Omicron-driven restrictions come into force in Portugal on Christmas

Lisbon, Dec 25 (EFE).- Fresh coronavirus-related restrictions in Portugal came into force on Saturday in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus variant Omicron, which accounts for 61.5% of all infections.

The curbs, including the closure of nightlife, compulsory work from home, were initially scheduled for January 2-9, but were instead reintroduce at an earlier date, on Christmas Day.

On Saturday over 10,000 new infections were reported for the third day in a row, for the first time since January.

The restrictions, which deal a further blow to the nightlife industry, also include a compulsory negative test to access hotels, weddings and baptisms, cultural shows and sports venues such as football stadiums, regardless of capacity.

Nurseries will also be shut down, although hundreds of schools will be open to accommodate the children of workers of essential services.

Tests will be compulsory to access indoor diners on December 24, 25, 30 and 31 and 1 January.

Some 50% of the restaurants planned not to open during those days to save on costs, mainly at the end of the year, sources from the Portuguese National Restaurant Association told Efe.

On New Year’s Eve, despite the closure of the nightclubs, parties will be allowed in venues such as casinos or hotels, with the negative test mandate applying. EFE


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