COVID-19: Portugal new rules on telecommuting and on the operating hours of establishments

Portugal - 

Portugal Labor Alert

It was published in the Portuguese Official Gazette, the Council of Ministers’ Resolution no. 101-A/2021, of 30 July, which establishes the state of calamity throughout mainland Portugal until the 11:59 hours of the 31st of August 2021 and foresees the applicable legal regime.

In respect to telecommuting, by means of the present Resolution the specific rules applicable according to the level of risk of the municipalities cease to apply. Accordingly, the telecommuting regime is no longer mandatory, being only “recommendable” across the entire country, whenever the employee’s functions in question allow it.  

With respect to the establishments’ operating hours, the Resolution determines the end of limits on opening hours and regarding closing hours the following rules must be observed:

  • Food and non-food retail activities operate in accordance with the respective licensing hours;
  • Other establishments or facilities that provide services and are open to the public, namely catering and similar establishments or cultural and sports facilities, operate in accordance with the respective licensing hours, with a time limit of 02:00 a.m.;
  • In the case of establishments authorized to operate 24h/day, they are authorized to reopen from 08:00 a.m.

On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, as well as on Fridays from 19:00 hours, the operation of restaurant for the purpose of serving meals inside the establishment is only allowed for customers who present a COVID Digital Certificate from the EU, admitted under the terms of Decree-Law no.54-A/2021, 25th June, or are bearers of a Covid test with negative result. These requirements may be waived in the following situations:

  • For the stay of citizens in open esplanades, whose operation is permitted regardless of the test, as well as for the for the mere entry of these citizens inside the establishment for the purpose of accessing common services, namely access to sanitary facilities and payment systems;
  • Employees of the spaces or establishments as well as any suppliers or service providers that enable their operation, except, in both cases, if the respective testing is required under other regulations.