Portugal records no daily Covid deaths for the first time since August

Portugal records no daily Covid-19 deaths for the first time since August – three weeks before it opens its doors to British tourists

  • Portugal’s health authority announced on Monday that there had been no coronavirus-related deaths in the country for the first time in nine months
  • The news came as the country emerges from a two-month lockdown with hair dressers, restaurants and some schools reopening
  • Portugal has said it will welcome vaccinated British tourists from May 17, the earliest date international travel could be allowed under UK guidelines 

Portugal reported no coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours for the first time in nearly nine months on Monday.

The announcement by the health authority comes as the country emerges from a two-month lockdown.

Portugal has said it will open to vaccinated British travellers from May 17, which is the earliest date international leisure travel could be allowed under UK government guidelines. 

The country has reported a total of 16,965 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic last spring and 834,638 cases. On Monday, 196 new infections were recorded.

The last time Portugal reported no coronavirus-related deaths was on August 3. 

Portugal reported no coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours for the first time in nearly nine months on Monday. The announcement by the health authority comes as the country emerges from a two-month lockdown. Pictured: Shoppers at the re-opened Colombo shopping centre in Lisbon on April 19 [File photo]

The health authority highlighted that it remains in the green zone of the risk matrix, with a transmission risk below one and a national incidence rate of 70.4 cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants.

About 20 per cent of the country’s 10million people have now been inoculated with a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and seven per cent have had two doses.

Meanwhile, more than 90 per cent of people aged 80 or over – the group with the most deaths – has been vaccinated with at least one dose.

Secretary of state for health Diogo Serras Lopes said on Monday that Portugal could achieve herd immunity ‘towards the beginning rather than at the end of summer,’ according to local media reports.  

Portugal, which imposed a lockdown in January to curb what was then the world’s worst Covid-19 surge, started lifting restrictions in March and has since reopened some schools, restaurants, cafe terraces, museums and hair salons. 

On April 9, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a roadmap for the resumption of international travel that could see Brits travelling abroad as soon as May 17.

Portugal, which imposed a lockdown in January to curb what was then the world’s worst Covid-19 surge, started lifting restrictions in March and has since reopened some schools, restaurants, cafe terraces, museums and hair salons. Pictured: Customers in a bar in Porto on April 19 [File photo]

The plan includes a traffic light system that lists destinations as ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’ based on factors including the rate of infection, the percentage of the population vaccinated and the presence of variants.

The category of the destination determines whether travellers will need to take pre-departure tests or quarantine on arrival in the UK.

It is not yet clear which list Portugal will appear on and international travel remains banned except for permitted reasons including for work and medical reasons.

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