, Miguel Montejano

Portugal back in borough lockdowns from midnight tonight… till after Easter

Portugal’s many ‘concelhos’ are to be plunged into a 10-day borough lockdown from midnight tonight until after Easter.

Explain reports, the government “corrected” the wording on the last State of Emergency decree which referred to circulation between boroughs being prohibited from March 26, but which didn’t indicate the “exact time”.

Used as citizens have been to borough lockdowns from 8pm on Fridays, running to 5am on Mondays, no one queried the lapse.

But now it is quite clear for what it was intended. Many Algarve boroughs have become used for example to ‘second home owners’ from Lisbon arriving during the day on Fridays since these lockdowns came into place. Unless they all change their plans hurriedly today, this weekend, the whole of next week and Easter will see them confined to the boroughs of their primary residences, no matter what their plans may have been.

The ‘correction’ stipulates that “it is prohibited to circulate outside one’s borough of residence daily from midnight (00.00 hours) of March 26…”

Thus, during the Easter week, not only are citizens unable to travel beyond the confines of their concelho, authorities will be enforcing the “general duty to remain at home” in which “the only movements authorised include the purchase of essential goods, professional activity, trips for medical assistance or to go to the assistance of a vulnerable person, visits to the elderly and the accompaniment of minors to school, among others”.

The practice of sports is still allowed, stress reports – as long as this takes place within the confines of boroughs of residence. Walks in parks, gardens, green spaces are also allowed while local authorities are given leeway in deciding whether or not beaches can remain on or off-limits.

Says Diário de Notícias today: “This prohibition exceeds the limits of the State of Emergency decree which terminates on March 31”.

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