All-Party Parliamentary Group on Portugal

I attended a virtual meeting of the APPG on Portugal on Thursday 25 February 2021 with His Excellency Mr. Manuel Lobo Antunes, Portugal’s Ambassador to the UK.

I asked the Ambassador what Portugal had done in terms of lockdown and he said that measures were very similar to the UK lockdown, except that they had a weekend curfew. The ambassador added that Portugal has now undertaken 700,000 second vaccine doses, with 49 recent deaths and the R rate currently at 0.66.

I asked the Ambassador why Portugal was currently on the travel ban; the ambassador said he was unsure of this, but felt it was likely due to the Brazilian variant, although this was more prevalent in the UK at the moment.

Portugal is looking forward to assuming the 4th Presidency of the EU – they will be highlighting the social model of the EU, helping member states build Covid resilience for the next 7 years, fighting climate change and fixing EU goals and achievements for COP 26. Portugal are also are also India’s link to Europe, they will be hosting Prime Minister Modi in May 2021.

16 June 2021 will mark 652 years of the London Treaty, sealed in St. Paul’s Cathedral on 16 June 1373 by Edward III of England and Fernando and Leonor of Portugal. The treaty formalized the Luso-British alliance, considered the oldest diplomatic alliance still in force in the world.