Mainland Portugal is moving into the last stage of lifting restrictions imposed to control the pandemic, a plan that depended on the pace of vaccination, which is very close to reaching the target of 85%.

This easing of lockdown plan consisted of three phases: the first came into force on August, with 57% of the population having completed vaccination against Covid-19, and the second began on the 23rd of the same month, when 70% of the Portuguese had already received two doses of the vaccine.

In view of the current epidemiological situation, the mainland territory is currently in a state of alert that will remain in effect until 23:59 on October 31, the lowest level of response to disaster situations provided for in the Basic Civil Protection Law.

Restaurants and stores with no customer limits

Commercial establishments, restaurants, cafes and general commerce are no longer subject to a maximum limit of customers or people per group, and restrictions on their opening hours are also lifted.

The end of this capacity limitation also applies to family events such as weddings and baptisms.

Events at 100% capacity and certificate for large events

Cultural shows no longer have limited capacity, but a digital certificate will be required for major cultural events, and the General Directorate of Health (DGS) is responsible for defining what these events are.

Bars and clubs reopen

Nightlife spaces, which have been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic, may reopen as of today.

Mandatory mask use in risky places and in large gatherings

The use of masks is mandatory in public transport, in Citizens' Shops, in schools (except in outdoor recreational spaces), in concert halls, cinemas, conference rooms, event venues, health establishments and services, residential and reception structures or home support services for vulnerable populations, elderly or disabled people.

The mandatory use of a mask is also maintained in commercial spaces with an area greater than 400 square metres, including shopping centres.

At the base of this decision are places with a high frequency of people, such as on public transport, including aircraft.

Digital certificate is no longer required in restaurants and hotels

Restaurant customers and hotel guests will no longer have to present their vaccination certificate or negative test for Covid-19.

This document or a test with a negative result is also no longer necessary for group classes in gyms, as well as to access gambling establishments, casinos and spas.

Access to bars and clubs, which are now resuming their activity, is dependent on the presentation of the certificate, but only for customers, as workers and suppliers are exempt from this rule.

The presentation of the document will also be mandatory for travel by sea or air and in visits to homes and health establishments, since hospital visits to inpatients are resumed.

Remote working

The Government also decided to end the recommendation of telework.

However, people who are immunosuppressed or with children or dependents with a disability or chronic illnesses are entitled to telework, whenever applicable, without an agreement with the employer.

In August, a step had already been taken towards reducing the use of telework, with the executive deciding that this was no longer mandatory in high-risk municipalities, being only recommended throughout the mainland.

The rule that imposes testing in companies with more than 150 workers in the same workplace is eliminated.

End of limitation on alcohol sales and timetables

The sale and consumption of alcohol in public areas is another restriction that also ends, as well as the limits on timetables that had been imposed due to the pandemic.

Measures for residential structures

Visits to nursing homes, care units and other residential structures for children, young people, people with disabilities, beneficiaries of international protection and shelter for victims of domestic violence require the presentation of the digital certificate.

Among other measures, regular Covid-19 screening screenings should be carried out for users, as well as for professionals, who are required to wear a surgical mask.

Restrictions lifted on the capacity of sports venues

Sports venues will no longer have restrictions on their capacity, according to the updated DGS standard, which maintains the mandatory requirement for a vaccination certificate against Covid-19 and the use of a mask.

The seating capacity can be in accordance with the total licensed capacity of the venue, as can be seen in the guidance on indoor and open sporting events.