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Lisbon, Dec 27, 2021 (Lusa) – Nearly 1,700 passengers were fined at Portuguese airports between December 1 and 26 for lack of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test, or recovery certificate, the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) told Lusa today. ).

The number of airlines fined for having transported passengers without a negative test or recovery certificate remains at 38, similar to the balance made last week by the MAI.

Airlines that transport passengers without a negative test incur a fine of between 20,000 and 40,000 euros per passenger and travelers are also subject to an administrative offence, between 300 and 800 euros, for not presenting a test on arrival.

Since December 1st, all passengers arriving in Portugal by air are required to present a negative infection test with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus or covid-19 disease recovery certificate upon disembarking.

In a balance of this measure to contain the increase in the number of covid-19 cases, the MAI states that between December 1 and 26, the PSP and the SEF inspected 924,719 passengers and 8,358 flights, which resulted in 1,698 administrative infractions.

Of the 1,698 administrative offenses, 1,035 were raised by the PSP, which controls passengers from flights originating in the Schengen area (the European area for the free movement of persons) and 663 by the SEF, which supervises travellers from countries outside the Schengen area.

Passengers on domestic flights, children under 12 and crews are exempt from mandatory testing, PCR or rapid.

The MAI also indicates that the 1,698 administrative offenses include eight foreigners who were refused entry into the country for not having presented a test on arrival, since only Portuguese citizens, foreigners residing in the airport are allowed to carry out the test at the airport. Portugal and diplomatic staff.

MAI data also show that 1,714 diagnostic tests were carried out at airports on passengers who entered the country without this document.

At land borders, also since December 1st, citizens from countries outside the European Union and from EU countries considered to be at red or dark red risk need a negative test or recovery certificate.

Citizens from EU countries considered to be at low or moderate risk must carry a vaccination, test or recovery certificate to enter Portugal.

As of December 26, the GNR and the Aliens and Borders Service had carried out 6,327 random inspection operations at land borders to ensure that tests were carried out for covid-19, according to the MAI.

Within the scope of these operations, 41,467 inspections were carried out in light vehicles and goods, motorcycles, trains, buses, which gave rise to 32 administrative offenses for lack of a test or recovery certificate.

The MAI also states that 399 diagnostic tests were carried out at land borders.

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Prime Minister António Costa Christmas Message


Covid-19: Costa says the war is not over and it is essential to continue boosting the vaccine

Lisbon, December 25, 2021 (Lusa) – The prime minister highlighted today that the war against covid-19 is not over, considered it essential to continue the vaccination boost in Portugal and praised the “unsurpassed” work of health professionals and answer from the SNS.

These positions were conveyed by António Costa in his traditional Christmas message, which he said this year is more restrained from a political point of view, as it is in the pre-election period.

In his seventh Christmas message since taking office as prime minister, António Costa praised the way in which health professionals have been committed to fighting covid-19.

“After the tireless work in 2020; after the dramatic wave they had to face in January and February of this year, health professionals were once again unsurpassed – and, in this case, especially the nurses – in the remarkable vaccination operation”, he declared.

In this context, the prime minister also highlighted that his “so intense experience of these two years” in that “command post” only reinforced his pride in the Portuguese and his confidence in the National Health Service (SNS).

Then, he left warnings regarding the evolution of the pandemic in the coming months.

“The vaccine has proven to be the most effective weapon in fighting the pandemic, an extraordinary victory for science, but the war is not over. As we know, there are millions of human beings around the world who still have not had access to the vaccine and, as long as that is the case, the virus will remain active and the risk of transforming into new variants will persist”, he warned.

Therefore, for the executive leader, “it is essential to accelerate vaccination on a global scale and continue the vaccination boost in Portugal”.

“Schools, entities in the solidarity sector, local authorities, the State and the European Union did their best – and even what so often seemed impossible – to help everyone in the various vicissitudes they faced. We certainly can’t always arrive on time, nor have all the wounds healed yet”, he said.

However, according to António Costa, employment has already “fully” recovered from pre-pandemic levels and Portugal has resumed “robust growth”.

“We cannot lose focus on the national recovery effort. And we must do so with the confidence of a people who, having overcome each stage of this pandemic, are capable of overcoming themselves, of facing the future with hope, continuing to be extraordinary in times of normality and tranquility that we all yearn for”, he added.

In the opening part of his message, the prime minister recalled that he spent Christmas last year in prophylactic isolation for days before having lunch in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron, who fell ill shortly afterwards with covid-19.

“A year ago, I myself spent my Christmas Eve in solitude, in prophylactic isolation, far from my wife, my children, my mother, my entire family. But I know, we all know, that difficult, truly difficult, is the pain of someone who suffers the loss of a loved one or the ordeal of someone who is sick, so often in need of hospitalization. It is these pains and these trials that none of us want to suffer and that we all wish that those who are dearest to us never suffer”, he emphasized.


António Costa also pointed out that a year ago on Monday the vaccination process began in Portugal.

“Our first vaccinated, Professor António Sarmento, a veteran doctor at Hospital de São João, gave us all an example of what needed to be done. It was a gesture of the utmost importance to reinforce the confidence and motivation of the entire country. Since then, almost the entire population over 12 years of age has been vaccinated, two and a half million people have already received the booster dose and we have started to vaccinate children aged 11 to 5 years”, he added.

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Together for Road Safety

Considering that Christmas and New Year’s time is traditionally associated with an increase in road traffic, with this year’s prediction of adverse weather conditions for the coming days, the Republican National Guard and Public Safety Police – and the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority are increasing road presence, increasing the safety of the Portuguese.
ANEPC triggers road prevention and intervention device
The National Civil Protection and Emergency Authority (ANEPC) will trigger a Road Prevention and Intervention Device for this holiday season, which aims to contribute to an effective chain of relief.
The ANEPC will thus mobilise adequate human and material resources, raising the level of readiness, speed of intervention and quality of relief service in the pre-hospital area and further contributing, through a visible presence in strategic locations, as a factor raising awareness of road safety promotion and reducing accident.
This Road Prevention and Intervention Device will be triggered on December 23, 24 and 26 and December 31 and January 2, comprising 780 firefighters and 236 Fire Department s’ vehicles with relief valences, which will be permanently ready prepositioned in 123 strategic locations, near the roadways with the largest traffic flow, depending on the history and dynamics of the pendular movements occurring in every district.
GNR and PSP boost awareness and oversight for Christmas and New Year
This strong presence of ANEPC on the Portuguese roads joins the already usual reinforcement of awareness and oversight actions of Security Forces in Christmas and New Year’s seasons.
The Republican National Guard (GNR) already has Operation ′′ Christmas and New Year 2021 ′′ on the ground, which runs until January 2, with the aim of intensifying road patrolling on the highest traffic routes during this period, through the patrolling effort to ensure festivities and travel safely.
The Guard will take into account the largest road flow on the paths of residence of citizens to holiday venues associated with Christmas and New Year celebrations.
During the operation, several valences from the various GNR Units will be committed to various patrolling, surveillance and awareness actions, paying particular attention to driver s’ risk behaviors, such as speeding, dangerous manoeuvres, correct signalling and execution of overtaking manoeuvres change of direction and transfer of passage, misuse of mobile phone, correct right-lane traffic, as well as incorrect or non-use of the seat belt and / or child restraint systems.
Also the Public Security Police (PSP) has already started the operation ′′ Always Present Police: Parties in Security 2021-2022 ′′ with the slogan ′′ Celebrate with us safely “, strengthening your presence on the roads until 3th january
PSP will increase its presence on the public road, strengthening visibility and ability to prevent occurrences, contributing to increased citizen s’ sense of safety. Police will intensify oversight operations these days, with particular focus on the main causes of sinisterity: excessive speed, mobile phone use during driving, no use of safety belt and restraint and driving systems under the effect of alcohol and psychotropic substances.
This increase in taxation will take place in the week before Christmas, not only in large urban centres but also in access to the main road lines.
ANSR also on the roads with awareness campaigns
The National Road Safety Authority (ANSR) will launch two campaigns – Christmas and New Year – aimed at raising drivers aware of the hazards associated with risk behaviors at the wheel, such as speeding, the effect of alcohol or the use of cell phone on travel to family gathering places or fun and homecoming. Under the mote ′′ The Best Gift Is To Be Present “, campaigns will be made public on television, radio, regional and local press and on social media, among other means, during the periods from 22 to 27 December and 28 December 2nd January.

The two campaigns will feature more than 70 partners, who associate themselves with the great collective purpose of ′′ saving lives ′′ and the goal of Zero Deaths on the road.

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Prime Minister’s Announcement to nation following Council of Ministers meeting


The Prime Minister, António Costa, began this Tuesday’s post-Council of Ministers press conference by revealing that the strategies adopted about a month ago are showing results. “Whether from the point of view of vaccination, testing or border control we have managed to obtain effective results,” he said.

According to the Prime Minister, based on what was transmitted by INSA, at the end of the year Omicron should already be the dominant variant (about 90% of new cases), hence the need to take new measures at this time.

António Costa stated that Portugal should “prevent”. Therefore, the Government decided to move forward with a new package of measures, among them the extension of free tests from four to six per person (with Utente Number) each month.

The Government has decided to bring forward the special measures planned for January2nd-9th. According to the new rules, this period will start at 00h00 on 25th December.

  • Teleworking is mandatory;
  • Closure of Clubs and Nightlife bars (govern will create support measures for the companies);
  • Closure of kindergartens and ATLs (govern will create support measures for the family).


From that time onwards, a negative COVID-19 test will be mandatory to access:

  • Tourist establishments and local accommodation;
  • Business events
  • Cultural shows
  • Sports venues (unless decided by the DGS);
  • Family ceremonies such as weddings and christenings.


The allowed capacity in commercial establishments will also be reduced to one person for every five square metres.

António Costa also announced the measures that will be in force on 24 and 25 December and on 30 and 31 December and 1 January.

  • A negative test will be mandatory for access to restaurants, casinos and New Year’s Eve parties;
  • There will be a ban on gatherings of more than ten people on public roads on New Year’s Eve;
  • The consumption of alcoholic drinks on public roads will be prohibited.

The Prime Minister explained that the measures adopted “extend until 10 January” and that the proposal presented by the epidemiologists heard by the Government suggests that on 5 January an evaluation of the existing situation will be made.

António Costa also left some recommendations for the approaching Christmas and New Year’s Eve, having appealed “to everyone so that they can contain the Christmas celebrations in their family nucleus”.

The Prime Minister also requested that, “whenever possible, ventilate the house and have the windows open”. “It is a cold night, but the ventilation of closed spaces is of the utmost importance to avoid the concentration of viruses and reduce the risk of contamination,” he said.

Costa also appealed to the population to wear masks whenever possible, even indoors, during the Christmas dinner and insisted on the need for everyone to test themselves before gathering for the Christmas Eve meal or lunches.

António Costa also revealed that the Directorate-General of Health (DGS) will announce between today and tomorrow the schedule for extending vaccination to new age groups. “We have to assume that the whole population will need a booster dose,” he added.

António Costa also said that there will be a day-off tolerance on 24 and 31 December for civil servants.




Christmas – Fire Safety Check List for your Home


This year, make sure you have two Christmas lists – your Santa list and your fire safety checklist.

Christmas is a time where we all snuggle up in front of the fire, turn on some extra heating around the home, look forward to putting on our cozy pyjamas and of course hanging some festive decorations to get into the spirit of things. This time of the year can also expose our homes to more fire hazards than usual.

In Portugal the vast majorities of fires occur during lunch and diner when you switch on your kitchen appliances. But, and that’s a big one, the vast majorities of deaths and serious injuries occur during night time fires because that’s when you get caught off-guard.

So, this year, make sure you have two Christmas lists – your Santa list and your fire safety checklist.

We’ve compiled important safety tips for eight areas of your home environment that you can put into practice:


Many of us have probably already taken our electric blankets out of the cupboard this winter. It’s important you switch off your electric blanket before going to sleep. Only leave it turned on if it has thermostatic controls which are safe for all-night use. If any of the wires seem damaged or worn, replace the electric blanket.

To safe guard you and your home this Christmas make sure that you don’t:

  • Overload your plug sockets.
  • Plug an extension lead into another extension lead. Make sure to check the rating of your extension leads before use; most will be ‘13A’ which means it cannot handle more than 13 amps or 3000 watts of power at a time.
  • Leave lamps and electrical appliances plugged in overnight.


Cooking is the source of a great number of house fires, with a lot of these occurring during the Christmas period. During this time of year, we’re all using our ovens and stoves more often. Pots and pans can very easily overheat if left unattended on the hob, so if you must leave the room, be sure to turn the heat off and move the pot or pan to a heat resistant surface. Remember to always keep the area around your cooker completely free from combustible items such as napkins, tea towels and food packaging when cooking.

In the event of a grease fire, never attempt to extinguish it with water. Water and oil don’t mix – the water will sink to the bottom of the pan and evaporate straight away whilst causing the burning grease to disperse and spread – instead use a fire blanket to smother the flames. If you don’t own a fire blanket buy one, its money well spent. You can also use a large cloth or damp blanket (not nylon or polyester based) as a last resort and cover the fire completely, eventually extinguishing it by the absence of oxygen.

Please see an example:

Fireplaces and chimneys

If you have an open fire be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Ensure stoves and boilers are serviced regularly by a professional.


There are so many smells that we associate with Christmas; fresh fig, cinnamon, spiced quince, gingerbread and of course, Christmas trees! And it has become increasingly popular to use scented candles in our homes all year round. It’s very easy to forget to blow out candles, especially at night time. A simple alternative are LED tea lights.

However, if you must use real candles, make sure they fit securely into candleholders and keep them well away from anything flammable and at least 10 centimetres away from other candles.

Decorations, Lights & Christmas trees

A simple fire safety switch you can make during the festive period is to use LED Christmas lights rather than traditional lights for decoration around your home. Remember to never leave your Christmas tree lights plugged in when going to bed or leaving your home, even for a short time.

Make sure to avoid hanging decorations above or near to an open fire or stove. Keep your Christmas tree at least 1.2 meters/4 feet away from heat sources such as heaters, fires and candles.

If you have a real Christmas tree, keep it in a pot of water to stop it from drying out and becoming highly flammable. Try not to purchase a tree with brown needles, as these will fall out quickly and become a fire hazard.

If you purchase an artificial Christmas tree be sure it has a CE safety mark and is flame retardant. Only purchase lights that have the CE safety mark.


Cigarettes cause a vast number of all house fires. If you do smoke, try to do so outside because smoldering cigarette butts are extremely dangerous if left near flammable surfaces. Alternatively, keep some water in your ashtrays to ensure the cigarette butts are fully extinguished.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

It’s so important that you have a smoke alarm on each floor of your home, and that you check them regularly. Every home should also have at least one fire extinguisher rated for all fire types (look for A-B-C rating on the label).

The latest fire extinguishers are the ABF Foam Fire Extinguishers, they give you the added advantage of keeping cleaning after the fire absolutely minimal. If you use a dry powder one you have to thoroughly clean after using them, including the interior of all electronics.

Please see an example:

If you have a fuel-burning appliance, including an open fire – make sure to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed. You should have one in every room that contains a stove or open fire.


Make sure to keep lighters and matches well out of reach of children and teach them about fire safety.

Create a safety and escape plan for the family to follow in the event of a fire. Make sure that family members know how to use a fire extinguisher and fire blanket.

Prepared by Pedro Taboada

Former Bombeiros Commander and currently Adviser to Safe Communities Portugal


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COVID-19 Considering Risk factors when planning Festive activities


In the lead up to Christmas we are undoubtedly planning for the occasion, with additional shopping and deciding what events, family gatherings and other events we will be attending. Compared to last year there are far fewer Covid-19 restrictions in place, so far greater freedom in deciding our activities. However some activities may present greater exposure to contracting Covid-19 than others. It is all to do with risk.

Nearly all the eligible population (except those 11 and under) have already been fully vaccinated and some have received the booster and flu vaccines. There are some people however who still have no, or limited, protection against the new coronavirus. There are activities and areas of the country that pose greater risk than others.

We have learned to live with covid-19 among us. Even with some limitations, you can go to a restaurant, gym or cinema.

However, the emergence of new variants of the virus and current increases in incidence rates may change this reality and force the cancellation of some of this seasons events, as has already happened in some municipalities. For now, the number of admissions, both in intensive care and in wards, remains far from the limit established by experts consulted by the Government and far below the same period last year. The Christmas and New Year periods will be decisive.

The desire for a gradual return to normality does not mean that the virus has disappeared from our lives. Every trip to the restaurant, supermarket, cinema or participation in a social event carries a risk, which varies depending on your health condition, whether you have already been vaccinated, where you live and, of course, how many people will be with you and how they behave.

If you undertake these activities, the above risk factors determine the level to which you may become exposed to contracting Covid-19 and the potential level of seriousness. A major factor is health and if you suffer from: hypertension, diabetes, asthma, kidney disease, heart disease, lung disease or cancer these are the types of conditions that according to DGS increase the risk; plus factors such as being overweight or if you smoke.

If you undertake these activities, these risk factors determine the level to which you may become exposed to contracting Covid-19 and the level of seriousness.

A low risk does not mean that you cannot suffer any harm from the disease, just as a high risk does not mean that you suffer.

Keep in mind that, even if you are not at high individual risk, there is always the risk of infecting others who are more vulnerable and causing them harm (the extent and severity of which you cannot predict or foresee). Precaution in managing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection is a collective responsibility.

For example, if you are over 70 years of age, have various diseases and have not fully completed a Covid-19 vaccination and thinking of going to a gathering in a group with others, in a municipality with a high incidence rate, where people may not all be wearing masks all the time and social distancing is not possible, then the risk is likely to be very high.

However, if you are going shopping, in a municipality with a low incidence rate, are younger in age, no health conditions, fully vaccinated and will be wearing a mask all the time then the risk in comparison is much lower.

These are just two examples, the purpose being to illustrate when considering what activities you wish to undertake, to also consider the risk factors together with your potential exposure to others who maybe more vulnerable.

We wish everyone a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year

David Thomas

President Safe Communities Portugal

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2021: Three waves of covid-19, three variants and mass vaccination of Population


Lisbon, December 14, 2021 (Lusa) – Three waves of infections, which put professionals and health services to the test, new variants of the more transmissible coronaviruses and the mass vaccination of the population marked the covid-19 pandemic in 2021 in Portugal.

Portugal is ending 2021 as it started: a wave of cases that has already led to more measures to contain the growth of infections and the threat of a new variant, despite doubts whether it causes more severe forms of covid-19 and whether its effectiveness is diminished of vaccines.

If in January 2021 the threat was the Alpha variant, associated with the United Kingdom, now the concern is with Omicron, detected in dozens of countries after being reported in southern Africa.

In between, Portugal faced the Delta variant, associated with India, considered 60% more transmissible than the original virus, and responsible for all infections in the country and which in 2021 gained ground to all others in Europe and the world.

But 2021 is also marked by the biggest wave since the beginning of the pandemic, in the first two months of the year, with Portugal surpassing, at the end of January, 300 daily deaths and 16 thousand cases.

With vaccination still in its infancy, the pressure on hospitals has been increasing since the beginning of the year, which most experts attributed to the easing of restrictions during the Christmas period, culminating in a peak of more than 6,600 inpatients and 850 patients in intensive care at the end of January.

Faced with the worst moment of the pandemic, the Government increased the expenditure of the National Health Service, which grew 10% in the first two months of the year, reaching 1,876 million euros, but even this effort did not prevent, for example, the Santa Maria hospital , in Lisbon, went into “over-effort” and the Garcia de Orta hospital, in Almada, was in a “pre-catastrophe scenario”.

In mid-January, Portugal became the country in the world with the highest number of new cases per million inhabitants, which led, for example, to a German clinical team of 26 professionals to land in Lisbon, for example, to help with contain the pandemic.

The confinement to control this unprecedented wave was reflected in a calmer spring, with the number of cases dropping considerably, a situation that was reversed again in the beginning of the summer, with the Government having ordered the suspension of the decontamination plan that was in progress. to be implemented, since the country was in the red zone of the risk matrix.

In summer, a time of great mobility, the country once again exceeded thousands of daily infections, reaching a peak on July 21, with 4,376 cases, and close to 1,000 hospitalized and around 200 patients in intensive care at the end of that month, figures, however, much lower than at the beginning of 2021.

With the country still in a state of calamity, the Government later put forward a new decontamination plan that came into effect on August 1, when 57% of the population had already been fully vaccinated.

The last stage of this plan came into effect on October 1st, just days before Portugal reaches the target of 85% complete vaccination, which placed the country among the first places in the world with the highest percentage of people immunized, and allowing relief almost total restrictions to control the pandemic.

This success had as central figure Henrique Gouveia e Melo, a submariner vice-admiral of the Armada, who, on February 3rd, took over the leadership of the ‘task force’ he was already part of, following the resignation of coordinator Francisco Ramos, and at a time in which the plan was overshadowed by cases of improper vaccination, and that Portugal had few vaccines and only 2% of the population was immunized.

Portugal is approaching the end of the year with an increase in infections and hospital admissions, but around 80% fewer patients with covid-19 are now in hospitals than at the end of January.

Most specialists attributed this lesser pressure to the high rate of vaccination in a country that has meanwhile reached almost 90% of its population fully vaccinated, also advancing to the booster dose for the immunization of the elderly and children aged 5 to 11 years.

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Support and Safety plan for Praia do Norte, Nazare, activated


The Support and Safety Plan for Praia do Norte, in Nazaré has been activated, with workers from the municipality and the entire staff of the Port Captaincy on hand to ensure the safety of surfers and the public as the famous big waves return.

The Plan jointly prepared by the municipality and the Captaincy of Nazaré, in the district of Leiria, intends to “guarantee the safety of all those who flock to Praia do Norte during the return of the big waves”.

With the objective of “minimising the risks and guaranteeing that everyone who enters the sea returns to the beach”, the council has deployed “about a dozen employees and several vehicles” which, according to the council president, as part of the operational plan joined by lifeguards, firefighters and “a doctor and a nurse who will be on the beach ready to act”.

Safety “for both the public and the surfers” is also, throughout the week, the priority of the Captaincy of the Port of Nazaré, whose commander, Zeferino Henriques, told Lusa that he will keep “all the troops” on alert.

“The great concern is the safety of people on the cliff” that flanks the accesses to Praia do Norte, underlined the captain who, “in view of adverse weather conditions”, warns of “the danger of people coming to the site to see the giant waves, because on Wednesday (8 The great concern is the safety of people on the cliff” that flanks the accesses to Praia do Norte, underlined the captain who, “in view of adverse weather conditions”, warns of “the danger of people coming to the site to see the giant waves, because on Wednesday (8 December) very dangerous and violent conditions are expected in terms of wind”.

Zeferino Henriques also guaranteed that the Maritime Police “will also be on site to enforce the rules in relation to the pandemic [Covid-19]”, urging that those who still concentrate near to the lighthouse “to comply with social distance, the use of mask and hygiene care”.

In presenting the safety plan, the captain also appealed to the surfers present to communicate their intention to enter the water “72 hours in advance” and to inform them when they enter and leave the sea.

Along with the means available at Praia do Norte, the City Council of Nazaré also made a mobile phone number and a radio channel available to surfers where they can contact in the event of an accident at sea.

The big wave season traditionally takes place in Nazaré between the end of November and the beginning of December, attracting national and foreign surfers and thousands of people who gather to watch the practice of ‘tow-in surfing’, a technique in which the surfer is towed into the waves by a jet ski.”.

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Resolution of Council of Ministers 157/2021 published


Following the Council of Ministers communique published on 25th November, the government has today published the full resolution concerning the Situation of Calamity to come into effect at oo.oo hrs 1st December 2021

This covers travel into Portugal mainland, entry to gyms, bars and night clubs etc.

The details translated informally into English can be downloaded here.

The original Portuguese version is here.


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COVID-19 Prime Ministers Announcement following Council of Minister’s Meeting 25th November 2021



Portugal will move to a Situation of Calamity with effect 1st December 2021

Mandatory masks in all enclosed spaces unless otherwise indicated by the DGS.

The digital certificate becomes mandatory in restaurants, tourist establishments and local accommodation, events with marked places and gyms.

A mandatory negative test (even for vaccinated) applies to visits to nursing homes; visits to patients admitted to health establishments; attendance to large events without marked places or in improvised venues and in sports venues, clubs and bars.

The negative test is also mandatory for all flights arriving in Portugal, “regardless of the origin or nationality of the passenger”.

Control at airports will be strengthened with the hiring, from private security companies, of the necessary staff.

Each passenger disembarked without a test will represent a fine of 20 thousand euros to be paid by the airline. At airports there will be a retention zone for anyone who has been transported without a negative test. Accommodation and food expenses imposed on those who have to remain in isolation because they have tested positive at entering will be covered by the airlines.

The tests required to enter the country through airports are PCR and antigen

The Council of Ministers decided to postpone the reopening of the schools after Christmas vacations: classes only start on January 10th.

These five days less in schools are compensated by removing two days from the Carnival break and three days from the Easter break.

Also from 2 to 9 January, teleworking becomes mandatory and clubs will be closed.


António Costa stated that, thanks to the efforts of the citizens, Portugal is the country in Europe with the highest rate of vaccination. Aspect that is reflected in the lower number of deaths and hospitalizations.

Comparing the situation today, with 3150 cases of infection, with the situation a year ago, there are far fewer people in intensive care units. “We are frankly better than a year ago,” says Costa. The conclusion we must draw, is that vaccination is worth it.

The first measure is, therefore, to reinforce the vaccination effort, through the booster dose in eligible people: over 65 years of age and with a second dose for more than five months; people with a medical prescription for vaccination and patients who have recovered from the disease.

Christmas will be a time of risk, recalls António Costa.

“It is time to adopt new measures”, he adds.

The first steps are general recommendations:

– Recommended to do self-tests, for example before joining the family

– Teleworking is recommended, whenever possible.


Please see the Council of Ministers Full PowerPoint here