Portugal: Main points of phase 3 of the lockdown easing

Portugal’s government has announced the measures of the third phase of easing the coronavirus lockdown, which come into force on Monday, prolonging the state of public calamity, which has been in place since 3 May, for another 15 days.

In the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, the lifting of some restrictions foreseen in the third phase of release has been postponed and special rules have been imposed, mainly related to activities involving “large crowds of people”.

These are the main rules defined for the third phase of the easing of the containment measures: 

+++ General rules +++

– People no longer need to stay at home.

– Up to 20 people can now be together but in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area there is still the limit of 10 people.

+++ Community celebrations +++

   – Celebrations with gatherings of 20 people will now be permitted, and the health authorities shall determine the guidelines, namely the seating of religious ceremonies, events of a family nature (including weddings and baptisms, whether civil or religious ceremonies or other commemorative events) and events of a corporate nature held in appropriate spaces for that purpose.

+++ Work +++

– The rule of compulsory teleworking is eliminated, except for workers who present a medical certificate attesting that they are covered by the exceptional protection regime for immunosuppressed and chronically ill workers, workers with a degree of disability of 60% or more, workers with children or other dependents under the age of 12 or with disabilities or chronic illness, or when the physical spaces and the organisation of work do not allow safe compliance with the guidelines of the health authorities and the Authority for Working Conditions.

– The Government suggests opting for “a partial easing of lockdown”, through daily or weekly shifts, with teams ‘mirroring each other’, “so that work methodologies can be trained” that will have to continue to be adopted due to the pandemic.

+++ Trade, catering and other economic activities +++

– Stores in shopping centres and stores with an area of more than 400 m2 may reopen (except in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area).

– By applying certain conditions and respecting the guidelines defined by the health authorities, most activities can be resumed, including casinos and tattoo services.

– In catering and similar establishments, there is no longer a limit of 50% of capacity if “impermeable” separation barriers are installed between customers facing each other and the distance between tables is 1.5 metres.

(Restaurants may, however, choose to maintain the rules on capacity reduction and the two-metre spacing that is in force)

– The food and beverage consumption areas (‘food-courts’) in shopping centres may reopen (except in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area).

+++ Public Services +++

– The provision of services through digital media and contact centres with citizens and businesses is maintained.

– Face-to-face service continues to be provided by appointment.

– The Lojas do Cidadão (Citizen’s Shops) reopen (except in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area).

– In the face-to-face service, the use of a mask is mandatory.

+++ Culture +++

– Reopening of theatres, cinemas and auditoriums.

(All rows can be occupied, but there will have to be an intermission place between the spectators, who will be forced to wear a mask)

– Outdoor cultural events are allowed.

(The use of a mask will not be mandatory, but there must be marked places)

+++ Sports +++

– Reopening of gymnasiums and gyms.

(Among the measures that will have to be implemented, besides the hygiene and disinfection care common to other activities, the health authorities propose a distance of 3 metres between users, suggest the marking of classes and training, impose that only lockers and toilets can be used and that all employees and clients wear a mask, except for the periods when they are giving classes or training, respectively)

– Reopening of covered and uncovered pools.

– Reopening of infrastructures for the practice of individual sports and without physical contact.

– It allows the practice of federated sportspeople.

+++ Beachseason +++

– Reopening on June 6th.

During this year’s bathing season beach users should ensure a physical distance of 1.5 metres between different groups and a distance of 3 metres between sun hats, awnings or reeds.

Citizens must comply with the breathing-etiquette measures and carry out frequent hand cleaning, as well as “avoid entering areas with high or full occupancy

The state of occupation of the beaches will be shown by “traffic light signs”, where green indicates low occupation (1/3), yellow is high occupation (2/3) and red means full occupation (3/3).

The information on the state of beach occupation will be “updated continuously, in real-time”, namely in the InfoPraia application and on the APA website.

+++ Education +++

– Reopening of pre-school education (as of today).

– Reopening of Free Time Activities (ATL’s) not in schools (from June 15).

– Reopening of family support and leisure activities (at the end of the school year, scheduled for 26 June).