The Council of Ministers was meeting yesterday in an extraordinary capacity to approve new measures aimed at halting the worsening of the pandemic in Portugal. Learn about the main measures announced by the Prime Minister, António Costa, which will be applied starting this Wednesday.
Restrictions apply to 121 municipalities
Contrary to what happened in the first wave of covid-19, the restrictive measures this time are aimed only at a group of 121 municipalities that cover about 70% of the population. The criteria for choosing the municipalities was announced this Saturday by António Costa: all those who have more than 240 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days. But there are exceptions: some municipalities were included in the list not because they exceeded this threshold, but because they are surrounded by other municipalities which, yes, are above the fixed levels. On the other hand, municipalities with low population density that exceed this limit only due to a specific outbreak are left out of the list. Discover the counties covered by the new restrictions.
Home pickup duty
People residing in these municipalities have the civic duty of home collection. This means that they must refrain from traveling on public spaces and roads, as well as on spaces and private roads similar to public roads, but the list of exceptions is very long: travel to the workplace when it cannot be performed from from home, to take their children to school, trips to activities in day centers, to visit users in residential structures for the elderly or disabled. Also travel related to purchases of essential goods as well as post offices and post offices, bank branches and travel required to leave mainland Portugal is authorized. It is also possible to leave the house to go to see shows (theater, cinema, music) or to go to mass.
One of the most impactful measures announced by the Prime Minister is the obligation to carry out work from home, whenever this is compatible with the duties and unless there is a reasoned opposition from the worker.
António Costa also announced that the mandatory delayed schedules, already in force in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, will be extended to these 121 municipalities. The measure applies to companies with more than 50 workers, who will have to have delayed entry and exit times between half and one hour. However, as is already the case in metropolitan areas, the measure cannot affect workers with children under the age of 12 or who are dependent on disabled people, or pregnant women. However, it was not very clear how the authorities ensure compliance with this measure.
Restaurants close at 10:30 pm
Restaurants will have to close earlier, at 10:30 pm. And groups are limited to six people, unless they belong to the same household. It should be noted, however, that the chambers have the power to set more restricted schedules, based on “favorable opinion from the local health authority and security forces”.
Commercial establishments close until 22h
Apart from the restaurants, the other commercial establishments will have to close until 22h. Once again there are exceptions for take, pharmacies, offices and clinics, funeral homes, gas stations and rent-a-car. Here, too, cameras can impose shorter schedules.
Weddings and other celebrations
The Government also prohibits celebrations and other events, such as weddings or baptisms, that involve more than five people, unless they belong to the same household.