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Portugal eases restrictions amid record Covid-19 cases

Portugal will allow nightclubs to reopen in mid-January despite hitting a daily record of nearly 40,000 infections on Wednesday (5 January).

“It is evident that the Omicron variant is less severe … vaccination has been effective against it,” said prime minister Antonio Costa on Thursday (7 January).

“That’s why we have a much lower number of hospitalisations, fewer people in ICU and deaths.”

Nightclubs and bars can reopen on 14 January but a negative test will be required to enter. Previously bars and nightclubs were closed and outdoor gatherings were limited to 10 people.

Nightclubs and bars can reopen on 14 January but a negative test will be required to enter

Covid passports certifying full inoculation, recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test result, are still mandatory to access events, restaurants, gyms and other leisure and hospitality businesses. Masks are still required for indoor spaces.

Also from Monday, only infected people and those who live with them are required to isolate, while those who have received a booster shot – about 3 million people – no longer need to do so.

Students can return to school from that date but a work-from-home order, imposed around Christmas, will stay in place for now.

Portugal is one of the few European markets that are effectively open for live music, along with Austria which recently ended the three-week lockdown for vaccinated people across most of the country.


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