Portugal’s COVID-19 infections are rising at a higher rate than before and the government is imposing further restrictions.
New Records in Cases, Although More Than Half Have Recovered
On Oct. 22, the Direção-Geral da Saúde confirmed 3,270 new cases over the past 24 hours, a new record following several days of rising numbers, and the first time the country’s daily infection rate passed 3,000. In all, the country has had close to 110,000 confirmed cases and 2,245 people have died since March, when COVID-19 first arrived in Portugal.
And while more than 64,500 people have recovered, the government’s concern stems from the rapid rise in recent cases: according to Instituto Nacional de Estatística, the past seven days saw 16,247 infections — a jump of 165% in relation to the week starting Oct. 7.
Like most governments around the world, Portugal is trying to use a precision-strike approach to fighting the virus in the hopes of avoiding another nationwide lockdown. In addition to the restrictions in place as of Oct. 14, here’s what else is in effect as of Oct. 23:
You Will Have to Wear a Mask in All Public Spaces, Even Outdoors
The Parliament approved a law today, proposed by the Partido Social Democrático to require the use of masks in all public spaces for a minimum of three months, which could be extended, according to Sabado. The law goes into effect once it’s published in Diário da República, the Portuguese government’s official journal, but basically, start doing it.
Failure to comply carries a fine of 100 to 500 euros.
Previously, masks were only required in indoor spaces as well as transport, although medical experts have been recommending the use of masks in crowded outdoor spaces for months.
You May Have to Change Your Plans Oct. 30 to Nov. 3
In addition, on Thursday the government announced a ban on travel between different concelhos (municipalities) from midnight Oct. 29 to 30 through Nov. 3. The decision was driven in part because the Christian commemoration of the Day of the Dead, or All Soul’s Day, falls on Nov. 2, which typically attracts hundreds of families to Portugal’s cemeteries.
In the meantime, Portugal has selected Nov. 2 as the day of national mourning in honor of the victims of COVID-19.
The “the pain of mourning” and “strong emotions” make it difficult to distance family members, government officials said, according to Público.
If you’re around Lisbon, the temporary ban means no travel between Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Almada, Oeiras, Mafra, and so on.
DGS maintains a map of infection rates of all the different concelhos, which you can view here, also to make your plans.
If You Live in Felgueiras, Lousada or Paços de Ferreira, You Must Stay Home
People who live in these three concelhos must stay at home until Oct. 29, except to go to work, school, or the doctor. That’s due to far higher cases of COVID-19 infections in the concelhos since the start of October, according to the government.