Many Portuguese are scheduling tests for Covid-19 on the days before Christmas to be able to be with their families, according to Unilabs Portugal, which for 22 December alone has 1,500 appointments confirmed.

“Since the communication [on 5 December] of the Prime Minister regarding how Christmas will be we have had a very large increase in testing requests, namely PCR tests and also antigen tests, for the 21, 22 and 23 December”, said the president of the clinical diagnosis network, Luís Menezes to Lusa News Agency.

The director-general of Health, Graça Freitas, called, in a recent press conference on covid-19, for the population to not take a test on their own initiative, and should instead wait for a request or for medical advice.

Detection tests for covid-19 (PCR) are the most sought after and do not need a medical prescription, unlike rapid, which are "clearly contraindicated" because they have very low sensitivity for asymptomatic individuals, she said, stressing that "it is important for people to be aware that the test is not an absolute certainty that they are negative”.