Delta Variant Causes Covid Surge In Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal.

More than half new Covid infections reported in Lisbon are of the Delta variant, according to preliminary data released on June 20.

THE National Health Institute said the Delta variant accounted for 60 per cent in the capital city while the Alpha variant, previously known as the Kent variant accounted for 30 per cent. A weekend travel ban in the city was enforced on Friday.

The Delta variant accounts for just 15 per cent of Covid cases in northern Portugal.

Portugal had more than 1,000 new Covid cases on Saturday and the number of people testing positive for Covid is as high as the positives identified in February.

Some 2.5 million of Portugal’s 10 million population has now been fully vaccinated.

The rise in infections comes roughly four weeks after the country reopened to European tourists. American visitors must show a negative Covid test upon arrival.

Portugal was taken off the UK’s green list for travel earlier this month.

Ryanair and easyJet condemned the UK Government for moving Portugal from green to amber list.

“The decision has no basis in science or public health” and is evidence that Boris Johnson’s government “makes it up as they go along,” said Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary.

easyJet said in a statement the decision “makes no sense”. Both companies saw their share price tumble after the announcement on June 3.

“Boris Johnson’s government is again mismanaging the Covid recovery. This stop-go-stop approach to short haul travel in Europe is inexplicable and unjustified when 75 per cent of the UK population has now received a Covid vaccine. There is no medical or public health reason for moving Portugal from the green to the amber List, when its Covid case rates are as low as the UK at just 50 per 100,000 population, and Portugal’s vaccine rollout programme has exceeded 40 per cent and is rapidly catching up with UK levels,” O’Leary added.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


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