Movement between municipalities limited until Tuesday

  • Lusa
  • 30 October 2020

The measure decreed by the government will take effect during a period which includes All Saints' Day on Sunday 1 November and the Day of the Dead the following day.

The movement of people out of the municipality where they live is limited in Portugal from 12 a.m. on Friday until 6 a.m. on Tuesday as part of the measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The measure decreed by the government will take effect during a period which includes All Saints’ Day on Sunday 1 November and the Day of the Dead the following day, when many Portuguese go to the cemeteries.

The restrictions come at a time when the number of cases of infection with the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19 disease has increased in Portugal.

According to the epidemiological bulletin released on Thursday, Portugal registered 4,224 new infections in 24 hours, a new record, and 33 more deaths.

Portugal has recorded 2,428 deaths out of 132,616 cases of the infection since the beginning of the pandemic and is currently in a state of public calamity.

Given the increase in the number of cases, the government will meet in an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Saturday to consider new restrictive measures.

The cabinet meeting’s resolution stipulating that citizens may not move outside their municipality of habitual residence has several exceptions, such as movements for work purposes.

Workers have to have a statement of reasons from their employer or make a statement, under a pledge of honour, if the movement takes place between municipalities bordering on that of their habitual residence or in the same metropolitan area.

Health professionals, teaching and non-teaching staff in educational establishments, civil protection agents and members of the security forces, security services and armed forces are exempt from these conditions.

This exemption also applies to political office-holders, magistrates and leaders of the social partners and political parties represented in parliament and accredited ministers of worship.

Travel restrictions also do not apply in the case of travel by minors and accompanying persons to schools, creches and leisure activities, as well as to travel by students at universities.

Nor do they apply to journeys to occupational activity centres and day centres, and attendance at training and examinations, as well as inspections.

The restriction does not apply to journeys for participation in procedural acts in courts or acts within the competence of notaries, lawyers, solicitors, registrars and registry officers, as well as for attendance at public services, provided that they are accompanied by evidence of the respective scheduling.

Leaving mainland Portugal and the movement of non-resident citizens to places of proven permanence are authorised.

Travelling to live shows, such as theatre or concerts, except the cinema, is also permitted.

To ensure compliance, the Public Security Police (PSP) and the National Republican Guard (GNR) will carry out patrolling, awareness-raising and surveillance operations throughout the country, starting on Friday.

According to the two security forces, the operations are essentially awareness-raising and educational, but the PSP and GNR members will not hesitate to “impose the law” in case of need, and some situations may turn into crimes, such as false statements or disrespect for the police.

The PSP and GNR also said that they will be alert to other rules in place to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the use of masks in the street and on public transport, alcohol consumption on public roads and gathering of people, which are limited to five people, as well as the opening hours and the capacity of commercial and catering establishments.