"Very soon, and after consulting national and international experts, guidelines will come out that when people outdoors cannot guarantee for themselves, or others, the recommended physical distance, that they should wear a mask," Graça Freitas said.

During the usual press conference over the covid-19 pandemic, Graça Freitas was asked whether the Health Authorities had changed their minds about the mandatory wearing of masks outdoors as the autumn/winter season approached.

The Director-General refused, however, to consider that this would be a change of opinion, but rather "an evolutionary stance in line with what the risk assessment is going to be".

"Outdoors, the wearing of masks will make sense if we actually go to places where we cannot ensure that we stay away from others. Different is an outdoor situation in the countryside or in the garden", she explained.

For these situations, where distance is easily ensured, the recommendation will be the same and the Directorate General for Health (DGS) still considers that the use of a mask is not necessary.

"If you are outdoors but distant from other people, we will not make that recommendation and people are free to wear it at all times because they feel better, to be able to do so", she added.

At present, wearing a mask is only mandatory in indoor spaces, such as commercial establishments, schools, and on public transport.

At the same press conference, the DGS and the Ministry of Health were also questioned about the possibility of implementing partial lockdowns in Portugal, as is currently happening in Madrid, if it is confirmed that the country is actually entering a second wave of the pandemic.

However, according to the Deputy Secretary of State and Health, António Lacerda Sales, this is not an option.

"Today we know more about the disease, today we are better prepared to respond and therefore partial or general confinement is a public health response that we certainly do not want to trigger again", he stressed.