Lisbon: two days closure due to delta variant

The Portuguese capital Lisbon will be sealed off for around two and a half days due to a worrying increase in coronavirus infection cases.

From tomorrow afternoon (16.00 CEST) until Monday morning (6.00 CEST), the city’s 2.8 million residents will only be allowed to leave the greater Lisbon area for good reason, the government announced yesterday. Foreigners will be allowed to enter only in exceptional cases.

With 928 new infections within 24 hours, Lisbon last recorded the highest figure since Feb. 19, when 1,233 were reported. However, only about 27 percent of all 10.3 million Portuguese live in Lisbon’s Area Metropolitana.

“Not easy to take such measures”
In Lisbon, the delta variant of the coronavirus, first discovered in India, is currently spreading relatively rapidly, the government said. It was “not easy to take such measures, but to us they seemed essential so that the situation that currently prevails in Lisbon does not spread to the whole country.”

Once a hotspot, Portugal had successfully battled coronavirus during the winter and at times had the lowest levels in Europe during the spring. The state of emergency to contain the pandemic had therefore ended on May 1 after five and a half months. However, the nationwide 14-day incidence rose again from 55 to 87 within a few weeks, according to the EU agency European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

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