On Saturday, August 1, authorities in Greater Lisbon lifted the 'State of Calamity' in the city and replaced it with a more relaxed 'State of Contingency', as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions are eased. As part of the 'State of Contingency', all public spaces must close at 20:00 (local time), with the exception of supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, funeral homes, and medical centers, which must close at 22:00, and restaurants, which must close by 01:00, with last admittance being at 00:00. The consumption of alcohol is banned in public, except in restaurants, bars, and cafes, and gas stations are prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages. Gatherings are capped at 10 people. Despite the easing of measures, Lisbon and the surrounding parishes remain at a higher level of restrictions, with the rest of Portugal under a 'State of Alert'.
Social distancing rules must be followed throughout Portugal, with the wearing of face masks compulsory in all enclosed public spaces and on public transport and in taxis. The majority of shops and services are open in the country, subject to social distancing and hygiene measures. The consumption of alcohol is banned outdoors. In areas outside Greater Lisbon, gatherings are limited to 20 people. There are no border controls on the Spanish border, but arrivals at airports will be subject to health screening. A temperature of 38° or higher, as well as any other COVID-19 symptoms, will likely result in a COVID-19 test and mandatory self-isolation until the results of the test are known. Arrivals from the US and all Portuguese-speaking countries must display a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72-hours of departure to airline staff.
As of August 1, Portuguese authorities have recorded over 51,310 confirmed cases of the virus, and 1737 associated fatalities. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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