Portugal relaxes some lock down restrictions

Portugal relaxes COVID-19 lock down rules but maintains strict hygiene and social distancing

Portugal has been successful in stabilising the COVID-19 outbreak (see previous blog article) and is now starting to relax its lock down restrictions, but with a continued emphasis on strict hygiene and social distancing.  The government will continue to assess the situation and will not hesitate to re-impose tighter rules to maintain control.

The following rules are now effective:

Mandatory home confinement will continue for the sick and those under active surveillance

Mandatory tele-working will continue until 1st June for those who can operate remotely. From 1st June, businesses that cannot function remotely will re-open

Gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people, and funerals are limited to family members.

Regarding public transport, use of masks is mandatory, with capacity limited to two thirds of normal, and with special hygiene and cleaning measures in place

From 4th May, the following can re-open:

  • Clinics and dental offices but by appointment only and with users to wear masks
  • Customer service counters but by appointment only
  • Retail units of under 200 sq.m. with a limit of 4 people per 100 sq.m.
  • Hairdressers and beauticians but by appointment only and with rules of hygiene and PPE in place
  • School classes for 11th and 12th year students
  • Libraries and archives
  • Individual sports places such as tennis courts, but with changing rooms remaining closed

From 18th May, the following can re-open:

  • Retail units of between 200 and 400 sq.m. with a limit of 4 people per 100 sq.m.
  • Restaurants, cafes and pastry shops but with capacity of 50% of normal
  • Museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries and exhibition rooms

From 1st June, the following can re-open:

  • Retail units larger than 400 sq.m. and shopping malls
  • Cinemas, theatres and concert halls
  • Day care centres, ATLs and pre-schools

Statistics over the past few days have shown a further tailing off of new cases and deaths with the 7-day average for new cases to 3rd May being less than half of that for the previous 7-day period. In the Algarve, there were no new cases in four of the past seven days.


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