From 15:00 on 19th June, travel in and out of the Lisbon Metropolitan area will be banned during the weekend as a response from authorities to contain a new spike in COVID cases in the Portuguese Capital. The restrictions will start at 03:00 pm every Friday and end at 6:00 am every Monday.
Mariana Vieira da Silva, the Cabinet spokeswoman, said on Thursday 18th June that the Government is aware that people did not want a travel ban. Still, the authorities feel it's necessary to protect the country.
Circulation restrictions apply only to circulation to and from the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML): circulation between municipalities in the AML is still allowed."
Circulation between the cities in this area is not prohibited because the Government's main objective is to prevent contagion outside this area, justified the minister. "It is much more a measure to protect the rest of the country, so as not to extend the phenomenon in Lisbon to other regions, than a measure to contain the pandemic in the AML", he explained.
Experts believe that the highly contagious Delta variant is in circulation. It's estimated that 254 people per 100,000 had the virus on Thursday (18th June), about three times the national rate of 90.
As for travel for holidays, the minister stresses that the restrictions only apply during the weekend. "It's not a sanitary fence. It's a weekend restriction," he says.
Flights out of Lisbon are exempt from the ban, as are work-related journeys. People who live in the Metropolitan area can still catch flights to Madeira and Azores.
The Government also informed that there would be a reinforcement of inspections regarding dislocation and events that may be carried out.