Portugal reintroduces nightly curfew amid rising COVID-19 cases
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Portugal will reintroduce a nightly curfew from tonight July 2 following an unexpected rise in coronavirus cases due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The strict new rules will apply from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. each evening until further notice in 45 municipalities across the country including the capital Lisbon, the picturesque city of Porto as well as Albufeira in the southern Algarve region, popular with British tourists for its endless sunshine and beautiful beaches. In larger cities, during these hours, cars will also be banned from driving on public roads.
The capital of Lisbon has already been locked down for the past two weeks following a recent surge in cases.
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Additionally, under the new rules, cafes and restaurants in Lisbon and approximately 18 additional towns must close at 10:30 p.m. on weeknights and 3:30 p.m. on weekends. With its warm weather and alfresco lifestyle, the rules will restrict Portugal’s famous late-night dining and socializing culture.
Minister of the Premiership Mariana Vieira da Silva has admitted that the pandemic is not “under control” in Portugal following Wednesday’s highest daily rate of new infections since February 2021. Daily deaths do remain low.
Since June 15 Portugal has allowed nonessential travel — which includes tourism — from the U.S. to mainland Portugal with proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
The country has progressed well with its vaccination program, with 55% of the population having received their first dose, and 33% being fully vaccinated. Most new cases are being reported in unvaccinated young adults, with Portugal now racing to vaccinate these citizens as quickly as possible.
Portugal’s vital tourism industry had been decimated by the pandemic, despite the United Kingdom briefly placing the country on its coveted green list for quarantine-free travel before removing it from the green list just three weeks later.
Featured image by Sean Pavone Photo / Getty Images
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