Portugal’s State of Emergency Extended, New Year’s Eve Travel Banned

Through the end of the year, Portugal's state of emergency rules get a bit complicated, but we have you covered.

Portugal has extended its state of emergency for the whole country yet again: from Dec. 9 to Dec. 23, similar measures will remain in place as during the last state of emergency. Christmas and New Year’s celebrations will be handled slightly differently, though.

The Next Two Weeks, Again

Many rules will be in effect for the entire two weeks — the maximum the Portuguese government can set a state of emergency — starting Dec. 9. Masks are mandatory inside, and in all outside public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. Gatherings of more than six people, unless they’re related, are banned. Businesses are to close by 23h, except restaurants, which can serve until 01h, with groups limited to five people, unless related. No alcohol sales after 8h, and no drinking in public, regardless of time.

In addition, in areas of extremely or highly elevated risk of infection, there’s still a curfew that goes into effect on the weekends (Dec. 12 and 13, 19, and 20), as before, at 13h. 

For those concelhos with moderate or elevated risk, that curfew doesn’t apply, though!

Related: Red Cross Offers Rapid and Molecular Tests, Free with Prescription, 20€-65€ Without

And that list has changed. You can see where you concelho falls here. Lisbon and Porto, and dozens of other concelhos, remain among those considered to be at highly elevated risk. Authorities will reevaluate the list once more on Dec. 18. 

The good news? There’s no ban on travel between concelhos like we’ve had for the past two (very long) weekends.

Related: Portugal Bans Travel Between Municipalities for 8 of Next 15 Days


More good news! You can travel between concelhos during the Christmas holidays, defined this year as basically Dec. 23 to 26. And on the 23rd and the 24th, there’s no curfew for people traveling, while the curfew on the 24th and 25th is at 02h the following day, and on the 26th it’s at 23h.

Restaurants can stay open until 01h on the 24th and 25th, and until 15h30 on the 26th.

New Year’s Eve, Or Go F*#% Yourself, 2020

Had plans to hop on over to a friend’s quinta for an open fire and a spot of champagne? Well, there’s no travel between concelhos from midnight on Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 — and until 05h on Jan. 4. So plan ahead where you want to spend the first 96 hours of what we here at Atlas seriously fucking hope is a better year.

The curfew, however, doesn’t kick in until 02h on New Year’s Eve, and until 23h on Jan. 1. There are no public festivities and you can’t gather more than six people in public, so, yeah. Oh, and you can’t drink on the street, remember? Woot woot!

Illustration by Ellis Dixon

Restaurants will be allowed to stay open into 2021, but not much: just 01h. On Jan. 1, restaurants can stay open until 15h30 in concelhos deemed having highly or extremely elevated risk, or until 22h for the rest of the concelhos.

You can read more about the holiday restrictions on the government’s dedicated Covid-19 response website here (Note: As of Dec. 7, the English version is out of date and still only covers the November state of emergency).

Direção-Geral da Saúde reported only 2,597 new cases of COVID-19 infections on Monday, which is the lowest daily increase in a few days now, so the restrictions are perhaps achieving the intended result.

However, 78 more people died in the last 24 hours from COVID-related complications, bringing the total in Portugal to more than 5,040.

Related: Portugal’s Three-Phase National Covid-19 Vaccination Plan Begins in January: What to Expect

Related: Portugal Guarantees Enough Covid-19 Vaccines for Its Entire Population — for Free

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