDOWN RAVES: Annie Mac on Coronavirus Newscast
  • GROUNDED WITH LOUIS THEROUX: Louis sits down with Chris O’Dowd

Source link