In Lisbon, more than 500 people took part in the protest which began in Terreiro do Paço and was organised by the 'Acorda Portugal' movement.
“We are not cattle” was one of the slogans being shouted by those in the protest.
Armed with posters and Portuguese flags, and with most of those in attendance not wearing masks or complying with social distancing, the crowd stated they were there to show their displeasure at the “dictatorial measures” of the health authorities.
“This digital certificate story is only meant to establish a dictatorship and we are opposed to that. We value human rights. We are human. We are not cattle,” Daniel Leal, organiser and spokesman for the “Acorda Portugal” movement, told Lusa news agency.
On the same day (18 July) a “few hundred” people also gathered in Porto in a protest that had also been organised by the same movement.
The demonstrators gathered during the afternoon, in Leões square, next to the university rectory, and then travelled going down to Almeida Garrett square, in front of the Town Hall, along a route of about one kilometre.
“We took to the streets to defend our freedom, and to contest the measure of the Covid-19 digital certificate as well as the measures that have constantly been trampling our Constitution”, proclaimed the movement in the call for protests.
“Acorda Portugal” calls itself a group of citizens “with no connection to political parties” and claims to have seen 10,000 people join their group over two days on social media.
At the Porto protest, demonstrators held up posters with phrases such as “freedom, yes; segregation and oppression, no”.
Speaking to the demonstrators, Cátia Moura, from the movement, stated that “what is at stake is freedom”, not agreeing “with completely oppressive and absurd measures”.
“They won’t stifle our Constitution,” she added.
And the audience responded in chorus: “Never!”
Municipalities classed at high or very high risk are subject to restrictive measures to control the pandemic.
Among the rules for very high risk councils are mandatory remote working when functions allow and the possibility for restaurants to open until 22:30 (inside with a maximum of four people per group and on terraces with a maximum of six people per group), except on Fridays from 7:00pm and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays during all opening hours, when access to restaurants for indoor dining is only allowed for those who have a complete digital vaccine certificate or a negative Covid-19 test.