Portugal OKs Easing Restrictions: What Happens April 5 and Beyond

Prime Minister António Costa told the nation on Thursday that we’re proceeding as planned with coming out of the COVID confinement — which means on Monday you can have a meal at a restaurant with your friends, while your kids in 9th grade or younger go back to school finally.

Illustration by Bogdan Kamuta

For Easter, Portugal’s government is giving us a big gift: because we’ve been good for the past few weeks — the country overall is below 120 COVID cases per 100,000 people, and the dreaded R number is under 1 — the plan to come out of the confinement is proceeding next week!

Related: Portugal to Emerge from Confinement, Somewhat: Creches, Hair Dressers, Book Stores, Libraries to Reopen March 15

You still can’t travel between concelhos until Tuesday, April 6. BUT! On April 5, you can:

– dine out on the esplanadas, up to four people per table. Support your local restaurants — because a lot of them have closed… 

– practice physical activity outdoors with up to four people! Like what? Bike, hike, climb, surf. Something a bit more chill? Some ideas here.

– go to museums, art galleries AND palaces, people! See what’s going on in our calendar of events, which we will update daily as of today.

– go to fairs and non-food markets, although that’s up to specific municipalities (see a list of our favorite markets here, but check with the organizers!)

– visit stores that are up to 200 square meters and have street-facing doors

– send kids, if you have any, or recently found out to be yours, to school if they’re in grades 5 trough 9 (younger kids have returned to classes in March)

For now, the plan is to further lift restrictions on April 19, including reopening all schools and universities, cinemas and theaters, government centers for the public, all shopping, all restaurants (with a four-person limit indoors and six outdoors, and only until 22h, or 01h on the weekends), and more. From May 3, all sports are due to return, gyms are to reopen, and large events will be allowed again, if all goes well in the next month. 

Related: Portugal’s Vaccine Progress: The Good, the Bad, Etc.

The situation may change in two weeks for concelhos whose cases per 100,000 or the R number are higher than the limits, of which there are 19, according to the government’s report (in Portuguese), but the April 5 “de-confinement” plan applies to the whole country.

You can see the full plan on the government’s website here in Portuguese and a briefer version here in English (be warned that it doesn’t update as quickly as the Portuguese version).

Don’t ruin this, people. Like, wear masks, and for the love of summer, don’t sneeze without covering your face, yeah? 

Related: How to Get a Private COVID-19 Test in Lisbon – Now, at Home with Tests from Pharmacies

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