Portugal’s latest European country reintroduces blockade measures

The country’s prime minister is the latest to announce new restrictions as winter begins (Photo: EPA; Reuters)

Portugal has become the latest European country to announce the resurgence of Covid-19 restrictions.

Domestic infection rates remain relatively low, but the government is deploying restrictions early on as other parts of the continent fight the fourth wave.

Several countries, including the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium, have recently confirmed a return to social distancing policies.

Portuguese news arrives on the same day The British government has confirmed that many countries in southern Africa will be added to the Red List...

Fear of the new virus prompted a swift move to stricter travel restrictions upon arrival from Friday.

Beginning December 1, all tourists entering Portugal will be required to take a pre-departure test, regardless of vaccination status.

Mandatory mask wearing in closed spaces will be reintroduced and Covid passports will be rolled out to all restaurants, cinemas and hotels.

Even vaccinated people need to provide negative test results before visiting hospitals, elderly housing, sporting events, bars and discos.

Some of the measures that will be rolled out in Portugal next month are restrictions on the arrival of tourists within the country.

The government also recommended regular self-diagnosis and work at home wherever possible.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said booster shot deployments have been enhanced, and adding this move could curb pre-Christmas transmissions.

Authorities say there is currently no need for another blockade in Portugal as the hospital is dealing with it.

The Directorate General of Health officially reported 3,150 new cases on Thursday, 691 were hospitalized, 103 were in the intensive care unit, and 15 died.

The number of patients requiring hospitalization was the highest since September.

On November 1, Portugal reported less than 500 new infections, 360 hospitalizations, 60 intensive care and 5 deaths, as it did a month ago.

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Portugal's latest European country reintroduces blockade measures

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