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Portugal welcomes inclusion on UK safe list

People walk out of a transportation hub at La Defense business district while wearing a protective face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus, in Paris, Friday, Aug. 21, 2021. France’s president insisted that the country will send millions of students back to school starting Sept. 1, despite the biggest weekly spike in virus infections since the height of the crisis in March and April. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

LISBON, Portugal:-  Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has welcomed as “great news” the U.K.’s decision to lift from Saturday the mandatory quarantine for travelers arriving from Portugal.

British authorities made the announcement on Thursday, adding Portugal to a safe list of destinations. The southern European country is reporting between 200 to 300 new daily cases this week, although the spread of contagion seems to have receded since early July.

Rebelo de Sousa, who is on a work holiday tour visiting all Portuguese regions to show his support for the tourism sector, told reporters on Friday that the move will benefit the industry, especially in the southern Algarve region where he expects that U.K. citizens will make bookings for the late summer season in September and October.

The president said that the measure would also benefit some 300,000 Portuguese citizens who live and work in the U.K.

Portugal acted swiftly in the pandemic’s early days but experienced significant clusters when it ended its lockdown. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has recorded nearly 55,000 infections and 1,788 fatalities attributed to the virus.

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