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Portugal reimposes curfew due to spread of Delta COVID-19 variant

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By Euronews with AFP
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In this Friday, June 4, 2021 file photo, people have drinks by the Tagus river in Lisbon as the sun sets.
In this Friday, June 4, 2021 file photo, people have drinks by the Tagus river in Lisbon as the sun sets.   -   Copyright  Armando Franca/AP Photo
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Portugal will reimpose a nightly curfew from Friday in 45 municipalities, including Lisbon, the government has said.

The country faces increasing COVID-19 cases due to the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant which has become dominant in the country.

"We note that last week the situation has deteriorated again," Minister of the Premiership Mariana Vieira da Silva told a press conference, adding that "the conditions are not met to say that the pandemic is under control ".

This "ban on driving on public roads" will apply to the most impacted cities, including the Portuguese capital and Porto, every day from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Cafes and restaurants will have to close their doors at 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and 3:30 p.m. on weekends. These restrictions, already in place in Lisbon and in two other municipalities, will also be extended to 16 new towns.

Portugal reported 2,000 new COVID infections on Wednesday, health authorities said. It was the highest level since mid-February.

In Portugal, more than 50% of the population has received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 32% are fully vaccinated.

Since the start of the pandemic, Portugal has recorded 17,101 deaths and 882,002 cases according to health authorities.

It comes at the World Health Organisation warned that the Delta variant could cause a virus surge by August in European countries.