Portugal, in turn, decided on Thursday to end the obligation to wear a mask inside the home, a health measure that will continue to be applied in public transport, hospitals or nursing homes, but not in middle school.
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“Given the positive development of the epidemiological situation in Portugal, the government has decided to review some of the restrictions that are still in force,” Socialist Executive Director Antonio Costa announced in a press release issued after the weekly cabinet meeting.
The government has indicated that compulsory mask-wearing will now be restricted to “places with a particular vulnerability to persons who frequent them (…) and to places of heavy use”.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health told AFP that this decision will enter into force in the coming days as soon as a government decree is issued by the President of the Republic.
In recent days, many experts or members of the opposition have called for an end to the compulsory wearing of masks in schools, one of the main measures to control the epidemic that is still in force in Portugal.
While Portugal is among the countries with the highest vaccination rates in the world, the number of new coronavirus cases fell to 577 cases per 100,000 population over a seven-day period, according to the latest weekly report from the Public Health Directorate.