Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Authorities extend partial lockdown in Lisbon, Portugal, until at least July 29 due to increased COVID-19 activity. Other measures remain.
- Alert Begins: 13 Jul 2020 05:57 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 29 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Until at least July 29
- Impact: Movement and business disruptions
Authorities in Portugal will extend the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related lockdown until at least July 29 for 19 out of the 24 districts in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA). The lockdown was introduced on June 26 due to an increase in infections and was slated to expire on July 14. During the lockdown, residents of all districts of Amadoras and Odivelas, as well as the municipalities of Agualva, Algueirao-Mem-Martins, Apelaca, Cacem-Sao Marcos, Camarate, Massama, MiraSintra, MonteAbraao, Queluz e Belas, Rio de Mouro, Sacavem-PriorVelho, Santa Clara, and Unhos, can only leave their homes for work, to buy food and medicine, and to take school exams. Gatherings are also limited to five people in the affected districts. All shops and retail services in LMA, except restaurants, are to close by 2000 daily.
From July 1, authorities downgraded the emergency level from a state of calamity to a state of alert nationwide, except for the LMA. Land border crossings with Spain reopened from July 1. Authorities had previously eased some restrictions, allowing many nonessential businesses, including shops, catering establishments, cultural institutions, and educational facilities, to reopen, provided they implement strict social distancing and hygiene requirements. Public gatherings outside Lisbon are limited to 20 people, and face coverings are necessary for enclosed public spaces nationwide.
Authorities are permitting passenger flights from the following locations as of July 13:
All EU, Schengen Area, and associated countries
· All Portuguese-speaking countries
· South Korea
· China (contingent on China reopening borders for citizens of EU)
Individuals arriving by air are not required to self-isolate unless informed to do so by authorities following a mandatory health screening. Authorities in the Azores, however, are imposing stricter measures, requesting that individuals produce a negative COVID-19 test and self-isolate on arrival. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government are in response to an increase in COVID-19 infection rates in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.