It was a funny way of explaining his continued limitations following a much-needed heart transplant but doctors have insisted there can be no hugs for singing star Salvador Sobral since his release from hospital.
A return to performing too is not yet on the cards.
But as the Eurovision hero’s Facebook page has announced: “it is with enormous satisfaction that we can share with you that Salvador Sobral left hospital yesterday afternoon, January 11 2018.
“The singer has made a very satisfactory recovery with no complications. But as is customary after transplant surgery, he must keep away from crowds. We ask for people to respect this requirement for physical distance. We will not be hugging. Salvador has felt hugged by everyone for a long time”.
And that, for now, is it.
The communiqué promises “news of a return to performing soon”, and meantime the 28-year-old will continue to take life quietly with a view to growing stronger.