The Portuguese Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva, considered “absurd” and “unfair” this Thursday, the United Kingdom’s decision to suspend flights with Portugal, a “sudden and unexpected” measure on the basis of which he said he did not know Were.
“In our opinion, there is no argument. First, it is a sudden and unexpected measure and it is the first element of negative surprise. Second, it is a measure that strongly affects those who are properly warned about it. Has not been given. It was announced on 17. The head of Portuguese diplomacy said that the next day would be effective at 4 o’clock in the morning.
“It is also an absurd remedy, the basic elements of which we do not know. Suspended flights from Portugal with the logic of relations between Portugal and Brazil, with all due respect, is completely absurd,” he said. Had already asked the British counterpart for a conversation. “To understand the basics” of the decision.
For Santos Silva, the London decision is “all the more absurd” because, according to a statement from the British Ministry of Transport, the reason for the measure is the new strain of Kovid-19 that was discovered in Brazil, “This, by the way, is no evidence.” Which “exists in Portugal.”
“But the British decision to suspend flights bothers all Portuguese passengers and makes no sense”, he emphasized.
According to Santos Silva, traveling from Brazil to Portugal can currently be for only necessary reasons – traveling by Portuguese citizens or residents of Portugal, or traveling by citizens of third countries, who have to travel to Portugal for professional reasons, family Group, study or other powerful.
“There is no travel due to tourist reasons. Travelers going from Brazil to Portugal, whatever their nationality, must test in 72 hours before departure and this test must be negative. This means we have all. Third. Brazil is included in the trips made by countries to Portugal.
“We have already sought an explanation from the British government through the embassy. I have already contacted my British colleague [Dominic Raab], And arranging a dialogue between the two of us so that I can understand the short time between the announcement of the measure, for this measure to be unexpected, to be abrupt, not to be wary of people. . Entering into force and, above all, because its core elements are incomprehensible “, defended Santos Silva.
Asked by Lusa whether it was argued that Portugal had not opted to suspend flights with the United Kingdom following the discovery of a new strain of Kovid-19 on British soil, the head of Portuguese diplomacy said “reciprocity Belief in the value of “and that, like the European Union (EU), measures have been taken.
“We believe in the value of reciprocity and when British tensions were detected, we, as well as practically all EU states, test negative for Kovid-19 and limit travel for essential reasons The need for passengers from Britain started, but we never stopped the air traffic between Portugal and the United Kingdom ”, he replied.
Santos Silva stressed that those who travel to Portugal or from it do not “do so because they come to do tourism”.
“They come because they practice professional activities, they are studying, they have family members, both Portuguese in the United Kingdom, and British in Portugal. They need to take these trips, not just for fun, but for absolutely reasonable reasons. Necessity “, he argued.
Regarding negotiations with Dominic Raab, the head of Portuguese diplomacy said that he had already received a message from the British counterpart announcing that his officers would arrange a call.
“I look forward to it,” he said.
The British government announced today that it would suspend air contact with Portugal and Cape Verde in an effort to block Brazil’s entry of SARS-CoV-2, and would also impose sanctions coming from Brazil and other South American countries.
“I made an immediate decision about the ban on Friday from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. New versions in Brazil”, Announced the Transport Minister, Grant Shapps, via the social network Twitter.
Travel from Portugal to the United Kingdom will also be suspended, “due to its strong ties with Brazil, another way is working to reduce the risk of imports of infections,” he said.
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