The removal of Portugal from the United Kingdom’s green list, more than knowing whether it is a well-founded decision, consistent or not, is a decision that creates much uncertainty among travellers, putting at risk a sector highly penalized by the pandemic. The Nepalese mutation of the Indian variant, with 12 cases identified in Portugal, serves as a justification for the decision of the British authorities. However, it seems exaggerated and, at the same time, seems to hide other interests, whether of an economic or political nature.
In any case, the actions of the Portuguese diplomacy have been following the errant path of the past, very reactive and not very preventive.
The fact that the Portuguese Outermost Regions have not remained on the green list is a Portuguese National government’s failure, which has failed to communicate with the British counterpart. Are there any reported cases of Nepalese mutation on the islands? Why remove them from the green list, and why has this not been reported to the UK authorities? We must understand the decision’s rationale, or we’ll lose our trust in the decision-making process.
The inconsistency in decision-making, this lack of coordination seen in the past could, once again, ruin the high season of the tourism sector in Europe, particularly in Portugal.
We know that Portugal, in this process, is not exempt from responsibility, with arbitrary decisions by our government regarding the lifting of restrictions or even condescension towards some less correct practices. However, seems this British decision has much more political retaliation against Europe as a whole than sanitary consistency.
The European green certificate, which will come into effect from July 1st, can be an essential tool in the sense of avoiding isolated decisions within the Schengen area when not based on epidemiological criteria.
Tourism shows signs of recovery. Portugal should bet on it and rethink the challenge of new or more stable markets.