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Portugal is taking no chances with the pandemic

Portugal goes back to restrictions in run-up to holidays

Portugal goes back to restrictions in run-up to holidays

The government is trying to be as proactive as possible in order to avoid a new wave and a lockdown

Many European governments are already weary of the pandemic impacts so they’re not taking chances. Case in point: Portugal, one of the countries with the highest rates of vaccinations is also experiencing a mild surge in COVID infections, so the authorities have decided to reimpose some social rules. What’s important for visitors to the Iberian country is that airlines will now ask for a negative COVID test, even if the passenger had been vaccinated.

These will be valid from 1 December and will likely continue into January, when the government has already announced that the first week of the new year should be one of “containment”. For that purpose, remote working will be mandatory in that period, and the return of the students to schools will be delayed by a week.

The certificates are good, but can't be the only tool in the fight against COVID

Vaccination works and the proof is in the statistics. Portugal reported 3,773 new cases on Wednesday, 24 November - the highest daily figure in four months. Deaths, however, have remained far below the levels seen in January, when the country faced its uphill battle against COVID-19.

Nevertheless, the government is aware that the pandemic is once again sweeping across Europe with the arrival of the colder weather and this time around they are being proactive in taking precautionary measures.

The Portuguese PM Antonio Costa announced that airlines will have to require proof of COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) otherwise they can face a fine of 20,000 euros per passenger. This is regardless of whether the travellers are vaccinated or not.

Masks are once again compulsory indoors, however, vaccinated people will also need to show a negative test result to enter bars, nightclubs, hospitals and care homes. The EU digital certificates will be required in order to stay in hotels, dine indoors or go to the gym. The only exception is dining outdoors where no certificate will be requested.

The country’s health authorities have already started their mission to get booster shots to as many people as possible. The projected goal is to have 25% of the population getting the additional jab by end of January.

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