On a basic level, this means that restrictions are easing in Portugal to allow the opening of further businesses and certain activities.
Every 15 days, according to the Government, the impacts of the measures on the evolution of the pandemic will be assessed, “taking into account the permanent updating of data and the assessment of the situation by the health authorities”. If the numbers are looking good then further easing of restrictions will come in to place however, if the number of cases of Covid-19 begin to increase significantly then further restrictions will then be brought back in.
Here are the essential points of the containment measures:
• Mandatory confinement for sick people and active surveillance.
• General remaining at home where possible (regardless of age or whether a person has risk factors).
• Mandatory use of masks on public transport (users and workers), in public attendance services, in schools (employees, teachers and students, except children up to 6 years old) and in commercial and service establishments open to the public.
• Maximum capacity of five people per 100m2 in closed spaces.
• Funerals: family members are allowed.
• Hand hygiene and “respiratory etiquette” recommendations, as well as physical distance, are maintained.
• Religious ceremonies: community celebrations according to rules to be defined between the General Directorate of Health (DGS) and religious denominations.
From 4 May
• Work: Mandatory teleworking regime, whenever functions allow. In cases where telecommuting is not possible, Decree-Law 20/2020 authorises employers, “for reasons of protecting their own health and that of third parties”, to carry out “body temperature measurements for workers for the purposes of access and permanence in the workplace”, although data protection is ensured by prohibiting the “recording of body temperature associated with the person’s identity, except with the person’s expressed authorisation”. If the measurement reveals a value higher than the normal body temperature, the worker may be prevented from accessing the workplace.
• Public transport: Buses are to have a driver’s cab and disinfectant gel dispensers. The maximum capacity for buses, trains and boats is reduced to two-thirds and the use of a mask or visor is mandatory, non-compliance “constitutes an offense, punishable by a minimum fine” of €120 and a maximum of €350, according to the diploma published in Diário da República.
Decree-law 20/2020 also establishes that persons or entities “must inform users who do not wear a mask that they cannot access, remain or use the spaces, establishments or collective passenger transport and inform the authorities and security forces of this fact if users insist on not complying with that obligation”.
• Air transport: Passenger air transport will see a reduction to two-thirds of the capacity of planes, although the Government has cautioned several exceptions.
Exceptions include specific repatriation flights; commercial flights of air carriers, national or foreign, that “are used to carry out repatriation actions or that justifiably serve this purpose”; aircraft with a maximum capacity of 19 seats, in non-scheduled commercial air transport operations; and non-scheduled commercial flights contracted by companies to transport workers at their service to countries with which Portugal keeps flights open.
If it is not necessary to optimise the capacity for the flights provided for in the exceptions, the regime set by the executive in ordinance No. 106/2020 stipulates that passengers must “be distributed in places that maximise the possibilities of distance between them, depending on the aircraft capacity and number of passengers to be carried”.
Still in relation to air transport, passengers must accept the sanitary rules required on arrival at the destination country, such as, for example, the application of quarantines or visual and temperature screening through the infrared thermal cameras.
• Individual passenger transport: Taxis and other remunerated transport of passengers in vehicles without features from an electronic platform, passengers should only use the rear seat.
The renewal of air and the cleaning of the surfaces of these vehicles must also be taken care of, and additional protective measures can also be adopted, namely the installation of physical separations between drivers and passengers and the availability of disinfectant gel.
• Public services: Opening of decentralised service desks to the public, such as tax offices and conservatories (mandatory use of a mask and appointments).
• Local commerce: Opening of stores with open doors to the street up to 200m2, bookstores and car trade, regardless of the area (mandatory use of a mask, operation from 10am and capacity of five people per 100m2), hairdressers, manicurists and similar (by appointment and specific conditions).
According to the health protocol established for the automotive sector, customers are obliged to wear masks and car intervention begins and ends with the disinfection of all frequent contact points. The plan foresees, when possible, the installation of physical barriers, such as glass or acrylic panels, particularly in serving the public, in which workers must also wear masks or visors.
• Culture: Opening of libraries and archives (with reduced capacity and physical distance).
• Possibility to practice individual sports in the open air (without using changing rooms or swimming pools).
• Some accesses to beaches can open for the practice of nautical sports activities.
From 18 May
• Schools and social facilities: Reopening of schools for the 11th and 12th years (with the use of a mandatory mask), from 10am to 5pm, from day-care centres (support to the family will be maintained until 1 June for “Families to gain confidence”) and social facilities in the area of disability.
In relation to day-care centres, the government also announced the carrying out of screening tests for Covid-19 on about 29,000 workers from more than 2,000 establishments, in a programme promoted by the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and laboratories of scientific and academic institutions certified by the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge and in conjunction with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.
• Commerce: Reopening of stores with an open door to the street up to 400m2 (mandatory use of a mask, operation from 10am and capacity for five people per 100m2).
• Reopening of restaurants, cafés and the like (50 percent capacity and open until 11pm).
• Opening of museums, monuments and palaces, art galleries and the like (reduced capacity and physical distance).
From 30/31 May
• Restart of religious ceremonies, with rules to be defined between the DGS and religious denominations.
• Resumption of football competitions, with only the conclusion of the Primeira Liga and the realisation of the final of the Portuguese Cup, with all games taking place behind closed doors, regardless of the stadium, and only after approval by the DGS of the health protocol defined by the Portuguese Professional Football League.
From 1 June
• Work: partial teleworking, with altered schedules or mirror teams.
• Reopening of Citizen Stores (mandatory use of mask and attendance by appointment).
• Opening of stores with an area greater than 400m2 or inserted in shopping centres (mandatory use of a mask and opening hours from 10am).
• Reopening of day-care centres, pre-school and ATL.
• Reopening of cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and concert halls (with marked seats, reduced capacity and physical distance).