Portugal will tighten entry COVID-19 restrictions for all travelers including those who are fully immunized, the country’s PM revealed yesterday.
From Dec. 1, everyone arriving on a flight from overseas must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken no older than 72 hours of departure, -no exceptions-.
Also, digital prove of vaccination or recovery from the virus will be needed to access restaurants, theaters, hotels, hospitals, elderly care homes, sporting events and bars.
The mandatory use of masks in enclosed spaces has been also reintroduced.
Foreseeing a spike in cases after the holidays, the government has decided to require everyone, including visitors, to work from home from Jan. 2 to Jan. 9.
“Whenever possible, telecommuting is recommended to avoid excessive contacts that could aggravate the pandemic situation,” said the minister.
Night clubs will also be closed during the same period.
Portugal has led one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in Europe with more than 87% of the population fully immunized according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The rollout of booster shots is being discussed, the minister revealed.
“It doesn’t matter how successful the vaccination was, we must be aware we are entering a phase of greater risk,” said the Minister speaking at a press conference on Thursday.
“We have seen significant growth [in coronavirus cases] in the EU and Portugal is not an island.”
The General Directorate for Health reported 3,150 new cases Thursday, the highest daily figure in four months.
There are 691 people in hospital and 103 in intensive care units. The number of patients who needed to be admitted to the hospital reached a new high since September.
On Thursday, the country reported 15 deaths, concerning, but the number is still far below levels seen in January.