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Lockdown Easing FAQ’s

Here, you will find the answer to some of the most frequently asked questions on the measures to counter the COVID-19 pandemic adopted by the Government.

The page will be updated whenever new questions arise that are relevant or with justified changes to the national context.



Labour

Is teleoworking mandatory?

Yes. Teleworking is mandatory in mainland Portugal, regardless of the work agreement, mobility or legal relation, whenever the tasks on hand allow this and the worker has the necessary conditions to work from home, without the need for agreement between the parties.

Enterprises from the service sector that have more than 250 workers on their payroll need to report to the Labour Conditions Authority the list of the workers who will be teleworking.

Which workers cannot be teleworking?

Teleworking does not apply to:

  1. Workers whose tasks are not compatible with working from home, as verified by a statement issued by the employer
  2. Workers in essential services (healthcare professionals, law enforcement and security agencies, first aid, including firemen, and the armed forces, workers from essential public services and social institutions or facilities to support the elderly, such as homes, day care centres and alike, workers in management and maintenance of essential infrastructure.
Is it mandatory to have rotating working hours at work?

Yes. If teleworking is not an option due to the nature of the job, working hours should be rotated in all mainland Portugal, regardless of the type of enterprise.

Can parents with children under the age of 12 justify being absent from work?

Yes. Any absence from work to attend to a child under the age of 12, or, regardless of age, a bearer of disability or chronic disease is justified, due to the closing of schools and social facilities to support infancy or the disabled.

With schools, nurseries and pre-school facilities closing, what assistance can parents request should they have to be absent from work to support their children?

When attending to a child under the age of 12, or, regardless of age, a bearer of disability or chronic disease due to the closing of schools, in addition to having justified leave, workers who are unable to work from home shall be entitled to a monthly financial assistance of two thirds of their basic wages as stated in December 2020, paid in equal parts by the employer and social security system. The minimum amount is equal to a guaranteed minimum monthly wage, and the ceiling is three times the guaranteed minimum monthly wage.

In the event of an independent worker with payments made for at least three months in a row in the last twelve months, the monthly assistance is a third of the basis for assessing taxation, per month, referring to the fourth quarter of 2020. The minimum amount is equal to 1 Social Support Index Rate and the ceiling is equal to 2.5 Social Support Index Rates. In no case can this be more than the amount of the remuneration recorded as the basis for assessing taxation.

Workers teleworking can benefit from this support under the following conditions:

  • Single-parent family
  • Family with at least one child attending a social facility to support infancy, pre-school or the first cycle of basic schooling
  • Family with at least one disabled dependent person, with proven incapacity equal to or greater than 60%, regardless of age.

The support is paid 100% under the following conditions:

  • Single-parent families where the child receives support for single-parent families
  • The two parents benefit from the support, weekly and alternating.
Can workers in essential services justify their absence from work and benefit from social support to attend to their children?

No. The children of essential workers will benefit from a school or nursery, open to them.

Courts and similar services

Will the courts continue operating?

Law 4-B/2021 of 1February was published, which suspends all the deadlines for any procedural acts and deeds required under the proceedings and suits ongoing in the courts of law, administrative and tax courts, Court of Auditors and other courts and jurisdictions, tribunals, Public Prosecution Office, Judge of the peace, alternative conflict settlement bodies and tax enforcement bodies.

The exceptions are:

  1. Pre-contract litigation
  2. Cases for prior supervision by the Court of Auditors
  3. Cases, acts or diligence considered urgent
  4. Non-urgent cases in superior courts, but only when the conditions are verified that can ensure the proceedings are held via online platforms or remote communications mechanisms
  5. Non-urgent cases when all parties agree they have the conditions to ensure the proceedings are held via online platforms or remote communications mechanisms

All the limitation and prescription periods are likewise suspended on cases whose periods are suspended owing to this law.

Are there any restrictions on deeds by notaries, attorneys, solicitors or registry officials?

It is authorized to travel to take part in deeds by notaries, attorneys, solicitors or registry officials.

Registry services will continue to have in-person assistance, by appointment, while the state of emergency lasts and for the following acts only:

  1. Death registration
  2. Marriages and wills, when there is danger of imminent death
  3. Birth registration and request for citizen’s card for newborns
  4. Request for 1st citizen’s card and renewal of citizen’s card for those under the age of 25, which are deemed urgent or extremely urgent
  5. Request, issue and delivery of provisional citizen’s card
  6. Delivery of citizen’s card and passport deemed urgent or extremely urgent
  7. Resetting PINs in situations of exceptional urgency, namely healthcare professionals
  8. Changes in priority to extremely urgent whenever these are alternatives to the deeds set in point e)

Restaurants and similar facilities

Can restaurants and similar facilities operate as normal?

These can operate as follows:

  1. For products to be consumed outside the facility, in home delivery services, directly or through a third party. They cannot supply alcoholic beverages from 8 pm onwards.
  2. Making available meals or packaged products outside their facility or for take-away, although for the latter, they cannot sell any type of beverage and meals and products cannot be consumed outside the door of the facility or nearby.

If the restaurant or facility is located inside a shopping centre, it can only operate for home delivery services and not take away.

As of 5 April, terraces outdoors will be open with a maximum of 4 people per table.

As of 19 April, should the health context allow it, restaurants, cafés and bakeries will open with a maximum of 4 people per table (or 6 in a terrace outdoors) until 10 pm or 1 pm at the weekend and bank holidays.

Until what time can home delivery services and takeaway take place?

There are no restrictions on time.

Can canteens, cafeterias and snack bars inside hospitals continue to operate?

Yes

Can cafés and bakeries continue to operate?

They are to follow the same rules as those that apply to restaurants.

For home delivery services, since it is not allowed to supply alcoholic beverages from 8 pm, from what time is it allowed?

After 8 pm, the supply of alcoholic beverages for home delivery services can only be resumed the following day, from the normal working hours of the facility, as determined by the working hours in force prior to the pandemic.

Flea Markets and Markets

Can flea markets and markets remain open?

Yes, but only to sell foodstuffs and depending on permission by the Mayor. The contingency plan is to be followed.

Shops and Retailers

Can grocery stores, local supermarkets, supermarkets and hypermarkets operate?

Yes, until 9 pm on weekdays and 7 pm at the weekend and on bank holidays.

Can hair salons, barber shops, beauticians and beauty therapists operate?

These facilities can operate according to the rules set by the Directorate-General for Health.

Can tattoo and piercing shops operate?

These facilities can operate according to the rules set by the Directorate-General for Health.

Can bookstores operate?

These facilities can operate according to the rules set by the Directorate-General for Health.

Can post offices, banks, insurance brokers and insurance firms operate?

Yes

Can small local shops, with a door to the outside and up to 200m2 space operate?

Only shops that supply essential can operate, or those that provide essential services, in accordance with the list attached to the Decree ruling on the State of Emergency.

Can industry and construction operate?

Yes

Can DIY stores operate?

Yes

Can petrol stations and service areas on motorways operate?As áreas de serviço e postos de abastecimento nas autoestradas podem funcionar?

Yes

Can petrol stations and EV charging stations operate?

Yes

Can rent-a-cargo and rent-a-car services operate?

Yes

Can shops in airports operate?

Yes, as long as they are located inside the airports in mainland Portugal, after passenger security checks.

For non-foodstuff retailers, is it possible to sell or deliver products at the door, for instance, clothing stores?

No

São permitidas as campanhas de saldos e promoções?Are sales and promotions allowed?São permitidas as campanhas de saldos e promoções?

Any advertising of sales and promotions that foster people flocking to shops open to the public is forbidden.
This does not include sales and promotions online.

Are there new working hours for shops and retailers?

Any shops and retailers that are operating shall close at 8 pm on weekdays and at 1 pm on Saturday, Sunday, and bank holidays.
Food stores close at 8 pm on weekdays and at 5 pm on Saturday, Sunday, and bank holidays.

Public Services

Can citizen bureaux operate?

Citizen bureaux will open on 19 April by appointment. Until then, some services within the bureaux are operating, exceptionally. To know more about this, please refer to https://eportugal.gov.pt/covid-19/atendimento-nas-lojas-de-cidadao

Accommodation and Hotels

Can tourist accommodation and local tourism accommodation operate?

Hotels, tourism facilities, local accommodation facilities can remain open, as well as accommodation for students.

Can hotel bars and restaurants operate?

Hotel bars and restaurants are closed for dining. However, they can deliver room service or take-away services at the hotel doors, although for the latter, they are not allowed to sell any beverages and meals and products cannot be consumed outside the facility or nearby.

Can hotels provide room service?

They can provide room service or make the products available at the hotel door.

Nursing homes, nurseries and occupational activities centres

Are there new restrictions on visiting the elderly in nursing homes?

No.

Will day care centres and leisure centres remain open?

No.

Will recreational centres remain open?

Recreational centres will be open exclusively for children and adults who resume their schooling and learning activities.

Will the facilities to support the disabled continue operating?

Occupational activities centres are closed.
However, these should offer meals to underprivileged users and whenever the institutions have the logistical conditions and human resources to do so, they must offer occupational support to users who need to remain home.

Will nurseries remain open?

Yes.

Events

Can we hold a wedding reception or christening?

No. Celebrations and other events are forbidden, including weddings and christenings.

Will cultural shows be held?

No.

Transports

Will public transports keep running?

Yes. Public transports will continue to run with the necessary adjustments to serve the population.

Are there new restrictions regarding cars for collective passenger transport, taxis etc?

No. The rules n force will remain for these transport services.

Will vehicle inspection centres and MOT centres remain open?

Inspection centres will run by appointment only.

Education and training

Will schools be open?

Schools are open for in-class learning for pupils in the first cycle of basic schooling, as well as pre-school facilities.

Learning and schooling activities for pupils in the 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic schooling, as well as those in secondary education will be online. The following situations have been safeguarded, if schooling is done online:

  • Whenever necessary, therapy support will e available at special needs facilities, schools and Resource Centres for Inclusion, as well as acceptance of students who require additional measures, at the units integrated within the Learning Support Centres.
  • The network of more than 1500 schools  that accept children or other people dependent on essential workers will remain open, and these will also make available meals for pupils who benefit from School Social Action.
  • Furthermore, schools will set the way they can offer special support in person to pupils at risk or those who have been flagged by child protection services and pupils the school feels cannot have home schooling, which could lead to early dropout.
Are higher education institutions closed?

Schooling and non-school activities in person are suspended, except those to finish the exam period underway.

Are tutoring centres open?

No.

Are driving schools open?

No.

Are language schools open?

No.

Are training institutions closed?

In-person training activities undertaken by any training body are suspended and can be replaced with online learning, namely mandatory vocational training required for work purposes.

Entertainment, Sports, Recreation and Leisure

Are gyms open?

No.

What sports and exercise can I do?

Individual exercise outdoors is allowed.

What sporting activities and events are allowed?

Practice and competition are allowed for athletes who belong to national teams for Olympics and Paralympics, from the 1st national division or high-level competition, as well as all international championships, as long as these are held without any audience and in full compliance with the guidelines issued by the National Directorate for Health.

Is outdoors exercise led by a fitness instructor allowed?

Outdoors exercise by one person can be done with the help of a fitness instructor, as long as the rules are met.

Can golf courses, tennis and padel courts remain open for amateur sports?

No.

From when is recreational fishing allowed?

Since recreational fishing can be compared to a low risk sport, we confirm that, according to the Lockdown Easing Plan under way, it can be done as of 5 April. However, the schedule can be amended according to the development of the epidemiologic criteria in mainland Portugal

Circulation

Are there restrictions on circulation between councils?

Yes. It is forbidden for you to circulate outside your council of residence from 8pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday and, daily, from midnight on 26 March to 11:59 pm on 5 April.

Can I walk my pets outside my municipality?

No. Walking with pets outdoors must be limited to your area of residence. You should walk your pets alone or with family members who live with you.

Is it possible to travel to volunteer to help those in need or homeless?

Yes. You can travel for volunteering purposes.

I have a job interview. Can I go?

Yes. You can travel to go job hunting or replying to a job offer.

Are there restrictions on filming to produce audio visual content?

There are no restrictions on this, as it is an occupation or can be compared to one.

Do passengers who arrive at airports in mainland Portugal have to do the RT-PCR molecular test?

Passengers who fly in from the countries defined in the ordinance have to present at departure proof of a negative RT-PCR molecular test for SARS CoV-2, done 72 hours prior to boarding, or else they shall be denied entry on-board and into the country (mainland Portugal). Passengers, national citizens or residents in Portugal who, exceptionally, do not have on them proof of a negative test must do a test on arrival, at their own expense, prior to entering mainland Portugal.

After doing the test on arrival at mainland Portugal airports, do passengers have to wait for their rest result at the airport?

National citizens or residents in Portugal who, exceptionally, do not have on them proof of a negative test must do a test on arrival and wait for the results in a specific area for the purpose inside the airport.

Who is in charge of doing the lab tests at airports?

The tests are done and supplied by ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, S.A., with health care professionals qualified for the purpose. The service may be outsourced.

Are passengers subject to temperature screening? What happens if the temperature is 38ºC or higher?

ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, S. A. screens for body temperature via infrareds on all passengers who arrive in mainland Portugal. Passengers who have a temperature of 38º C or higher are sent to a specific location for another temperature reading, and if the situation so warrants, they shall do a RT-PCR test. In this situation, they must wait for the test result in a specific area inside the airport.

Are flights to and from Brazil and to and from the United Kingdom on hold?

Yes, given the assessment of the pandemic’s evolution worldwide, all flights, commercial or private, of all airlines, from/to Brazil or from/to the United Kingdom, and to/from Portuguese airports and airfields are on hold from 00:00 on 17 March 2021 until 23:59 on 31 March 2021.