The entry into force of the changes introduced by Law No. 52/2021, of August 10, "made it mandatory to keep a container with tap water and sanitized non-disposable cups available to customers for free on-site consumption, and cannot charge even at a lower cost than packaged water", said the general secretary of the Portuguese Hotel, Restaurant and Similar Association (AHRESP), Ana Jacinto.

In a clarification sent to Lusa agency, the head of AHRESP also explains that "a customer is understood to be someone who uses the services provided by the establishment and not someone who is just passing through".

On Friday, in relation to glasses of water, AHRESP had pointed out that "it is also permitted to charge a fee" for their availability, "as long as this information is duly identified and defined in the establishment's price list, and must be made available near the entrance and inside the establishments”, a situation that existed until the entry into force of Law no. 52/2021, of 10 August.

According to several reports made to Lusa, there are restaurants that are charging for the use of crockery when, for example, at a birthday dinner, customers take the cake and use dishes from the establishment, as well as for ice, or glasses of water.

“Restaurant and beverage establishments may define, as internal operating rules, the charging of a fee for the use of tableware or other situations that are defined. However, […] these internal operating rules must be properly publicised, as well as posted in a prominent place, near the entrance of the establishments, in order to conveniently inform customers”, Ana Jacinto had clarified, in a written response to Lusa.