Portugal: Covid testing for restaurants entry


“The idea of adopting Covid testing for entry into restaurants” is being investigated by the Portuguese government.


According to Observador, the legislation is being finalized, although it will not apply to weekday lunchtime service.


Part of the idea is to be allowed to reopen eateries that were forced to close early on weekends due to viral transmission or danger of infection.


The idea is that if a client presents a negative test, they will be allowed to dine past the existing 3.30pm Saturday and Sunday curfew.


But there are still a lot of unanswered questions, such as what type of examinations will be required for admission? Could they be autotests offered in pharmacies, quick tests performed at the restaurant entrance, or tests administered by pharmacies “like the ones now mandated for persons leaving the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon on weekends?” according to Observador.



There is a strong propensity to run with autotests being adequate to some extent. This would quickly ‘open up the economy,’ as other European countries such as Austria and Luxembourg have done.

Autotests, on the other hand, are not seen to be as trustworthy as pharmacy-based tests (which are far more expensive).


According to Observador, autotests are more likely to be 80% accurate, whereas antigen tests are 90% reliable, and PCR testing, dubbed the “gold standard,” are said to be 98 percent accurate.


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