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Portugal moves to third phase of post-pandemic unlocking

Portugal moves to third phase of post-pandemic unlocking

The country is now the most anti-Covid vaccinated nation in the world

Yesterday, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa announced the next phase in easing the country’s restrictions as the COVID epidemic retreats. The new freedoms will apply from 1 October and these were made possible thanks to the exemplary vaccination rate in the country. In fact, Portugal has now the highest vaccination rate in the world, with 84.5% of its population fully inoculated against COVID-19.

Only three months ago, things did not look so rosy in the Iberian country when people had to suffer confinement right as the summer season was heating up. But thanks to a nation that historically has not been averse to vaccination campaigns and trusted their government’s plan, things have unfolded as they should.

What will the new phase mean for daily life in Portugal?

First of all, masks will only be required in high-risk and crowded indoor places, such as public transport, supermarkets, hospitals and entertainment halls.

The third phase of deconfinement measures is predicated upon reaching the stated target of 85% of fully vaccinated people, which is about to happen any day now.

That means that COVID certificates will no longer be required from customers who wish to go to a restaurant or a hotel, and neither will be negative PCR test results. These establishments will also do away with the capacity limits. The COVID passes, however, will still be necessary when visiting nursing homes or health establishments or travelling by sea or air transportation.

In essence, that means that daily life is set to return to almost pre-pandemic normality. In Portugal, since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, 17,938 people have died from Covid-19, and there have been 1,064,876 cases of infection, according to data from the national health authority.

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