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19 mai 2020 | 01h19 UTC

Portugal: Government begins second phase of relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions May 18 /update 15

Portugal Alerte de sécurité

Portugal starts second phase of relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions on May 18; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 19/5/2020, 12h00 until 19/6/2020, 11h59 (Europe/Lisbon). COUNTRY/REGION Portugal

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On Monday, May 18, Portugal started the second phase of lifting restrictions that had been introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In this phase, several businesses have been allowed to resume operations, including museums, child daycare centers, restaurants, cafes, and shops with less than 400 sq m of floor space. Social distancing measures will remain in place nationwide and establishments have been provided with health and safety guidelines, such as the use of hand sanitizers for customers and masks and gloves for employees. The Portuguese government first started lifting lockdown measures on Sunday, May 3.

The regional government of Madeira has made it mandatory for all individuals to wear a mask from Wednesday, April 22, and has eased certain restrictions, resuming manufacturing and construction activities on Monday, April 20.

An ongoing ban on all international flights outside of the EU has been extended until Monday, June 15. EU associated states, including Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland, as well as the UK, US, Venezuela, Canada, and South Africa, are exempt from the ban. Repatriation flights for Portuguese nationals and residents will also continue to operate. A border closure with Spain, which has been in place since Monday, March 16, will also continue until June 15. Workers and goods traffic are allowed to travel across the border.

As of Tuesday, May 19, authorities have confirmed 29,209 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 1231 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over 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). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


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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