Augusto Santos Silva, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said Portugal was “very disappointed” to have been excluded from a list of countries from which travelers will be exempt from spending two weeks in isolation after arriving in England.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Friday, Santos Silva said: “We are very disappointed with this decision of the British authorities. We think it’s senseless and unfair. It’s quite absurd.
“The United Kingdom has seven times more cases related to Covid-19 than Portugal, so we think this is not the way in which allies and friends are treated,” he added.
Although he acknowledged that Portugal has experienced some “specific outbreaks” of Covid-19 in Lisbon, the minister stressed that destinations popular with British tourists — such as the Algarve — were not coronavirus hotspots.
António Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal, also said the Algarve was a safe place to spend a holiday this summer.
According to UK government data, around 2.5 million Britons traveled to Portugal last year.
CNN’s Isabela Tejera and Milena Veselinovic contributed reporting.