Portugal removes mask mandates

LISBON, Portugal -- Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Thursday issued a government decree removing the mandatory use of masks for almost all situations.

According to the president's website, Rebelo "promulgated a governmental order" related to Covid-19 restrictions, which include reducing the mask-wearing mandate.

The Council of Ministers agreed that conditions have been met for the non-compulsory use of masks, said Portuguese Minister of Health Marta Temido at a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

But masks are still mandatory in places "frequented by vulnerable people," such as nursing homes, health facilities and public transport, said the minister.

Noting that the pandemic is not over yet, she made it clear that restrictive measures may change again pending future needs.