Coronavirus: return of restrictions to curb the spread of the virus in Portugal, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world

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“We are verifying a worsening of the health situation,” said Mr. Costa at a press conference after a council of ministers.

“This is the right moment to adopt new measures” because “we are entering a phase of increased risk”, he added.

When the end-of-year celebrations return, from January 2 to 9, teleworking will become compulsory, schoolchildren’s holidays will be extended, while bars and nightclubs will close their doors.

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These measures should “prevent contact” during this week, explained Mr. Costa.

With 87% of its population fully vaccinated, Portugal is experiencing a sharp increase in Covid-19 contamination. On Thursday, the country recorded 3,150 new cases in 24 hours according to the latest report from health authorities, a level at the highest in nearly four months.

To deal with this situation, as of December 1, several measures will return. Teleworking will be recommended, the mask will become compulsory indoors and the health pass required in restaurants and hotels.

In addition, a negative test will be necessary to attend major cultural or sporting events, to go to retirement homes or to bars and nightclubs.

Regarding travel, a negative result must be presented for all flights to Portugal.

The checks will be “systematic”, warned Mr. Costa, stressing that airlines that let a passenger positive for Covid travel risked a fine of 20,000 euros and a suspension of the flight license.

Portugal, which will accelerate its anti-covid vaccine booster campaign, will vote next week on the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11, authorized Thursday by the European regulator.

The country of ten million people plans to vaccinate a quarter of its population with a booster dose by January. Some 900,000 people have already received the third dose.

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