With an increase in cases, Portugal again implements restrictions against Covid-19

Portugal, which has almost 87% of the population fully vaccinated against Covid-19, announced that it will re-impose restrictions to contain the increase in cases, forcing all passengers flying to the country to present a negative test certificate upon arrival.

“No matter how successful the vaccination is, we must be aware that we are entering a phase of greater risk,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa said at a press conference on Thursday (25). “We are witnessing significant growth (in cases) in the European Union and Portugal is not an island,” he added.

Portugal reported 3,773 new cases on Wednesday, the highest daily number in four months, before dropping to 3,150 on Thursday.

Deaths, however, remain far below levels seen in January, when the country faced its toughest battle against Covid-19.

Rapid vaccinations for Portugal’s 10 million citizens have allowed the country to lift most restrictions on the pandemic. But as another wave spreads across Europe, the government has reintroduced some old rules and announced new ones to limit the spread in the rush to the holiday season. The measures take effect next Wednesday, December 1st.

‘Save lives’

Speaking about the new travel rule, Costa said that airlines would be fined €20,000 (approximately R$125,000) per passenger if they transport someone who does not carry proof of a Covid-19 test, including those who are fully vaccinated.

Passengers can take a PCR or rapid antigen test 72 hours or 48 hours, respectively, before departure.

Costa also announced that fully vaccinated individuals must also show a negative coronavirus test to enter nightclubs, bars, large events and nursing homes, and that the EU digital certificate would be required to stay in hotels, go to the gym or dine in indoors in restaurants.

Anyone sitting outdoors will not be required to present a digital certificate.Remote work, now recommended whenever possible, will be mandatory during the first week of January and students will return to school a week later than normal to control the spread of the virus after hours. holiday festivities.

Costa said that Portugal should continue to invest in vaccination to control the pandemic. Health officials hope to apply Covid-19 booster vaccines to a quarter of the country’s population by the end of January. “The vaccination has enabled us to save lives,” the prime minister said.