Authorities in Portugal plan to tighten certain restrictions in the country due to an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rates and to curb further spread of the virus by preventing excursions during All Saints Day celebrations. Effective Oct. 30 until 0600 Nov. 3, movement between municipalities in continental Portugal will be suspended; health professionals, law enforcement officers, members of the security forces, and politicians, as well as persons traveling to educational facilities, are exempt. Persons traveling for essential work or professional activities are also exempt, although they must be able to provide justification for their movement or produce a written statement from their employer.
A number of other restrictions are still in effect. Residents of the towns of Lousada, Felgueiras, and Pacos de Ferreira must remain at home and avoid public spaces and roads unless engaging in certain preapproved activities, such as grocery shopping, attending to work- or school-related duties, seeking medical attention, assisting vulnerable persons, exercising outdoors, or walking pets. In addition, all retail and service entities except for pharmacies and gas stations must close at 2200. Gatherings are limited to five people unless they belong to the same household. Working from home is mandatory whenever possible.
Portugal's state of calamity remains in force until at least Oct. 31. Nationwide, the limit on public gatherings has been reduced to five people, except for family events such as weddings which are limited to 50 attendees unless otherwise indicated. The sale of alcohol in restaurants and bars remains banned after 2000; there is also a ban on consuming alcohol in public areas. Protective face coverings remain mandatory in enclosed public areas and are strongly encouraged in outdoor public areas. Most businesses and services have been permitted to resume operation provided they implement strict hygiene and social distancing requirements.
Authorities in Portugal permit entry for travelers from the EU and Schengen Area countries, the UK, Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. Most travel from other countries remains prohibited, except for limited essential reasons, including EU citizens and residents returning home, reuniting with family, and commuting to essential work or study. All such arrivals are required to submit a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before boarding; however, Portuguese nationals and residents may arrange to take the test on arrival at their own expense.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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.
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 disposable tissues, 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.