The decision to move Portugal from the UK’s green list to amber may have been “politically motivated,” an epidemiologist has said.
Dr Christine Tait-Burkard, an expert in infection and immunity at the University of Edinburgh, said the decision may be “retaliation” against European countries requiring British travellers to quarantine.
Speaking on the BBC Good Morning Scotland programme, she said, “It potentially is also a little bit politically motivated, seeing that many European countries have put the UK on the quarantine list. It might be a little bit of political retaliation behind that as well.
“Portugal is still very similar to the UK actually, and so that means the actual risk of going to the country is not necessarily higher than staying in the UK,” she added.
Following the government’s travel list announcement on June 3, Portugal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ministry said on Twitter that it “cannot understand” the “decision.
“We take note of the British decision to remove Portugal from the travel ‘green list’, the logic of which we cannot understand,” the Tweet said.
“Portugal continues to carry out its prudent and gradual deconfinement plan, with clear rules for the safety of those who live here and those who visit us,” it added.
Portugal’s seven-day rate of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people is 37.2, up from 30.7 a week earlier. The UK’s rate is currently 28.6.
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