Lisbon Locked Due to Delta Variant, Tourists are Allowed to Leave
The Portuguese capital Lisbon was locked on Friday afternoon due to the growing number of corona infections. The approximately 2.8 million inhabitants of the metropolitan area are not allowed to travel to other parts of the country until early Monday morning.
Tourists who fly to Lisbon and then want to travel on to their holiday destination outside the city will not be stopped.
The authorities registered 928 new corona infections in Lisbon on Thursday, the largest increase since February. Nationally, 1,233 new corona cases were reported that day. That means about 75 percent of new infections were found in the urban area near the capital, although only 27 percent of the population lives there.
Authorities believe the rapid rise in infections is caused by the Delta variant of the virus, which was first discovered in India. The variant is known to be highly contagious and, according to chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan of the World Health Organization (WHO), appears to be becoming the dominant variant in the world.
The government of Portugal wants to prevent the corona situation from deteriorating in other parts of the country by sealing off Lisbon from the outside world. Portuguese living outside the metropolitan area should stay away for the next few days. This restriction does not apply to holidaymakers who go to Lisbon to catch their flight.