Portugal’s government has announced new lockdown restrictions that kick in on November 4th. The public is advised to stay at home with the exception of work, school, or shopping outings. Meanwhile, companies are strongly adjusted to switch to remote working.
Following the recent spike in daily coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Antonio Costa revealed that the measures will cover 121 municipalities, particularly Porto and Lisbon. Affected areas cover 70 percent of Portugal’s 10 million inhabitants.
Also read: Germany goes into a 'light lockdown'
Included in the lockdown’s list are municipalities registering 240 new infections per 100,000 people within the last 14 days. Reviews will be conducted every 15 days said Costa in a televised news conference. As of today( Nov 3), Portugal has over 141,000 infections with 2590 deaths. On Friday, daily cases hit a record 4,656 before dropping to 4,007 last Saturday.
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 31, 2020
A steady increase in hospitalizations has been witnessed in the past two weeks where 286 people ended in the intensive care unit. The healthcare system prior to the pandemic recorded the lowest number of critical care beds per 100,000 people. This leaves 800 Covid-19 patients in the ICU. Part of the new restrictions limit movement across Portugal’s municipalities reducing the risk of virus transmissions.
Portugal responded decisively to the pandemic by declaring a state of emergency on March 19. This lockdown was extended till the end of May. Afterward, Portugal selectively restricted some freedoms while mandating others such as wearing face masks in public areas such as supermarkets, public transport, and stores.
The decisive approach resulted in a decline and reduction in death and infection rates but this has now reversed into an unprecedented rise. Among the leading questions asked by visitors is whether it is safe to travel to Lisbon or Portugal.
On October 5, Portugal implemented several measures that included limiting people’s gatherings to five. Not more than 50 guests can attend baptisms and weddings. A partial lockdown took effect on November 4, covering 121 municipalities with high rates of infections - particularly the Porto-Lison areas.
As per the measures, schools are to remain open and working from home where applicable. Shops and restaurants will remain open while nonessential stores will close at 10 pm, restaurants at 10:30 pm while limiting 6 customers per table.