Published on : Monday, January 25, 2021
Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced the suspension of all air links with the United Kingdom amid the spread of a new highly infectious “British” strain of the coronavirus.
Portugal has suspended flights with the UK from January, 23rd, only export flights will be carried out … in order to reduce the risk of the spread of a mutated strain of coronavirus detected earlier in the United Kingdom, the head of Portugal’s government said.
The virtual meeting had been called to discuss the possibility of closing frontiers within the EU due to the rapid spread of the so-called British variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
This has been considered unnecessary, said Mr Costa – but concern was nonetheless focused on the variant and countries that have ‘close relations with Britain’, “namely Portugal”.
All in all, it has been a ‘busy 24-hours’ in terms of measures taken to curb transmission of the UK variant. Mr Costa announced the closure of all schools late last night – citing the variant as the salient reason.
Flights between Portugal and UK have already become incredibly difficult thanks to the decision by the British government last week to ban entry to all passengers travelling from Portugal – bar British and Irish nationals, and those legally residing in UK (click here). That decision was taken to stem the spread of the so-called Brazilian variant.
But now, any flights that continued to run (out of Lisbon and Porto) to UK will be cancelled.
The EU meantime is prolonging all restrictions already in place for passengers from third countries.