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Portugal reintroduces Covid-19 restrictions as cases rise

Portugal is reintroducing Covid restrictions less than two months after scrapping most of them as the country hit its vaccination targets.

Although over 86% of the country has been vaccinated, a rise in infections has led Prime Minister Antonio Costa to order the reintroduction of masks in confined spaces and the use of Covid certs to enter restaurants, hotels and cinemas.

All arrivals into the country – whether vaccinated or not – must also present proof of a negative test.

Visitors to care homes, hospitals, bars, dance halls and big sports and cultural events will have to show negative tests. 

The new measures will be introduced from 1 December.

Mr Costa has defended the need for the measures because of the Europe-wide surge in cases. He also pointed to the rise in respiratory infections over the winter months and the fact that Christmas will see many families in close contact, potentially contributing to a spread in infections.

No lockdown required

However, Portuguese authorities have also said a lockdown would not be necessary as hospitals were coping with admissions – even though the current number of Covid patients requiring hospitalisation is at its highest since September.

On 1 November, Portugal reported fewer than 500 new infections, 360 people in hospital, 60 in intensive care and five deaths.

Portugal has a population of around 10.3 million. To date, it has suffered 18,400 Covid-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.


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