Council of Ministers – Measures Presented by the Prime Minister

The Council of Ministers discussed on Thursday the measures to be implemented from next Tuesday, the 15th, when schools begin to reopen for classes and the country enters a contingency situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. .

The measures were presented by the Prime Minister and are as follows:

  • Gatherings limited to 10 people
  • Commercial establishments cannot open before 10 am (with exceptions)
  • Closing hours of establishments between 8 pm and 11 pm, by municipal decision
  • In shopping centre catering areas, maximum limit of 4 people per group
  • Prohibition on selling alcoholic beverages at service stations and, from 8 pm, in all establishments (except meals)
  • Prohibition of alcohol consumption on public roads
  • Return to classes in person, between 14 and 17 September
    • Upgrading the functioning of schools to the new health reality, with attention to gatherings with schools, namely in the surrounding commercial establishments and in the hours of departure
    • Contingency plans in all schools
    • Distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Reference framework for suspected cases, positive cases or outbreaks
  • In restaurants, cafes and pastry shops 300m from schools, maximum limit of 4 people per group
  • District rapid intervention brigades to contain and stabilize outbreaks in care homes
  • Sports venues remain without public

 

More details

With the new measures, gatherings are again limited to 10 people across the country.
From the 15th, the whole country will enter a contingency state.
“This means, that many of the rules that have already been in force in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon, will come into effect across the country”, explains António Costa.In this way, the Prime Minister announces that gatherings are now limited to ten people across the country and commercial establishments, with the exception of pastry shops, cafes, hairdressers and gyms, should only open after 10 am, “in order to ensure the differentiation of schedules and circulation ”.

The operating limitations of establishments are also extended to the country. The closing time of the establishments is between 20h and 23h, by municipal decision.

Regarding the areas of restoration of shopping centers, António Costa makes it clear that “there cannot be more than four people per group in order to avoid large concentrations in these eating spaces”.

Prohibition of alcoholic beverages from 20h
 

A ban on alcoholic beverages was also decreed at service stations and, starting at 8:00 pm, in all establishments, except drinks to accompany meals in catering establishments.

The consumption of alcoholic beverages on the public road is also prohibited, “because it is absolutely essential to be able to ensure that the situations of informal gathering of consumption and parties” that have been denounced do not multiply.

Cafes 300m from schools with maximum customer limit

“A major contagion factor does not develop at school, but on the way from home to school and from school to home. Therefore, I appeal to everyone to be aware that the risk of contagion outside school is not less than the risk of contagion at school “, underlined Costa.

In this way, the Prime Minister also announces the maximum limit of four people per group in restaurants, cafes and pastry shops 300 meters from the schools.

District rapid intervention brigades to contain and stabilise outbreaks in homes
Regarding the situation in homes and in order to respond to outbreaks in these establishments, the Government decreed that “district rapid intervention brigades will be created to contain and stabilize” these outbreaks.These brigades, explains António Costa, involve “doctors, nurses and diagnostic technicians who can act very quickly in the face of any outbreak that occurs in any home in order to allow the diagnosis as early as possible, to avoid that cases come to be known when there are already dozens of cases ”.

The Prime Minister says, therefore, that around 400 people will be involved in the 18 brigades.

Sports venues remain without public
 

“The decision we have at the moment is not to allow the public to exist in sports venues in order to avoid risks of contamination,” announced Costa.

The Prime Minister justifies this decision by stating that “we all know that our behaviour in the cinema is very different in a football stadium and, therefore, this imposes restrictions on the existence of audiences in these spaces”.

Concrete measures for the Metropolitan Areas of Lisbon and Porto

“We cannot ignore that the incidence of this pandemic is concentrated in particular in the two Metropolitan Areas of Lisbon and Porto, which is natural to happen”, says António Costa. “Higher population density necessarily increases the risk of transmission”, he explains.

Thus, the Prime Minister underlines that, in these areas, “it is necessary to make an increased effort to avoid the concentration of people, both in public transport and in the work areas”.

Thus, in the Metropolitan Areas there will be teams working in mirror, with “rotation schedules between telework and face-to-face work”.

For those who are in person, there will be a mandatory time difference, with different entry and exit times, as well as breaks and meals.


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