Infections with the new coronavirus have skyrocketed after Christmas and the New Year, forcing the government to decree a new general lockdown in Portugal.
Portugal enters a new lockdown this Friday, similar to the one decreed in March of last year, when the pandemic took form. With this, tighter measures for businesses and citizens are coming, beginning with the mandatory closure of various establishments, such as non-essential commerce and catering. Pharmacies and grocery stores will keep their doors open.
“We won’t have to stop going to the grocery store if we need to, or go to work” if we have to, the Prime Minister began by saying this Wednesday at a press conference after the Council of Ministers meeting that this new lockdown will come into force at midnight on Friday, i.e. from Thursday to Friday.
Thus, when questioned by the journalists, António Costa summarised, stating that “the same [establishments] that were open in April and March will remain open and without time restrictions. However, this time, it also includes kindergartens, schools and universities (as opposed to what happened in the first lockdown), dentists and pharmacies.
The courts and public services will also be open to the public (by appointment), as well as churches for religious ceremonies, as long as they meet the standards set by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), says the government.
The establishments that will have to close include, as expected, restaurants, cafes and bars. However, these may operate on a takeaway or home delivery basis. Hairdressers and barbershops are also forced to close, António Costa said.
Also according to the government’s information, cultural establishments, gyms, pavilions and other sports venues are forced to close doors.
These measures will be implemented at midnight on January 15 (Friday) and will be officially in force for 15 days, being reviewed at that point.