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Easter Day 2020 is unprecedented during our lifetime.

Easter is considered one of the most celebrated and important holidays in Portugal.

However, this year because of the coronavirus and the necessary safety measures that government has had to be put in place it will not be possible to: attend mass in church; travel throughout the country to visit family and friends, or enjoy a festive meal in our local restaurant

However this is not, I believe, an occasion for despair, but one for reflection and optimism that this will be over at some stage, and that there will be a future for us to look forward to.

We face unprecedented short and long terms challenges, but working together we will overcome these.

Portugal is coping well compared with many other countries; a fact acknowledged not only by many of the comments we receive, but internationally as well.

The outcome depends on our continued compliance with the government measures and of course the superb work being done by the Portuguese health and security forces and all the agencies who they work closely with.

The leadership shown by the President of the Republic and Prime Minister from the start has been an inspiration to us all, and is reflected in the resolute and timely actions that have been put in place.

There has been incredible transparency, daily communication of facts, and decisions made in a way which in my view sets an example to many countries.

Within the community there is a general sense of responsibility, civic mindedness and determination to overcome this and get back to a normal way of life as soon as possible. There is fantastic work being undertaken by charities and other volunteers throughout Portugal, from making donations to providing support to those in need.

So today we should continue to celebrate, and in that celebration give enormous thanks to the work of all those in the front line; the health workers who are having to deal with those who are infected and the security personnel who are on the street having to help people, especially  the elderly and most vulnerable.

It is also a day to send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives coronavirus, and our sympathies and hope for a speedy recovery to those infected.

This Easter Day is like none before

However, in the future we will reflect on this time in our lives, how Portugal came through this with determination, resolve and bringing out the best in people.

David Thomas, President

on behalf of Safe Communities Portugal