Months of lockdown and isolation across Europe have given way to impromptu parties and illicit raves, sparking fears of a surge in Covid-19 cases and prompting warnings that the progress made across the continent in fighting the pandemic could be wiped away.
In Portugal, the government said on Thursday it would tighten restrictions on several areas of Greater Lisbon from 1 July to allow residents to leave their homes only for food, medicine or to work, and to limit gatherings to five people. The measure came after reports of parties that attracted as many as 1,000 revellers.
The country of 10 million was initially hailed as one of Europe’s success stories, with the government’s swift response credited with limiting the death toll to 1,549. But in recent weeks the number of cases has soared, resulting in a rate that ranks among the continent’s highest when it comes to new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.