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The Portuguese government is removing most of the restrictions on Covid-19 as infection levels drop, but those who test positive for the virus will still be asked to self-isolate, even whether they have symptoms or not, the government said on Thursday.

Mariana Vieira da Silva, a Cabinet Minister, said at a press conference that proof of vaccination will no longer be required when entering any location, including hotels and restaurants, but the certificate will still be must be presented upon entry.

People who go to bars, nightclubs, sporting events and other large public venues will no longer have to show negative test results, she added, but they will remain a requirement for people going to care homes or hospitals, unless they show proof of being fully vaccinated.

More than 95% of the Portuguese population is fully vaccinated, the third highest rate in the world after the UAE and Brunei.

The minister said that close contact with people who tested positive would no longer have to self-isolate. A government recommendation that people work from home wherever possible will also be abolished and restrictions on the number of people allowed into shops and shopping malls lifted.

However, masks are still required in indoor public spaces, including cinemas, theatres, shops and public transport.

Portugal’s seven-day average of new coronavirus infections has fallen from 541 per 100,000 people at the end of January to around 186, but is still higher than the EU average of around 156. The average number of daily deaths The seven-day average per 100,000 people has fallen from this year’s high of 0.5 earlier this month to just over 0.4, well below the EU average.

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