Mainland Portugal has advanced last Friday to the last stage of lifting the restrictions imposed to control the pandemic, a plan that depended on the pace of vaccination.
About 85% of the population in Portugal has now been vaccinated and the current death rate is almost half the average rate in the European Union.
This deconfinement plan consisted of three phases: the first came into force on August 1st, with 57% of the population having completed vaccination against covid-19, and the second began on the 23rd of the same month when 70% of the Portuguese had already received the two doses of the vaccine.
In view of the current epidemiological situation, the mainland territory is currently in a state of alert that will remain in effect until 23:59 on October 31, the lowest level of response to disaster situations provided for in the Basic Civil Protection Law.
What will change in this third phase of the deconfinement plan?
Restaurants and Stores
Restaurant customers and hotel guests will no longer have to present the vaccination certificate or negative test to covid-19.
Commercial establishments, restaurants, cafes, and in general commerce are no longer subject to a maximum limit of customers or people per group, and restrictions on their opening hours are also lifted.
The end of this capacity limitation also applies to family events such as weddings and baptisms.
Cultural events no longer have limited capacity, but a digital certificate will be required for major cultural events. The General Directorate of Health (DGS) is responsible for defining this.
Bars and Nightclubs
Nightlife spaces, closed since March 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic, have now resumed their activity. The presentation of the certificate or a negative test is required for customers (workers and suppliers are exempt from this rule).
Gyms, SPAs. and Casinos
The vaccination certificate or test with a negative result is no longer necessary for group classes in gyms, as well as to access gambling establishments, casinos, bingos, and spas.
The sports venues will no longer have restrictions on their capacity, according to the updated DGS standard, which maintains the mandatory requirement for a vaccination certificate against covid-19 and the use of a mask.
The seating capacity can be in accordance with the total licensed capacity of the venue, as can be seen in the guidance on indoor and open sporting events.
The presentation of the vaccination certificate will also be mandatory for travel by sea or air.
The Government also decided to end the recommendation to work remotely, without prejudice to the maintenance of the rules regarding the lag of time.
In August, a step had already been taken towards reducing the use of remote working, with the executive deciding that this modality was no longer mandatory in high-risk municipalities, being only recommended throughout the mainland.
The rule that imposes testing in companies with more than 150 workers in the same workplace has been eliminated.
Among other measures, regular covid-19 screening should still be carried out for users, as well as for professionals, who are required to wear a surgical mask.
Visiting the elderly in the care units or other residential structures for children, young people, people with disabilities, beneficiaries of international protection, and shelter for victims of domestic violence require the presentation of the digital certificate.
According to the measures of the third phase of deconfinement, the use of masks is mandatory in public transport, in Citizens’ Shops, in schools (except in outdoor recreational spaces), in concert halls, cinemas, conference rooms, event venues, health establishments and services, residential and reception structures or home support services for vulnerable populations, elderly or disabled people.
The mandatory use of a mask is also maintained in commercial spaces with an area greater than 400 square meters, including shopping centers.