This lifting of restrictions - provided for in phase three of the Government's plan - takes place at a time when Portugal is approaching having 85 percent of the population with a full vaccine.

"There are sanitary conditions for us to confidently advance to the new phase foreseen since July in the Government's plan,” a member of the executive told Lusa on Thursday.

Thus, the idea in the executive is to speak of a "turning point", or a "moment of confidence", but to avoid using British "slogans" such as "Freedom Day".

As provided for in the executive plan, at stage three, there are no longer maximum limits for the number of people in groups inside restaurants, cafes, patisseries and terraces, as well as the capacity limits for establishments, cultural shows and family events.

Another almost certain change will be the reopening of bars and clubs, although customers can only enter if they present a vaccination certificate or a negative Covid-19 test.

The Government also stressed the importance of transmitting a message of prudence on the need to maintain a high level of individual responsibility in terms of adopting behaviours that prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In this sense, the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, warned that masks should still be used in closed spaces or where it is not possible to preserve the advisable social distance.

According to a source in the executive, the question of whether or not to maintain the legal obligation to use the mask in closed public spaces is one of those that are still open in relation to the Council of Ministers this Thursday.

"It is a question to discuss whether there is a maintenance of the obligation, or if there is an obligation in some situations, such as, for example, on public transport, or even if the wearing of a mask is seen as a duty from a civic point of view", he said.