For a government that favours slogans to convey its messages, Portuguese businessman Carlos Coelho has come up with an inventive ploy of his own to try and force the Brits to rethink their exclusion of Portugal from the UK’s ‘travel corridor’ policy.
He’s sending a box of face masks ‘made in Portugal’ to the British prime minister with the message: “Boris please accept our PortugueseMask for better breathing and wiser decisions. Hope to see you soon in our Portugal Genial. Best, Carlos”.
The entrepreneur told reporters: “We want Mr Boris to look at Portugal in another way. The ability to breathe is vital. It was for his own recovery with a Portuguese nurse and it will be in the way decisions are made”.
“At PortugueseMask, we don’t want to be left out, we don’t like the fact that we have been left out, so we are sending Mr Boris a pack of masks, our Portugal Pack, with this message. Brands are causes: PortugueseMask, beyond being among the best masks that the national textile industry can produce, is also a means for promoting Portugal.
“Let’s see what Boris replies”, he said, adding: “We are hopeful he will reply”.
This is just the latest ‘cameo’ in the litany of efforts nationally to get Britain to rethink its catastrophic decision to impose a 14 day quarantine period on anyone (British nationals or residents) returning to UK from holiday in Portugal.
The demand has destroyed the summertime plans of hundreds of Portuguese nationals living in UK who now cannot afford the time off work to enjoy a holiday ‘back home’, and it has prompted a new rush of booking cancellations.
Meantime, the misery continues in as much as Scotland and Belgium have also opted to ‘exclude’ Portugal from their own list of territories considered ‘safe’ for nationals to travel to without the requirement for quarantine afterwards – while Finland has blacklisted Portugal full stop.
In fact the whole issue of travel corridors is rife with confusion. The Telegraph has reported that 2/3s of the UK’s list of ‘safe’ countries actually have restrictions of their own which ensure Brits aren’t as welcome as they might think they will be.
Consumer advocate Emma Coulthurst told the paper that the British government’s list ‘released late’ almost a week ago “has the potential to confuse people and see them unwittingly book holidays which, due to restrictions imposed by the destination country, they might not be able to take.
She warned: “It is vitally important that holidaymakers check the individual country’s entry requirements before booking and also book cancel-for-free or flexible rebooking options in case they unintentionally book a holiday which entry restrictions then prevent them from taking”.