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Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MNE) on Thursday welcomed as “very important” the decision announced by the United Kingdom to lift travel restrictions between the two countries.

In a statement published on the official website, Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva stated that the change “will allow restoring the usual mobility of people between Portugal and the United Kingdom, whatever the reason for the displacements,” but especially for the more than 300,000 Portuguese who reside in that country.

Britain announced earlier Thursday the inclusion of Portugal in the list of countries whose passengers are exempt from quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can now add Portugal to those countries included in Travel Corridors,” British Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter.

According to the Portuguese minister, the decision also has “particular relevance for the more than 30,000 Britons who live in Portugal, as well as for the many hundreds of Portuguese students studying in British universities, and workers and professionals who have to travel regularly between both countries.”

According to the Foreign Ministry, the decision followed “intense bilateral work” at the political and technical level to transmit “all information related to the Portuguese epidemiological situation and its evolution.”

The end of travel restrictions, said the minister, represents “the recognition of the positive evolution in Portugal, namely the ability to test on a large scale, detect positive cases, control their transmission and treat them in the most appropriate way.”

The decision announced by London would come into force at 4:00 a.m. on Aug. 22, when “all trips to Portugal are considered safe by the British government.”

“The United Kingdom thus joins Poland, Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Cyprus in lifting restrictions on the mobility of passengers from Portugal,” read the statement. Enditem

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