After 318 days in force, the mandatory use of masks on the streets of Portugal is no longer valid from this Monday (13th).
With more than 78% of the population with the complete vaccination schedule, the country has progressively eliminated the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Face coverage is still required in closed spaces, public transport, shopping malls, public buildings and to enter or circulate inside cafes and restaurants and in other specific situations, such as schools.
Despite the end of the obligation, health authorities recommend that the masks continue to be used in places with agglomeration of people.
Portuguese deputies chose not to renew the law that determined the use of masks. The initial diploma was approved in October, at a time of high number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
According to Portuguese rules, masks in the streets were only mandatory when it was not possible to maintain social distance. Still, many Portuguese, especially in big cities, chose to wear facial coverage whenever they left home.
The decision to end the mandatory use of masks in the streets was not unanimous among experts, and some medical groups opposed the measure.
“The National Association of Public Health Physicians continues to suggest that, especially in this winter phase that we are going to enter, the mask continues to be personal protective equipment used by everyone or almost everyone, so that we can protect ourselves, not only from Covid-19, but also from the flu,” said the acting president of the entity Gustavo Tato Jorge, in a statement to Lusa agency.