Portugal was removed from the Government’s “Green List” because SAGE were angered by Brits booking holidays there in their tens of thousands.
The Government issued a statement over the weekend informing the public that Portugal had been reclassified as a Covid risk, and had moved from the Green to Amber list, angering millions who see Portugal as the only likely destination for a foreign holiday this year.
But, according a Whitehall spokesman, the decision had nothing to do with any surge in cases (because there aren't any) but simply because SAGE felt they were "not being taken seriously any more". Following information they had received about the sheer numbers of Brits jetting off to Portugal, SAGE went running to Ministers claiming they had found a previously-unknown variant of Covid.
Sources said ministers totally swallowed the scare story, deciding that with just weeks to go to the lifting of the final Covid restrictions on June 21, they should reclassify the 'loophole' that Portugal represented.
Busted: Data shows NO surge in cases.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there had been a rise in test positivity in Portugal. But a look at the actual data shows that to be false. However, just in case sneaky journalists looked at the actual data, Shapps added the SAGE scare story of yet another variant, this time supposedly from Nepal (probably because it sounds exotic) saying that this could pose a fresh threat to the escape from lockdown.
It would have been better for SAGE to have chosen a bigger country than Nepal as it's now mutation scare. Nepal is a country of some 28 million people who live in remote and mountainous locations, they are highly unlikely to leave the country with only a rare few every venturing to Europe, and, according to Portuguese authorities, there has not been a single visitor from Nepal this year. Portuguese authorities are completely bemused by the British government claiming that there is no risk, no rise in cases and their own health experts have not detected the supposed Nepal variant and don't know what the UK Government are talking about.