The gradual lifting of restrictions due to vaccination against covid-19 starts this Sunday with rules applicable throughout the continental territory, including the limit of closing time until 2:00 am for catering and cultural and sporting events.
With the control of the covid-19 pandemic starting to be done “according to the criterion of the rate of vaccination of the Portuguese population” and without differentiated measures for each of the 278 municipalities in mainland Portugal, the Government’s plan to alleviate the restrictions foresees three phases for “liberation of society and economy, in a progressive and gradual way”, as announced by the prime minister, António Costa, on Thursday, after the meeting of the Council of Ministers, in Lisbon.
Among the general measures that fit into the three phases of this new plan is the requirement of digital certificate of vaccination or negative test to covid-19 for indoor restaurants on fridays from 7pm and on saturdays, sundays and holidays during all hours of operation.
In addition, it will be necessary to present these documents for travel by air or sea, tourist establishments and local accommodation, spas and spas, casinos and bingos, cultural, sporting or corporate events with more than 1,000 people (in an open environment) or 500 people (in a closed environment) and weddings and baptisms with more than 10 people.
The first phase of the gradual lifting of restrictions plan begins this Saturday, when 57% of the population with complete vaccination, and determines the end of the restriction of circulation on the public highway, which was applied, daily, between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am, in the municipalities with the highest risk of incidence of covid-19.
From now on, restaurants and cultural and sports facilities can operate “according to the time of the respective license, with the limit of 2:00 am, with excluded access to the public for new admissions from 1:00 am, and in accordance with the rules of the General Directorate of Health (DGS)”.
These relief measures also include the reopening of bars and other beverage establishments “subject to the rules of catering”, to which the nightclubs, as long as they have a Bar Classification of Economic Activities (CAE).
At this stage, restaurants can operate with a maximum of six people per table inside and 10 people on terraces, retail establishments start to operate according to the respective licensing schedule, the public at sporting events is allowed with rules to be defined by the DGS, cultural shows with a capacity of 66%, weddings and baptisms with a capacity of 50 % and entertainment equipment are authorized “according to DGS rules, in a place authorized by the municipality”.
Another of the changes that integrate the first phase is that “the telecommuting goes from mandatory to recommended, when activities allow”, according to the Government’s plan, indicating that the current rules on sanitary and public health measures are maintained, in particular those relating to mandatory confinement, the use of masks or visors, the control of body temperature and carrying out tests.
Bars and clubs with bar CAE that refuse to comply with the catering rules remain closed until October, the month in which all these nightlife establishments must reopen, and popular parties and pilgrimages remain prohibited this summer, at least until the end September, as they are a “much increased” risk factor for the transmission of covid-19, due to the large agglomerations, indicated António Costa.
The three phases of this plan are associated with the percentage of the population that authorities estimate will have complete vaccination against covid-19 on August 1 (57%), September 5 (71%) and October (85%).
According to the calendar planned by the Government, at the Council of Ministers held this Thursday, the second phase of the gradual lifting of restrictions – which is expected to start in September – involves the end of mandatory mask use on the public road (having to be used only in the case of gatherings) and weddings and baptisms can now hold 75% of the capacity, as well as cultural shows.
At this time, restaurants, cafes and patisseries have a maximum limit of eight people per group inside and 15 people per group on terraces. Public transport is no longer limited and it is no longer necessary to pre-book public services.
In the third phase — scheduled for October — the bars and clubs will be able to reopen, however, customers will have to present the digital certificate or a negative test.
In the case of restaurants, cafes and patisseries, there is no longer a maximum number of people per group, either indoors or on terraces. Events, such as weddings and baptisms, also no longer have capacity limits, as do cultural shows.
Marcelo satisfied with “sensible” reopening
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, this Saturday classified the reopening of the country and the relief of restrictions imposed by the pandemic as “sensible”, considering that the measures announced by the Government correspond to the “expectation of many Portuguese”.
“Fortunately, the pandemic is moving in the right direction [e] that measures have already been announced. successive, gradual and sensible opening”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to around fifty Portuguese and Portuguese-Brazilians gathered at the Casa de Portugal in São Paulo.
In an intervention that, according to the Portuguese head of State, intended to convey “what is happening in Portugal”, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also spoke of “very positive economic signs” and “surprising good” export numbers, only possible, he said. , by the way “society, companies and workers knew how to face difficult times”.
Speaking to journalists, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa added that “the position taken by the Prime Minister and the Government” “meets the expectations of many Portuguese”.
“This is implicit in what I consider to be favorable judgment, clearly favorable, to what was decided”, he added.
Asked whether the new measures restored harmony between the President of the Republic and the Government on this matter, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa pointed out as one of the great principles of managing the covid-19 pandemic “strategic solidarity”.
“A strategic solidarity is having a goal and work systematically together to achieve this goal, involving the greatest number of people,” he said.
The President of the Republic considered that the path taken so far “proved well” and that there is, therefore, “no reason not to move forward along the same path of strategic solidarity”.
On Saturday, the Portuguese President of the Republic completed his second and last day of visit to São Paulo, following this Sunday to Brasília.