Portuguese cities, from the north to the south of the country, have announced that there will be no New Year's Eve celebrations due to the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country and the consequent measures of restriction that have been put in place.

Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas, was one of the first to announce the cancellation of festivities with the Lisbon line-up scrapped for New Year due to the worry of events leading to “large gatherings of people”.

The mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, also revealed that the year-end festivities in the city will not take place, due to the pandemic situation. This will be the second year in a row that festivities have been cancelled. “It was our intention to have fireworks on the beach at this time, but the circumstances are what they are, we have to adjust”, explained the mayor.

Also in the North, fireworks and concerts have already been cancelled in the municipalities of Espinho, Matosinhos, Gondomar, Vila Nova de Gaia, Braga and Guimarães. The Espinho municipality also postponed the traditional São Silvestre race, which was originally scheduled for 8 January but has now been moved to the 15 January.

Likewise, the 16 municipalities of the Algarve have jointly decided to cancel the holding of New Year's Eve parties because the conditions to comply with the new Covid-19 measures were not able to be met according to the Intermunicipal Community of Algarve (AMAL).

In a statement, AMAL said that the decision "was agreed at a meeting of the intermunicipal council", given the "context of the pandemic that is currently being experienced and the recent epidemiological evolution".

"Even if these initiatives were to be carried out outdoors, they would have to comply with a set of guidelines from the DGS, which the mayors claim there are no conditions to be fulfilled, since they imply a large concentration of people", the note reads.

Some mayors decided to keep the tradition of fireworks, "while others decided not to go forward as they too can bring people together", which is why several initiatives from the Christmas programme in the Algarve have also been cancelled.

"Aware that this decision could bring constraints to businesses and traders in the region, the mayors defend that, at this time, the focus should be centred on protecting the health and well-being of the population of the Algarve", concludes AMAL.