Portugal’s Lisbon rolls out new COVID curbs as cases surge

Authorities in Portugal’s Lisbon region are reintroducing coronavirus restrictions due to a surge driven by the delta variant, which now accounts for more than seven in 10 new infections in the capital.

Two months after Portugal began to ease a prolonged lockdown, the country reported 1,556 new infections on Thursday – the highest number since February 20. More than 1,000 of them were in the Lisbon region, where some 2.8 million people live, with officials warning that hospital admissions are increasing at a “worrying” level.

The restrictions include restaurants and cafes closing at 3:30pm on weekends, with limits on how many customers can be served. Wedding and baptism venues will be allowed to fill only 25 percent of their capacity, down from the current 50 percent, while weekend travel into and out of Lisbon will not be allowed.Though hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients remain manageable, the trend is “worrying”, Cabinet Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva told reporters.

She said the number of hospitalisations and patients in intensive care went up by 30 percent and 26 percent over the past week, respectively.

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