Portugal drops most COVID-19 rules as Omicron ebbs


As an Omicron-fuelled wave of infections ebbs, Portugal said on Thursday it would drop most of its remaining coronavirus rules, including the requirement to show the COVID-19 digital pass to stay at hotels or a negative test to enter nightclubs.

“This is a very important moment,” Cabinet Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva told a news conference. “This is another a step towards a return to normal life.”

The new measures will come into force in the next few days, Vieira da Silva said, as they need still the final stamp of approval from the president.

Those going to restaurants, hotels or cultural venues will no longer be asked to show the COVID digital certificate – proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID or a negative test. That will still be required to enter Portugal by air, sea or land.

A negative test will also not be requested to attend large events or to enter sports stadiums, bars and nightclubs.

Portugal to drop COVID test requirement for arriving passengers


Portugal will drop a requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test for air passengers arriving with a valid digital European Union certificate or recognised proof of vaccination, the government said on Thursday.

The move, approved in a cabinet meeting, is aligned with European Union rules.

In a statement, the government said negative tests will no longer be required for “those who present the EU COVID Digital Certificate in any of its modalities or other proof of vaccination that has been recognised”.

Portugal – everyone over the age of 65 has been fully vaccinated


More than half of young people between 12 and 17 years old and all seniors over 65 are already fully vaccinated against covid-19, announced today the General Directorate of Health (DGS).

According to the weekly vaccination report, 52% of young people aged 12 to 17 years (320,708) have already completed the vaccination – 25% last week – and 84% (525,426) received at least one dose.

Data from the DGS indicate that 80% of the Portuguese population, equivalent to more than 8.2 million people, has already completed the vaccination process against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and 85%, more than 8.8 million, have already have the first dose of the vaccine.

The `task force’ which coordinates the vaccination logistics estimates reaching in the last week of this month the target of 85% of the Portuguese population with complete vaccination.

For the first time, the vaccination report advances that 100% of the elderly in the 65 to 79 age groups and those over 80 years old are already fully vaccinated, representing a total of more than 2.3 million people.

Portugal reach the target of 70% vaccinated


Portugal has reached the target of 70% of the population being vaccinated, announced this Thursday, the Minister of Health, in an interview on SIC. “The good news that exists, and which is the result of the efforts of the Portuguese, is that it was already possible to reach, yesterday, 70% of the population residing in Portugal with complete vaccination”.

According to the government official, this goal was achieved a few weeks ahead of schedule, as “already indicated by the weekly vaccination report of the General Directorate of Health. Last week, [the report] referred to 66% of people with complete vaccination.”

Vaccinating around 100 thousand people a day, “it was expected that, during this week, we could achieve this goal and, in fact, the Task Force confirmed that we managed to achieve this result”, added the official.

Portugal reaches target of 70% of adult population vaccinated with one dose


The goal of having 70% of the adult population vaccinated against covid-19 with at least one dose was reached this Friday, anticipating the commitment made by the Government to have this goal fulfilled by the summer.

“As of yesterday [Friday], 9,504,206 vaccines had already been administered in mainland Portugal. These made it possible to vaccinate, with at least one dose, more than 5.8 million people aged 18 or over, who, in the limit of one month, they will have the complete vaccination schedule. At the moment, almost four million are fully vaccinated”, revealed this Saturday the Ministry of Health, in a note sent to the media.

The evolution of Portugal in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic fits in this Saturday’s announcement by the president of the European Commission, the German Ursula von der Leyen, that the European Union will receive enough doses until Sunday to vaccinate 70% of its adults.

“The country thus fulfills the second of the commitments made in January 2021. It should be remembered that, in March, Portugal had already reached the goal of vaccinating 80% of people over 80 and 80% of health professionals, also aligned with the goals of the European Commission”, the note emphasizes.

Portugal: first day without COVID deaths since August 2nd 2020


This Sunday, Portugal registered zero deaths and 196 new cases of covid-19 infection. There were no more deaths since 2 August . This is, in fact, the second time that there has been a day without deaths from covid-19 since the first death associated with the disease was reported in Portugal.

In total, since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has totaled 834,638 confirmed cases and 16,965 fatalities, according to the epidemiological bulletin released this Monday by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).

There are 17 more people hospitalized in Portuguese hospitals in relation to the last DGS report, in a total of 365 hospitalized patients. Of these, 91 are admitted to intensive care units in the country, seven fewer than the previous day.

Airport Covid testing to be given go-ahead ‘within days’ says MP – which could end quarantine restrictions


Airport coronavirus testing could be given the go-ahead within days – which may end or drastically reduce quarantine periods.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay confirmed that decisions regarding new measures which include airport swabbing will be made in the “coming days”.

He also said it would be a similar procedure currently seen in Germany, where passengers arriving from high-risk countries are able to be tested, meaning they can leave the quarantine, according to the Times.

Speaking during a Conservative conference, Mr Barclay explained: ““I am expecting Grant Shapps and Matt Hancock to say more about this in the coming days.

“If we look, for example, at some of the German states, which are using testing to then release earlier from some of the restrictions.”

Brits currently have to quarantine for 14 days if returning from any countries deemed high risk, which includes Spain, France, parts of Portugal and Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey, which was added to the quarantine list last week.​

Portugal reports no coronavirus deaths for first time since March


Portugal reported no coronavirus-related deaths on Monday from a day earlier for the first time since mid-March, when a lockdown was put in place, and the lowest number of new infections in almost three months.

“It has been very difficult in recent times – we are very happy this happened,” the secretary of state for health, Antonio Sales, said as he teared up during a news conference.

“I want to leave this message of hope to the Portuguese but I want to ask them to help us maintain these numbers,” he said. US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

I run this site in my spare time and thoroughly enjoy giving you all positive news!  If you’ve enjoyed the site we’d love for you to help me share the good news far and wide, share us on Reddit, your Facebook or your Twitter and spread a little positivity around.

With Flights Banned, Son Sails Solo Across Atlantic to Reach Father, 90

screenshot 2020 06 29 at 11 10 50

Days after Argentina canceled all international passenger flights to shield the country from the new coronavirus, Juan Manuel Ballestero began his journey home the only way possible: He stepped aboard his small sailboat for what turned out to be an 85-day odyssey across the Atlantic.

The 47-year-old sailor could have stayed put on the tiny Portuguese island of Porto Santo, to ride out the era of lockdowns and social distancing in a scenic place largely spared by the virus. But the idea of spending what he thought could be “the end of the world” away from his family, especially his father who was soon to turn 90, was unbearable.

So he said he loaded his 29-foot sailboat with canned tuna, fruit and rice and set sail in mid-March.

“I didn’t want to stay like a coward on an island where there were no cases,” Mr. Ballestero said. “I wanted to do everything possible to return home. The most important thing for me was to be with my family.”

Friends tried to dissuade Mr. Ballestero from embarking on the perilous journey, and the authorities in Portugal warned him he might not be allowed to re-enter if he ran into trouble and had to turn back. But he was resolute.

“I bought myself a one-way ticket and there was no going back,” he said.

His relatives, used to Mr. Ballestero’s itinerant lifestyle, knew better than to try to talk him out of it.

“The uncertainty of not knowing where he was for 50-some days was very rough,” said his father, Carlos Alberto Ballestero. “But we had no doubt this was going to turn out well.”


I run this site in my spare time and thoroughly enjoy giving you all positive news!  If you’ve enjoyed the site we’d love for you to help me share the good news far and wide, share us on Reddit, your Facebook or your Twitter and spread a little positivity around.

Spain’s overnight coronavirus death toll at 510, lowest in 19 days


The number of coronavirus deaths in Spain fell for a third consecutive day on Saturday, with 510 fatalities reported in the past 24 hours — the smallest overnight increase since March 23.

Spain’s total death toll from COVID-19 disease rose to 16,353, the Health Ministry said in a statement, while the number of confirmed cases climbed to 161,852 from 157,022 a day earlier.

At the beginning of April, the overnight death tally rose as high as 950, overwhelming the national health service and forcing regional authorities to set up temporary mortuaries in an ice rink and disused public buildings.

But as the rate of new infections and deaths slows, the government has begun to contemplate a gradual unwinding of lockdown measures, which have kept most people confined to their homes since mid-March.

From Monday, workers in sectors such as construction and manufacturing will be allowed to return to work, though the government extended restrictions on movement across Spain’s land borders with France and Portugal for another two weeks.