Covering 121 municipalities in early November, the list of territories at high risk of transmission of Covid-19 was updated on 12 November by the Council of Ministers, with the Prime Minister, António Costa, announcing the withdrawal of seven municipalities the following day and the inclusion of 77 municipalities from midnight on 16 November.

With this update, a total of 191 municipalities are now covered by the measures of the state of emergency, which is in force until 23 November, including the prohibition of movement on public roads during the week, between 11pm and 5am and during the weekend between 1pm and 5am. Among the 18 capital district municipalities in mainland Portugal, Leiria is the only one that remains off the list. The municipalities that continue to be at high risk are Viana do Castelo, Braga, Vila Real, Bragança, Porto, Guarda, Aveiro, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Lisbon, Setúbal and Beja and included Viseu, Coimbra, Portalegre, Évora and Faro.

Reassessed every 15 days by the Government, the list is defined according to the general criterion of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) of “more than 240 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days”, and considering the proximity to another municipality in this situation and the exception for outbreaks located in low density municipalities. The group of territories covered, which continues to include all the municipalities of the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, can be found at The seven municipalities that are no longer included are Moimenta da Beira, Tabuaço, São João da Pesqueira, Mesão Frio, Pinhel, Tondela and Batalha.

As for the measures applied to the most at-risk territories, the Government decided to “put an end to misconceptions”, determining that, during the weekend, the opening of trade will be from 8am and the closure at 1pm, except for pharmacies, clinics and offices, food outlets up to 200 square metres with their door to the street and petrol stations, among other cases. With the permission of the mayor of the municipality and with the assent of the local health authority and the security forces, “establishments whose opening hours are earlier than 8am may continue to practice the usual opening hours, the resolution of the Council of Ministers reads.

“In the case of establishments authorised to operate 24 hours a day, they are allowed to reopen from 8am”, determined the Government, noting that the suspension of activities in commercial establishments in high-risk municipalities “is a special standard and prevails over the other provisions of this rule that has to do the contrary”. During the weekend, from 1pm, the restaurants in these municipalities can only work for home delivery, said António Costa, announcing a support of 20 percent of the loss of revenue of restaurants on weekends in which they have to close compared to the average of the 44 previous weekends (from January to October 2020).

In addition, to the curfew, municipalities at high risk of transmission of Covid-19 have in place the duty to stay at home, mandatory telework, the closure of shops at 10pm and restaurants at 10:30pm, and the prohibition of events and celebrations with more than five people, unless they belong to the same household. These special measures are in force in the context of the declaration of a state of calamity throughout the continental national territory, which was extended until 11:59pm on 23 November, according to the resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 96-B/2020, published in Diário da República.

According to the decree regulating the application of the state of emergency, in force from 9 November and until the 23 November, applicable throughout the national territory, in the most at-risk municipalities identified in the state of calamity applies the prohibition of movement on public road, a measure that provides for a set of 13 exceptions of authorised travel. Exceptions include the performance of professional functions such as health professionals and civil protection agents, obtaining health care, going to food and hygiene outlets, assisting vulnerable people, exercising freedom of press and short walks.