Press conference following Council of Ministers meeting 1st July 2021
Minister of State and of the Presidency Mariana Vieira da Silva gave the press conference stating:
With the number of infections growing by the day, the Government again insisted that it is necessary to “avoid risky behaviour”. The call came again after the Council of Ministers meeting this Thursday, July 1. “The country is in a situation where it is necessary to maintain the rules, wear a mask, maintain rules of respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene and avoid crowds,” summarised the Minister of State and the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva.
The incidence in most of the country remains below 120 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In other words, in the “green zone” defined by the Government. However, 26 municipalities are on the alert list. Porto, again above this limit, will step back from the deconfinement.
Which municipalities have a double negative assessment?
- Arruda dos Vinhos
- Castelo de Vide
- Paredes de Coura
- Rio Maior
- São Brás de Alportel
- Torres Vedras
- Vila Franca de Xira
The rules for municipalities at high risk (and with low population density) are:
- Teleworking is compulsory (if duties allow);
- Cultural shows until 22h30;
- Gyms without group classes, medium and low risk sports modalities are still allowed (high risk modalities not);
- Weddings and christenings with 25% of the capacity;
- Restaurants, cafés and pastry shops until 22h30 or until 15h30 on weekends and public holidays (inside a maximum of four people per group and outside up to six people per group);
- Retail trade may operate until 21h00 during the week and until 15h30 on weekends and holidays;
- Food retailers may operate until 19h00 during the weekend and on public holidays;
- Limitation of circulation on public roads after 23h00 on high and very high risk municipalities.
Lisbon has once again recorded an incidence of over 240 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and is yet again on the Government’s risk list. There are also 18 other municipalities on this higher risk list, with all of these areas going back on the deconfinement.
Who’s in the red zone?
- Sobral de Monte Agraço
Mariana Vieira da Silva recalls that the restriction of circulation on public roads only applies to municipalities that recorded, in two consecutive weeks, incidence assessments that place them on the list of high and very high risk. The Minister of State and of the Presidency also reveals that the risk matrix, which defines who moves back or forward in the de-confinement, has been assessed every week.
“What we have decided here today is based, in practice, on the same risk matrix. It is the municipalities with 240 cases [per 100,000 inhabitants] twice that we apply an additional restriction to respond to the situation we are experiencing. We continue, weekly, to evaluate the matrix that we presented in March”.
The limitation of circulation on public roads will also cover some municipalities in the Algarve region, admits Mariana Vieira da Silva. “The rules serve to guide us and anticipate reality” and even if many municipalities in the Algarve are not yet in this situation, they should be next week, unless there is a reversal of the growth trend, she warned. The minister also said that the vaccination certificate for people who have been recovered is already available and that the problem regarding the digital certificate has already been corrected, given that communication about antigen tests has been resolved in some laboratories.
The limitation of circulation on public roads after 23h00 hours in municipalities with high or very high risk will not have exceptions. In other words, not even those who already have the digital certificate will be able to circulate after 23h00.
When questioned about the constitutionality of the decision (without the declaration of a state of emergency), Vieira da Silva reaffirmed that the Government “has the conditions” to make this decision.
According to Mariana Vieira da Silva, all those over 60 years old (who were waiting for the second dose of the Astrazeneca vaccine) should be vaccinated on July 11th. The minister said that there will be a “significant acceleration in the planned schedule”.
The Council of Ministers also extended a set of social support in response to the economic effects of the pandemic, including the prohibition of cutting off water, electricity, natural gas and internet. At the press conference, Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labour, also detailed the Government’s decisions, namely the extension of the extraordinary support to the progressive recovery for companies with a drop in turnover of more than 25%. According to the minister, over 400,000 people were covered by this support. Ana Mendes Godinho also said that the support could go up to 100% during the months of July and August.
The support for culture and tourism self-employed workers and managing partners was also extended and the extraordinary mechanism for the payment of the 100% covid sickness benefit was extended until September.
About the extension of social support, the Minister of Labour underlines that more than 3 million people and more than 174,000 companies have already been covered, for a total amount of 4,138 million euros. “Today we have reinforced and extended for another two months the employment support measures in the dimension of support for the progressive recovery of activity and support for self-employed workers in culture and tourism, since they reflect the sectors most affected at the moment and where there was no capacity for recovery. For July and August support for independent workers has also been extended,” she explained.
“The situation we are in does not compare with many difficult moments that the country has experienced in the last year and a half, but it is a more serious situation. An uncontrolled situation is when we are not monitoring it and taking measures to control it. We’ve all seen the country’s situation in green, yellow and now red. What’s necessary is that all of us, in our day-to-day lives, in the choices we make, with whom we are, where we go, if we wear masks, that we all comply. The important thing is the clarity to realise that Portugal is in a more difficult situation than it was, it has not stopped getting worse and we all need to take measures in this matter”, said Mariana Vieira da Silva, Minister of State and of the Presidency.