At the end of today’s Council of Ministers, António Costa explained that “the combined application of the two criteria” – incidence and rate of transmission – keeps Portugal “clearly in the green quadrant”, although moving towards yellow. Despite admitting that this criterion requires “attention”, for now it does not compromise the progress of the second phase of the deconfiguration plan.
In this way, the Prime Minister said that “we can take the step forward in the measures of deconfinition, scheduled for next Monday, April 5”.
António Costa, explained that “progressive measures” to contain the covid-19 pandemic will be considered in the context of a transmissibility index (Rt) above 1 in the country, with the value of the continent being 0.94.
“If we pass the 1, as we have always said, the measures will be progressive. It is one thing to reach 1.01, another thing to have 1.5 or 1.2. We have to properly measure the measures, now the effort we have to make is to stay in the green quadrant, that’s the effort that needs to be made. As long as we make that effort, we get results “, he said.
António Costa, however, did not fail to underline the “positive evolution between 09 and 31 March” of the indicator of the accumulated incidence per 100 thousand inhabitants in 14 days, by reducing from 118 to 62.4 new cases in the continent.
What activities were resumed in the second phase of the deflation?
Thus, starting on Monday, it is possible to move on to the second phase of the deflation. Thus, the following activities are resumed:
- 2nd and 3rd cycle schools (and ATL for the same ages);
- Social facilities in the area of disability;
- Stores up to 200 m2 with a door to the street may stop selling to the wicket, thus being able to make face-to-face service;
- Terraces can open, with groups of 4 people and “with all precautions”, including the mask placed when food is not being eaten;
- Fairs and uprising markets may resume selling non-food products, with municipal authorization;
- Sports modalities without physical contact and outdoor activity with 4 people;
- Gyms can work, but without group classes;
- Museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries and the like may reopen.
Regarding Easter, António Costa recalled that “the prohibition of movement between municipalities remains in force” and that it is “fundamental” to avoid traditional lunches, which should be restricted to the household.
“I renew the call for all of us to make the effort to prevent this Easter from being an unhappy Easter”, he stressed.
For now, the deflation is the same for the whole country – but it may turn out to be different
The Prime Minister informed, in turn, that there are counties on the continent above the threshold of risk of incidence of covid-19, which may not advance in the defibrillation. So, according to the chief executive, at this moment there are 19 counties that are above the threshold, that is, above 120 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days, six of which are even above 240 new cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, in the same period.
António Costa also stressed that the experts heard by the Government proposed that, “if in two successive assessments, the same counties are above the risk threshold, in these counties the measures of deflation must not advance”.
Counties between 120 and 240 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants:
- Figueira da Foz
- Figueiró dos Vinhos
- Marinha Grande
- Vila do Bispo
Municipalities with more than 240 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants:
- Carregal do Sal
- Ribeira de Pena
- Rio Maior
And the ban on movement between municipalities after Easter?
According to the prime minister, “in the next fortnight there is no provision for a ban on movement between municipalities, either at weekdays or at weekends”.
The movement ban between the 278 municipalities on the continent has already been applied several times in the context of combating the covid-19 pandemic.
The measure is currently in effect, in this Easter period, since last Friday and until 05:00 on Monday.
Still on the lack of clarity, António Costa left “a word of deep thanks to the Portuguese, for the way they have collectively managed to control this pandemic”, noting the “great sacrifice, but also great determination and great persistence”.
“But that pride must be transformed and converted into a motivating force in order to continue to maintain the effort so that we do not stand still to mark a step, much less have to regress in what we have already achieved and that we can continue this deflation in a trickle down”, he appealed. .
It is not yet that sports events have a public
With regard to sporting events, António Costa said that they will continue without the presence of a public, justifying the measure with the security that it is necessary to maintain.
“There are no public events because they are an increased risk of bringing people together and bringing people together there is a risk of transmitting the disease. This has to be avoided and we will continue to avoid it”, he recalled.
As a result, both the MotoGP GP Portugal and the Formula 1 World Championship are expected to take place without the presence of an audience.
What about festivals and other cultural shows?
According to the communiqué of the Council of Ministers, the decree-law that alters the exceptional and temporary measures to respond to the pandemic in the cultural and artistic sphere was approved today.
Thus, this diploma establishes the rules applied to the shows of the year 2021, providing “the possibility of, during the year of 2021, in conjunction with the Directorate-General for Health, pilot test events, for the definition of the guidelines techniques to be followed in the face of the evolution of the pandemic “.
In addition, “the rules applicable in the event of rescheduling or cancellation of shows and festivals were also defined, by decision of the Government or DGS, as well as in cases where such events cannot occur”.
Thus, in the case of shows and festivals initially scheduled for the year 2020 and occurring only in 2022, it is foreseen that “consumers can request the return of the ticket price, within 14 working days from the date scheduled for the realization of the event in the year 2021 “. In case this does not happen, “the consumer is considered to have accepted the rescheduling of the show for the year 2022”.
It was also mentioned that vouchers issued with validity until the end of the year 2021 “will become valid until the end of the year 2022”.
Land border with Spain to remain closed
The prime minister announced today that the land border between Portugal and Spain will remain closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. “The land borders with Spain will remain closed with those exceptions that are known and have been practiced,” he said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that, since the beginning of the confinement, Portugal and Spain “have been exemplary” in the management of the land border. “We must be one of the few European countries that have always systematically agreed to manage the common border without unilateral measures from one country or another and we will continue to maintain it,” he said.
The borders with Spain have been closed since 31 January due to the covid-19 pandemic, with circulation between the two countries only, at authorized crossing points, for internationally transported goods, cross-border and seasonally documented workers, and emergency and rescue vehicles and emergency services.
The deconfination plan
The reopening of activities began on March 15, through day care centers, pre-school education and the first cycle of basic education, commerce in the wicket and esthetic establishments, such as hairdressers.
The Government’s deconfination plan foresees new phases of reopening on April 5, 19 and May 3, but the measures can be revised if Portugal exceeds 120 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus per 100 thousand inhabitants in 14 days or, also, if the transmissibility index (Rt) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus exceeds 1.
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