Coronavirus: new increased fines for failing to wear a face mask in Portugal

All COVID-19 fines will be doubled during Portugal's most recent State of Emergency to try to stop the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus mask rules in Portugal / Photo by Vera Davidova on Unsplash
18 January 2021,

The compulsory use of face masks in Portugal has been in place in the country since April 2020, and must be used in all public spaces, including public transport, show grounds, commercial spaces, public roads and workplaces. However, despite the warnings and a rise in virus cases, cases of non-compliance have continued to grow. With this in mind, the government in Portugal has decided to introduce increased fines for failing to wear a face mask in Portugal. The  Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa stated that fines had to be increased "so that there is a clear signal that it is essential to make an increased effort". Now, not wearing a face mask in Portugal can cost you up to 1,000 euros, as fines are doubled during Portugal's most recent State of Emergency.

Until now, the fines for failing to wear a face mask in Portugal ranged from 100 euros to 500 euros, and with these values doubling, fines for not wearing a mask now range from 200 to 1,000 euros

Take note that fines for not wearing a mask in Portugal are not the only fines to increase. In a bid to stop the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic, all fines have been doubled, something which started on 15th January 2021 and will continue until futher notice. "All fines have been doubled, so that there is a clear signal that it is crucial that we make an increased effort," the Prime Minister explained, when presenting the restrictions in parliament.

If you are planning on travelling to Portugal, even if you are a Portuguese resident, take note that there are also fines for failing to present a negative COVID test. The authorities in Portugal have stated that every day, more than 100 Portuguese citizens or those living in Portugal do not present a test at the airport, this offence is now punishable with fines of 300 to 800 euros.

Teleworking has also been made compulsory in Portugal in the latest regulations, and in the case of non-compliance with compulsory teleworking, the fines are even higher and may exceed 60,000 euros. "Like in March and April, teleworking is imposed without the need for agreement between the employer and employee. Working from home in Portugal is compulsory and is to be complied with", declared António Costa, stressing that as of 15th January 2021, the administrative offence arising from the violation of teleworking is considered "very serious".

If the Authority for Working Conditions (ACT) in Portugal considers that if employees are eligible to telework and the rule is not being complied with, a serious administrative offence would entail fines between 612 euros and 9,692 euros. As a very serious offence could see fines of between 2,040 and 61,200 euros. The difference depends on two factors: the employer's turnover, as well as whether the infringement was committed intentionally or negligently.

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