At the press conference at the end of today's Council of Ministers that decided on new measures to contain the pandemic, the prime minister stated a set of recommendations for the holiday season, in addition to the rules that have already been determined.

“I appeal to the families to try to prevent the Christmas celebration from involving lots of people and in a large extended family groups. This is not yet the normal new Christmas in our lives and that is why I appeal to everyone to contain as much as possible the Christmas celebrations in their family nucleus”, he asked.

What are the new rules?

Ban on more than 10 people on public roads on New Year's Eve

Gatherings of more than 10 people on public roads is prohibited on New Year's Eve.

Free tests increasing

The number of free Covid-19 screening tests will increase from four to six per person each month, as part of measures to fight the pandemic.

“I continue to encourage mass testing. Therefore, we are going to increase the number of free tests per person each month from four to six”, said António Costa.

A total of 1,040 pharmacies are registered to carry out free tests for professional use to screen for the coronavirus, as well as 454 laboratories that have also adhered to this exceptional and temporary reimbursement scheme.

Discos and bars closed from Saturday

The closing of discos and bars with dance spaces that the Government had defined for the mainland for the first week of January will be brought forward to Saturday, 25 December.

The closing of these night entertainment spaces on the mainland was already planned for the period between January 2 and 9, 2022, after Christmas and the New Year.

António Costa stated that the establishments will have support in this period under the simplified lay-off and the Apoiar programme, to help support their fixed costs.

Mandatory remote working from 25 December

The Government has decided to bring forward the period during which remote working is mandatory, determining that this regime takes effect from 25 December 25.

Mandatory test at all sporting and cultural events

Access to sporting and cultural events will depend on the presentation of a negative test for coronavirus, from 25 December, regardless of the number of spectators, the prime minister announced.

“We also introduced the mandatory negative test for access to all cultural shows and extended the mandatory test to enter all sports venues, regardless of their occupancy rate, unless otherwise indicated by the General Directorate of Health (DGS )”, said António Costa.

Closing of day care centres and ATL

The closure of day care centres and leisure time workshops (ATL), which was scheduled for between January 3 and 9, has been brought forward to 25 December.

"From zero hours on the 25th, (…) we are going to proceed, with support to families, to close the crèches and ATL", announced António Costa.

Commercial spaces with limited capacity

The capacity of commercial spaces will be limited to one person for every five square metres to "avoid crowding".

"We are going to introduce a measure to reduce the capacity of commercial spaces to one person for every five square metres to avoid the gatherings that take place in the week after Christmas", he stated.

Negative test required at New Year's Eve parties, casinos and restaurants

Access to restaurants, casinos and New Year's Eve parties will require a negative test for Covid-19, which will cover the 24th, 25th, 30th and 31st of December and January 1st.

"For the 24th and 25th of this month, December 30th and 31st and January 1st, it is mandatory to carry out and exhibit a negative test for access to restaurants, casinos and new year parties," said the prime minister.

The Government decided today to bring forward to December 25th the containment period that was initially planned to start only on January 2nd.

A negative test is now required to enter hotels and local accommodation establishments, as well as access to family ceremonies, such as weddings and baptisms, and business events.

Gatherings of more than 10 people are also prohibited, as is the consumption of alcohol on public roads.