Portugal: Weekend travel ban kicks in Friday evening

Travel between municipalities in mainland Portugal is once again banned between 20:00 Friday and 05:00 on Monday, notwithstanding the exceptions provided, under the state of emergency to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regardless of the level of risk of transmission of the new SARS-COV-2 coronavirus, where only 15 municipalities remain at extreme risk, with more than 960 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, the ban on travel between municipalities applies to all of mainland Portugal.

The ban on circulation between the 278 municipalities of the mainland over the weekend has been applied, successively, since the New Year period. Still, it was extended from January 15, with the new general lockdown.

According to the Government order that regulates the state of emergency the president decreed, there are exceptions to the ban on movement between municipalities, including travel to work (as attested by a statement issued by the employer or equivalent), for health reasons and parental responsibilities.

Besides this restriction, compulsory lockdown, where the main rule is to stay at home, the prohibition against selling or delivering at any drink at the door even in establishments authorised to ‘take-away’ and the prohibition to stay in public leisure areas (which may, however, be frequented) remain in force.

Mandatory home lockdown provides for authorised journeys to buy essential goods and services, work activities and outdoor sports activities in the area of residence and for a short duration.

All goods and services establishments open to the public must close by 20:00 on weekdays and by 13:00 on weekends and public holidays, except food retail, which can operate on weekends until 17:00.

The current state of emergency is in force until 23:59 of 1 March, but the president has proposed the renewal for another 15 days, extending until 16 March.

 According to health authority (DGS) data released on Monday, Portugal has 15 counties at extreme risk of infection compared to the previous week, after the withdrawal of 104 municipalities from this list.

A week ago, the country had 119 of the 308 municipalities at extreme risk due to the number of Covid-19 cases, representing 38.6% of the total, with that figure now down to 4.8%.