Portugal beginning to open up again

By Daisy Sampson, in News, COVID-19 · 19-03-2021 01:00:00 · 7 Comments

With lockdown rules across the country easing, Covid-19 infection rates dropping and Portugal coming off the UK travel “red list”, the light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to be seen.

The government announced last week that the state of emergency in Portugal was to be extended for the thirteenth time until 31 March but also announced the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions which began on 15 March with the opening of nursery, pre-school and primary schools for face to face teaching, as well as the reopening of hairdressers and beauticians, bookshops, libraries, the car trade and real estate mediation.

While the easing of lockdown in Portugal is to be ‘gradual’ and will be subject to bi-weekly assessments, Prime Minister António Costa has however made it very clear that the Portuguese people will need to stay in their homes under general lockdown until Easter.

The reopening measures will be also reviewed whenever Portugal exceeds “120 new cases [of infection] per day per 100 thousand inhabitants in 14 days” or whenever the transmissibility index (Rt) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus exceeds the rate of 1.

What is opening and when?
If the first phase of the easing of lockdown proves to be successful then it is planned that on 5 April, students from the second and third cycles of schools will return to face-to-face education. Also on this date museums, art galleries and shops up to 200sqm with a door to the street can also open again while low-risk sports can be practiced and physical activity outdoors is allowed in groups of up to four people and gyms can reopen, but without group classes.

The plan then foresees on 19 April the opening of secondary schools and universities alongside the opening of cinemas, theatres and concert halls and other shops and shopping centres. Also on this date, restaurants and cafes will be able to open to the public but with a maximum capacity of four to a table inside and six outside and can be open until 10pm during the week and until 1pm at the weekend.

If all goes to plan, on 19 April physical activity will once again be allowed outdoors in a group of up to six people, as well as medium-risk sports, while outdoor events can be held with reduced capacity and weddings and baptisms with the restriction of 25 percent of the capacity of the spaces.

The final date in the calendar is 3 May when restaurants and cafes can open without a time limit but still with a capacity of six at a table inside and 10 on the terrace while all sports, outdoor sports and gyms can operate without restriction and large outdoor and indoor events will be permissible with reduced capacity and weddings and baptisms can be held with 50 percent of capacity.

Continued restrictions
Circulation between municipalities in mainland Portugal will be prohibited over the weekend of 20 and 21 March and during the Easter period, between 26 March and 5 April as part of a measure intended to “guarantee that Easter is not a time for travelling and meeting, but, on the contrary, another moment of lockdown”, according to the Prime Minister.

Importantly, the Prime Minister also highlighted the need to continue with general lockdown measures and for people to remain at home when possible at least until Easter. The prime minister stated that the general lockdown will be reassessed after Easter, recalling that it can only exist when there is a state of emergency.

“In the absence of a state of emergency, we adopted another figure, which we call the civic duty of recollection,” he said.

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Ricardo Porto from UK: there´s nothing worse than an unconscious-entitled biggot. You will never know what ppl other than yourself go through. Ppl who work hard and yet are given the boot w/out so much as a valid reason. But you know what? What goes around, comes around, so hopefully you´ll get yours,too.

By guida from Lisbon on 20-03-2021 07:09

Yes, housing amongst many other basic rights are a big problem. It is sad to see how this goes on and people, regardless of their immigration status suffer greatly. It makes me even more sad to learn that those who judge and point the finger have also decided to leave the country themselves, to find work somewhere else. It shows a bigger problem, the culture of pointing fingers and blaming or making others feel bad, instead of supporting one another and learning how to let other people leave their lives. Luckily, what I love about many people here is the big heart, they give if they have and make basics such as food something we can all share. That's what I try to focus on these days. It's beautiful!

By Constanza Garcia from Algarve on 19-03-2021 09:22

I see that "green certificates" are coming soon. However, the covid tests are expensive, and vaccinations are not available for most of us and won't be for many months at the present rate.

But apparently if we catch covid and recover, we can also get a green certificate.

So I think it's time for those of us under 50 to organize some covid parties as we come out of lockdown, and by the summer, we too can join the foreign tourists and elderly residents who've been vaccinated in enjoying the freedom to travel.

By Get Covid from Lisbon on 19-03-2021 04:31

Thank heavens for that Adam. Maybe the police have more sense than to criminalise normal human behaviour.

By Jose from Alentejo on 19-03-2021 12:39

To (Above) Sita Devi Shrestha from Lisbon on 19-03-2021 09:43

You're an immigrant .Thats it .Youre not a vivtim of anything .Just an immigrant ,a person like the ones born there . The rents are high for everyone .Before you moved to Portugal jobless people already existed in Portugal . Sort yourself out You're not any one responsability nut yourself. I come to England and after 2 weeks I was working , after 13 years I still work in the same job .Its not because Im white either .I looked for the job ,after a few failed interviews i finally passed and got the job ,I still have it cause I work hard to keep it .

By Ricardo Porto from UK on 19-03-2021 11:57

I often see the police watching over road works and Street maintenance, but I never see them giving tickets for groups of people congregating in the streets.

By Adam Matthias from Porto on 19-03-2021 10:12

Good morning Sir/Madam,
As we are passing through this pandemic situation, the whole world is suffering. Especially our country Portugal is suffering. The major problem for immigrants is the house rent which is not reduced at all from the government. I think it should be taken care of to solve the problem for the jobless people.
Best Regards

By Sita Devi Shrestha from Lisbon on 19-03-2021 09:43
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