“The current epidemiological situation and the high vaccination coverage against Covid-19 reached in Portugal, as well as the continuous and adequate implementation of infection prevention and control measures, allow respecting the right to visit and follow-up patients in the National Health Service”, emphasises the document signed by the director-general Graça Freitas.

The rules defined in the guidance which has been updated today, no longer include the need for visitors to present, for access to health facilities, the digital certificate or, alternatively, a negative test result.

The end of this restriction had been announced on April 21 by the Minister of Health after the Council of Ministers decided to lift several measures to control the pandemic that were in force in Portugal, with Marta Temido advancing that it would be up to the DGS to determine the rules and regulations for the protection of the most vulnerable populations.

The now updated guideline maintains that, when organising visits to hospitalised users, hospitals, and local health units must ensure that the recommendations for prevention and infection control are respected, in case of physical distance between the visitor and the patient.

Visiting rules

The number of visitors per hospitalised patient has been adjusted to ensure compliance with the defined infection prevention and control measures, the DGS also determined, recommending that visitors should not use the hospital sanitary facilities and should not deliver personal objects, food or other products without prior authorisation.

In addition, visitors must inform the health unit where they made the visit whenever, in the following 48 hours, if they develop symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 or present a positive result.