UK air bridge – readers have their say

UK quarantine decision
Dear Editor,
I follow the EU data released daily and Portugal would need to get to less than 146 infections per day on a 14-day average to get their infection rate per 100,000 below 20 which they have never done since early March basically due to their extensive testing.

I would love to see you put this point and the ones that you make to the UK Ambassador.

I am embarrassed by the UK government and can’t wait to get back to Portugal.

Keep up the good work and stay safe.

Chris Berwick

Insane decision-making by Boris Johnson

Dear Editor,
I am in total disbelief how the English Prime Minister is treating your beautiful country. I, for one, most certainly do not agree with why or how he has made this insane decision. It is incredibly upsetting to me, as a British citizen, that he is putting you all, and us English, through this pathetic scenario. I am praying that he will change his decision immediately.

Praying for common sense to prevail.

Hoping for a mutually happy ending.

Jean L Haynes

Keep up the good work on opening an air bridge

“Mr Johnson,
I am a UK national living in Portugal. I ask you to reconsider the inclusion of Portugal, or at least parts of it, in a UK air bridge. Portugal has had face masks in shops for over two months, just introduced in England. My experience of the Portuguese is they are generally disciplined in bio security.

Portugal has a successful track and trace system and is thought to trace 79% of Covid cases in contrast to 43% in Germany and 18% in UK. Many of these cases are asymptomatic and concentrated in a few parts of Lisbon. Excluding Portugal is not in line with scientific evidence and is doing massive damage to the Portuguese economy. Portugal does not deserve this. The UK, in current Brexit talks, needs allies in EU. We are losing Portugal, one of the UK’s oldest allies.

Please reconsider this and include some or all of mainland Portugal in airbridge.”

Iain Stewart

Ridiculous quarantine

Dear Editor,
I’m in full support of Portugal regarding the stupidity of Boris and his crew over the quarantine situation. I have been to the Algarve (with my son and of late my granddaughter) for my holidays for the last 20 years and am presently looking for a property to semi retire to in a couple of years. Before and after the Covid lockdown, I have been in touch with the many Portuguese and expat friends that I have made over the 20 years’ holidays I have spent there, and the unanimous opinion of the Portuguese authorities is that they have done a superb job in restricting the COVID-19 from spreading to greater numbers.

I thought that Boris was doing a pretty good job when the pandemic first started, but now so many statements made by the government are confusing and contradictory. When you look at the figures of cases and unfortunate deaths in Britain and Portugal, there is “no comparison”, with the deaths at 19% and 4%, respectively, against the number of cases (last time I worked them out). What muppet in any government can justify quarantine restrictions being put in place based on these figures? We have an amazing relationship with Portugal, and we don’t need this ridiculous situation to rock the boat. We love you all in Portugal and we’ll be seeing you very soon.

Mark Hawley

British action against Portugal
Dear Editor,
The problem here is the assumption of Portugal’s government and many of your readers that Boris Johnson’s government tells the truth. They don’t. Johnson does not make decisions based on the science, as he keeps suggesting. He does what his adviser Dominic Cummings as well as hard-line anti-immigration ministers, particularly Priti Patel, home secretary, tell him. This group all want to stop the flow of foreign fruit and vegetable pickers into the UK, trying to force unwilling Brits to do the job as produce is rotting in the field. Look at the other countries in the same boat as Portugal – Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, all providers of cheap labour to Britain. I suspect the UK ambassador knows this, but he dares not speak out for his job would be on the line.

Alas the British press has lost interest in the story, the BBC is supine and fearful for its future, and only a couple of broadsheets bother to cover the EU anymore.

Keep up the good work.

Colin Chapman

Support from Scotland
Dear Editor,
I too would like to plea for the British and Scottish government to reconsider the airbridge with Portugal with immediate effect.

We cannot understand, with levels so low, particularly in the Algarve, and preventative measures in place well in advance of Scotland and England. Levels look higher because (in Portugal) they have tested far more of their population than the UK.

If UK had tested as many of their population, I think our figures would far exceed those of Portugal by significant numbers.

Opening an airbridge with Italy and Spain after the biggest spread just does not make sense!

I just cannot understand it and now prevents people who wish to support a country they have been coming to for years but cannot support them as we must go home and quarantine to allow us to go back to our jobs to support our own economy.

Come on Portugal, keep fighting!

Boris and Nicola need to actually ask the Portuguese for details and take a leaf out of their book and open the airbridge immediately.

Anonymous Scottish Portuguese supporter

‘They want the British public to spend their money at home’
Dear Editor,

It’s becoming clearer that the UK government policy on air bridges is driven purely by economic considerations. I too believed Portugal was the victim of some form of political vendetta but, listening to various ministers and media reports in general, I’m in no doubt they want the British public to not travel and spend their money at home instead.

Since lifting lockdown, the expected upturn in restaurant and pub visits just hasn’t materialised, with the British public gripped by Coronaphobia and staying at home. And those who aren’t, are those same people who are wanting to go on holiday to Portugal and Spain etc. Using health reasons to prevent travel, and more importantly an outflow of currency, is therefore nothing more than a cynical ploy to bolster the UK’s balance sheet.

Anyway, we’ll be in the Algarve next week and, having researched how the quarantine system works, have a plan for our return at the end of the month.