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Portugal Says Tourists Are Welcome and No Quarantine Will Be Imposed

Αssociated Press

A couple enjoys the view of Lisbon s old center and Saint George s castle from a public garden, Sunday, May 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s foreign minister says tourists are welcome in his country and no quarantine will be imposed on people arriving by plane.

Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said Friday that “minimal health controls,” which he did not specify, will be enacted at airports. Other European countries, including Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, have preferred a 14-day self-isolation rule for arrivals.

Santos Silva said in an interview with Observador radio station that Portugal’s public health system has coped well with the new coronavirus outbreak, though doctors and nurses have complained of shortcomings.

Also, Portugal has issued rules so that beaches, hotels, restaurants and national monuments can reopen, Santos Silva noted.

Tourism accounts for 15% of Portugal’s GDP and 9% of the country’s jobs, and authorities are striving to salvage some part of the summer vacation season following a lockdown.

Portugal has officially attributed 1,277 deaths to COVID-19 and recorded almost 30,000 cases.