"PRO.VAR [Association for the Defence, Promotion and Innovation of Restaurants in Portugal] sees its position legitimised and once again calls for restaurants to be open normal hours, throughout mainland Portugal," the association said in a statement, backing its claim with recent statements by Health Minister, Marta Temido, about these spaces.

According to the association, Marta Temido said it is not in restaurants that people get infected.

For PRO.VAR, the extension of restaurant opening hours "is important" to ensure the viability of businesses and contribute to the reduction of people in public places.

On the other hand, the association noted that restrictions are leading to a slowdown in the sector, with the closure of "thousands of businesses" and the dismissal of "tens of thousands of workers" at risk.

Thus, the sector demands a "firm response" from the Government, with the implementation of support, namely, "a kind of second version of Apoiar.pt, Apoiar Restauração and Apoiar Rendas", as well as a new simplified 'lay-off' regime and the reduction of VAT in the catering sector.

Albufeira, Lisbon and Sesimbra have retreated in the face of the worsening number of those infected by Covid-19, with restaurants, cafes, terraces and shops having to close at 3.30pm on weekends.

During the week, restaurants and cafes have to close at 10:30pm and are required to maintain a limit of four people per table inside and six on the terraces.