Sat, 09 Dec 2023

LISBON, Portugal: Portugal is reintroducing some pandemic restrictions, just two months after ending enforcement of them after the goal of vaccinating 86 percent of the population against COVID-19 was reached.

The government has taken these actions following the recent increase in Covid infections, Prime Minister Antnio Costa said this week, though Portugal has not witnessed as large a Covid resurgence as have other European countries.

Beginning December 1, Portugal will again require that face masks be worn when entering enclosed spaces. Also, a digital certificate must be presented when entering restaurants, cinemas and hotels.

Further, all people, including those who have been vaccinated, must present a negative Covid test to enter hospitals, elderly care homes, sports events, bars and discos.

New regulations will also require all passengers arriving in Portugal from abroad to present a negative Covid test.

Additionally, the government recommended working from home and performing regular self-tests.

Also, the pace will be quickened in administering booster shots, Costa said.

Returning to enforcing some restrictions are needed, Costa said, because of the increase in Covid cases in Europe, along with the approach of winter when respiratory infections among the public often increase, and because families will be in close contact at Christmas.

Authorities, however, have sad no lockdowns are planned.

Earlier this week, the General Directorate for Health reported a high of 3,150 new daily Covid cases, with 691 people in hospital, 103 in intensive care units and 15 deaths. These were the highest numbers since September.

Some 18,400 people have died of COVID-19 in Portugal. The country has a population of 10.3 million.

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