Contingency measures bring new restrictions: gatherings limited to just 10

As the UK limits the number of people who can meet at any one time to six, Portugal has announced its own new contingency measures, limiting gatherings to 10.

The new rules will come into effect from Tuesday and are aimed at stemming the rising tide of Covid-19 infections.

Prime minister António Costa has stressed nonetheless that the increase in infections has not so far brought a corresponding increase in the number of hospital admissions, nor in the number of deaths which are holding ‘stable’ at around three per day.

Nonetheless, the return to school next week will almost certainly see a rise to the risks for new infections and thus the following measures are coming into effect:

● Commercial establishments cannot open before 10am (except cafés, coffee shops, hairdressers and gymnasiums).

● Cafés and restaurants within a 300 metre radius of schools will be limited to groups of four clients in their interiors.

● Hours of closing for businesses will be between 8pm and 11pm (decisions to be decided by mayors)

● Restaurants within commercial centres to be limited to groups of four people.

● No sale of alcohol (without food) after 8pm in any commercial establishment or service station.

● Alcohol cannot be drunk in the street / out in the open.

The overriding message is that Portugal won’t beat rising numbers of infections unless its population heeds all government/ health authority advice/ takes the necessary measures and ‘knuckle down’.

PM Costa has stressed and re-stressed the country ‘cannot support another lockdown’. Thus people are being asked to remain “very disciplined” in the way they behave.