Race against time with British tourists in Portugal. On the weekend, whoever can come home, since Tuesday, all visitors to the island country have been waiting for ten days. Just three weeks later, Britain removed Portugal from the list of safe countries, which was harshly criticized by the Portuguese prime minister. Those who work in tourism already fear a catastrophe. Britons are being asked to join the European Union’s green card scheme so as not to miss the season this year, M1 News reports.
British holidaymakers stormed Portuguese airports over the weekend after London removed the Iberian country from its recommended green list for travel based on the epidemiological situation last week. This ruling will go into effect at dawn on Tuesday.
The British, who then return home, have to go into a mandatory ten-day quarantine and take two tests for the virus at their own expense, which cost 120 pounds each, or 46,000 forints. But many still do not swim away from the extra expense of traveling back and forth.
A British tourist also said the situation was disappointing and it was not certain that insurance would cover the costs.
“It is sad for the Portuguese too, that we are leaving while 80 per cent of the revenue comes from the travel sector, which a local taxi driver says is already losing. he added.
Portuguese entrepreneurs were also shocked by the removal of Portugal from the list of safe countries again in just three weeks.
We already have about 70 percent of cancellations for this week, said a cruise ship owner.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock justified stressing the risk of infection with the Indian variant of the virus, which has already been identified in Portugal and is causing growing concern in the island nation as well. The significant rise in new infections, more than half of daily cases, can be attributed to this variant.
According to the Portuguese authorities, the infection rate is similar to the United Kingdom, and even in most regions, the epidemic rates are favorable.
“I respect the decision, but it is not fair. The epidemiological situation in Portugal has improved significantly in recent weeks. There has been a small jump in the Lisbon region, but not at all in the Algarve. People wear masks and follow the rules. We are ready to receive tourists “ said Christovo Norte, regional deputy.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa also strongly criticized the restrictions and called on London to join the European System of Digital Travel Facility Cards.
With the planned introduction of the EU Green Passport, July 1, there is not a month left, while many issues are yet to be clarified.
Cover image illustration.