what can and cannot be done

Francisco Chacon

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This summer there are still many Spaniards who do not want to venture to travel far due to the current health context. Therefore, crossing into Portugal is a rising plan: stay close just in case. In fact, the latest official indicator provided by the Portuguese Hoteliers Association portrays that 61,000 Spanish citizens they spent the night in May at least one night in Portuguese lands, while the British followed with 60,000.

Since last May 1, the land borders between the two countries they have regained the freedom that the bordering areas sorely missed and, at present, there is no precondition for jumping from one side to the other, that is, no PCR or any other health document is required. If they ask for it, instead, by air … or, failing that, the vaccination certificate.

Not in all the Portuguese territory, but 90 municipalities (including Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Braga, Cascais, Albufeira and others of the most important) have re-established the curfew from 23.00 hours.

The bars and clubs are closed, while the restaurants They are allowed to open their doors until 10:30 p.m. You can enter the interior for lunch or dinner, but you must show the vaccination certificate or a negative test, although only on weekends. What does not require the presentation of these papers is to sit on a terrace.

Of course, the test in hotels and restaurants is only requested from 7:00 p.m. on every Friday and during the weekend. A controversial circumstance that is difficult to understand because the virus does not distinguish between working days and leisure days.

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At the same time, the ban on entering and leaving the Lisbon metropolitan area, which was in effect for three weekends.

Only those under 12 years of age are exempt from complying with these rules, so it is advisable to cross the border being well informed. In case someone happens to contravene any of these measures, the Portuguese Government has established a table of fines, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 euros for the owners of premises and from 100 to 500 euros for ordinary citizens.

It is the official response to the expansion of the coronavirus by 75% throughout the entire Portuguese territory since the delta variant of the infection predominates.

You can go freely to the supermarkets and commercial surfaces in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, but taking into account that only until 9:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays).

Regarding the Beaches, they continue to be that infallible incentive of Portugal. The Cascais, Caparica and Matosinhos strips are the most frequented in the vicinity of Lisbon and Porto. However, a good string of sandy areas is scattered along the Aveiro, Alentejo and Algarve coastlines, such as Meco, Zambujeira do Mar or Benagil to a greater extent. Of course, the best beach in the country is located in the Madeira archipelago: it is Porto Santo, which boasts a nine-kilometer length with a Caribbean aspect.

Lot concerts They have been taken up again with a dropper and, at this time, only those that belong to open-air cycles are held, mainly jazz or fado.

Since the fado houses are restaurants, it is possible to reserve a table for dinner and succumb to the spell of singers such as Rodrigo Costa Félix or Tânia Oleiro in such emblematic places as Parreirinha de Alfama or Mesa de Frades, which are precisely located in the vicinity of the Fado Museum, an authentic engine so that the Portuguese genre par excellence does not stop carburing.

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For their part, Museums and exhibition halls are kept as one of the safest activities. They are places that are open and no longer require an appointment, it is enough to maintain social distance and do not forget the mask.

Whoever comes to Portugal this summer and is attracted by this cultural offer must know that the absolute star is Ai Weiwei, the Chinese dissident who has moved to live in Alentejo and who is the protagonist twice.

Thus, the National ropes (in the Lisbon neighborhood of Belém) hosts the most complete retrospective ever held on his impressive work until the end of November and, as of Friday, July 23, it will be completed by another equally attractive exhibition: the one that takes advantage of the large spaces of the Serralves Museum of Porto to display your most iconic large-format pieces.

In case you prefer to contemplate examples of the most archetypal Lusitanian essence, you have the options of Soares dos Reis Museum, in Porto, and the charming Tile Museum, which surprises those who travel to its domains in the Beato area of ​​Lisbon, beyond the impressive National Pantheon.

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