Portugal: Main points of the 2nd phase of lockdown easing

The government approved on Friday the schedule for the second phase of the easing of containment measures raised by the Covid-19 pandemic and extended the state of public calamity until 31 May.

“In this phase, the government has decided to ease restrictions, suspensions and closures that were in force with the gradual lifting of restrictions and the need to maintain the scrupulous compliance by the everyone and the physical distancing measures  that are essential to contain the infection,” a cabinet statement said.

This is the timetable for the second phase of the lifting of the containment measures:

+++ As of today, May 18 +++

– Trade:

Opening of stores (retail and service establishments) with their doors open to the street up to 400 m2 or parts of stores up to 400 m2 (or larger by municipal decision).

– Restaurants:

Opening of restaurants, cafes and pastry shops, with a capacity of 50%.

The establishments are exempt from the license for the confection of food for consumption outside the establishment or home delivery.

Opening of esplanades.

– Fairs and markets:

They may reopen, but there must be a contingency plan.

– Camping and caravan sites and motorhome service areas:

They can reopen at a maximum capacity of two-thirds.

The “Clean & Safe” label also covers these spaces, awarded by Turismo de Portugal.

– Schools:

Return to schools for 11th and 12th-grade pupils or 2nd and 3rd-grade students of other training offers, with classes between 10:00 and 17:00.

Students aged 10 years or more are required to wear a mask.

– Daycare centres:

Opening of daycare centres with the option of maintaining family support in case parents decide to stay at home.

– Culture:

 Opening of museums, monuments and palaces, according to the rules and instructions set by the Directorate General of Health (DGS), namely the mandatory use of a mask, a minimum distance of two metres, hygienisation of hands and spaces.

– Care Homes:

One visit per user allowed, once a week (maximum 90 minutes) with prior appointment.

During the visits, the physical distance, the use of the mask and the hygienic rules must be observed.

Visits in continuous care units in the National Network of Integrated Continuous Care and other responses dedicated to elderly people, as well as to children, young people and people with disabilities are also authorised, provided that the rules defined by the health authority (DGS) are observed.

– Work:

Adoption of daily or weekly schedules of worker turnover, with differentiated entry and exit times, in cases where telework is not possible.

– Public transport:

The rules already defined for buses with driver’s cab and disinfectant gel dispensers, maximum capacity of 2/3 and mandatory use of a mask are maintained. Fines will be imposed for not wearing masks.

The use of masks by minors on public transport only applies to children aged 10 years or more.

– Public services:

Citizen’s Shops remain closed, but may accept appointments for face-to-face service after 1 June.

– Recreational Boating:

Resumption of the teaching of recreational boating and the performance of surveys and certification of ships and boats.

– Driving schools and inspection centres:

Inspection centres may reopen.

Driving schools and training centres licensed by the Institute of Mobility and Transport may reopen, but they will have to comply with the health rules defined in conjunction with the DGS, including the mandatory use of a mask, the rules on distance and hygiene.

From 25 May onwards, practical driving tests and certification of professionals may be reopened, but it will be compulsory, among other rules, for all occupants of the vehicle (the candidate driver, the examiner and the instructor at the rear) to wear a mask and to sanitise the passenger compartment and all controls of the vehicle before and after each session or test.

+++ From 30 May +++

– Religious celebrations

Community celebrations are authorised in accordance with rules defined between the DGS and religious denominations.

+++ From 01 June +++

– Public services:

Opening of the Lojas de Cidadão.

– Commerce:

Opening of stores with an area of more than 400 m2 and/or in shopping centres.

– Schools:

Opening of daycare centres (after a period that began on May 18, when there was the option of maintaining support for the family if the parents decided to continue at home).

Opening of pre-school education.

Opening of Free Time Activities (ATL).

– Culture:

Opening of cinemas, theatres, concert halls

+++ Opening of the bathing season from June 6th +++

– Use of the sand:

Physical distance of 1.5 meters between bathers (who are not part of the same group).

Distance of three meters between umbrellas.

No sports activities with two or more people (except nautical activities, surf lessons and similar sports).

– Awnings and umbrellas:

As a rule, each person or group can only rent shade in the morning (until 13:00) or in the afternoon (from 14:00).

Maximum of five people per awning or umbrella.

Three meters between awnings and umbrellas.

Distance of 1.5 meters between the limits of tents.

Possible exceptional enlargement of the concession area.

– State of occupation:

Announced by traffic light signs – green (low occupancy, 1/3); yellow (high occupancy, 2/3); red (full occupancy, 3/3).

Information on beach occupation is updated continuously, in real-time, namely in the ‘Beach Info’ application and in the ‘website’ of the Portuguese Environment Agency.

No parking outside the parks and ordered parking areas.

– Traffic rules:

Single direction of circulation, with physical distance of 1.5 meters.

Circulation corridors may be defined, parallel or perpendicular to the coastline.

– Bars, restaurants and terraces:

A minimum of four cleanings must be carried out daily.

Capacity limitation to 50% occupancy.

Possible reorganization of the esplanades to ensure safety clearance.

– Mobile sale:

Mandatory use of mask and visor by the seller in contact with the bathers.

The circulation of street vendors should ensure physical distance and preferably through circulation corridors.

– Equipment:

No pedal boats, slides or indoor showers.

Outdoor showers, sun loungers, mattresses or beach ashtrays should be sanitized daily or whenever there is a change of user.

– General duties of bathers:

Avoid access to areas with high or full occupation.

Disinfect hands regularly and obligatorily on arrival at the beach.

Ensure a safe physical distance when using the beach and bathing.

– Possibility of beach closures, for reasons of public health protection, in case of serious breaches of the rules by concessionaires or bathers.

– Beach first aid stations should have thermometers, personal protective equipment and an area for isolation of suspected cases of Covid-19.