Officials in Portugal and the UAE have voiced their concerns and dismay over the UK government’s latest traffic light update on Thursday (3 June).
The update, announced by transport secretary Grant Shapps, saw Portugal move from the UK government’s green list to the amber list, meaning arrivals from Portugal will – from 4am on Tuesday (8 June) – have to quarantine for 10 days.
The UAE, meanwhile, remains on the UK government’s red list, which means arrivals from the emirates will have to complete 10 days self-isolation at a government-appointed hotel quarantine facility.
In a tweet, Portugal’s foreign ministry said it could not "understand the logic" behind the decision. "Portugal is continuing its easing of its lockdown, prudently and gradually, with clear rules for the safety of those who reside here or visit us."
Speaking to Sky News, Professor Henrique Barros, president of Portugal’s National Health Council, said he thought the decision, which Shapps said was due to the presence in Portugal of a new Covid-19 variant though to have originated in Nepal, was "an over-reaction."
Meanwhile, Mansoor Abulhoul, the UAE’s ambassador to the UK, questioned the UK government’s decision to keep the UAE on the red list.
"The UAE is currently one of the safest countries in the world in relation to Covid-19," Sky News reports him as saying.
"We have the second-fastest vaccination rate, one of the world’s most intensive testing systems, and are combatting the spread of concerning variants by restricting entry from high-risk countries."
A further seven countries will be added to the red list, including Egypt and Sri Lanka, expanding it to 50 in total.