EASING OF MEASURES CONTINUES, BUT GOVERNMENT KEEPS 19 MUNICIPALITIES UNDER SURVEILLANCE
BORDER WITH SPAIN TO REMAIN CLOSED
TRAVEL BAN BETWEEN MUNICIPALITIES TO BE LIFTED AFTER 5TH APRIL
António Costa confirmed the next phase of the de-confinement, recalling that the transmission rate had a favourable evolution, having decreased from 118 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants (on 9th March) to 62.4 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants on 31st March. Taking into account the incidence levels of R(t), the country is still in the green zone.
Although the prime-minister stated that the de-confinement plan will progress – due to the fact that Portugal is still in the “green zone” – but António Costa gives a warning to the municipalities. If any municipality registers, in two consecutive evaluations, an incidence rate higher than 1 and an average of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants higher than 120, it will not advance in the next phase of confinement.
At the moment, there are 19 municipalities at risk, the prime minister said.
Municipalities at risk
Between 120 and 240 cases:
Alandroal, Albufeira. Beja, Borba, Cinfães, Figueira da Foz, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Lagoa, Marinha Grande, Penela, Soure, Vila do Bispo, Vimioso
More than 240 cases: Carregal do Sal, Moura, Odemira, Portimão, Ribeira de Pena andRio Maior
Asked about possible measures in the 19 municipalities that are currently outside the green zone of the de-confining traffic light, i.e. have more than 120 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, António Costa said that it is necessary to have “measures with stability” and that, therefore, the evaluation will always be made every 15 days. “No interim measures will be taken,” he mentioned.
The programme presented on 11 March foresees, from Monday
From 5 April
– 2nd and 3rd cycle of basic education (and ATLs for the same ages)
– social facilities in the area of disability
– museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries and the like
– stores up to 200 m2 with door to the street
– fairs and non-food markets (municipal decision)
– terraces only (max 4 people per table)
– outdoor physical activity for up to 4 people and gyms without group classes
The Prime Minister calls on the Portuguese to take special care during the Easter festive season. While speaking, António Costa shows the images of a group of people at the table, illustrating the circulation of particles in this context. “I renew the appeal that we all make the effort to avoid an unhappy Easter”.
The Prime Minister again thanked the Portuguese “for the way they have collectively managed to control this pandemic”. “In this third wave we managed to bring with great sacrifice, determination and persistence, from days when we were the worst in the world to the situation in which we find ourselves today, in which in Europe only Iceland is better than Portugal”.
It was also announced that the level of border control in place will be maintained, “There is a de facto agreement with the kingdom of Spain for us to keep the land borders closed so as to prevent an increase in the pandemic and to keep a properly controlled situation. Borders will remain closed with the exceptions that have been announced.”
Possible changes will be introduced in relation to countries that had the third wave earlier and facilitate movement between countries. Among the novelties is also the possible resumption of flights between Portugal and Brazil, subject to mandatory testing and quarantine.
António Costa clarified that the measure banning travel between municipalities will no longer be in force after next Monday, 5 April. “In the next fortnight there is no provision for a ban on movement between municipalities, either during the week or at the weekend,” the Prime Minister said.
In response to journalists, António Costa reiterated that events such as Formula 1, Moto GP and football matches will continue without audiences, as they represent “an increased risk”. “We will continue to avoid it,” he stressed.