“1. The Council of Ministers approved today the decree executes the declaration of the state of emergency made by the President of the Republic with the duration of 15 days, from 00:00   on 9th November to 23:59 on 23rd November. (This means starting midnight tonight 8th Nov)

The Council of Ministers approved on Saturday the mandatory curfew for the 121 municipalities that were subject to the civic duty of withdrawal as a measure to halt the exponential growth of the covid-19 pandemic. The measure goes into effect on Monday, the 9th, under the state of emergency

During working days, the curfew takes effect between 11 pm and 5 am and at the weekend between 1 pm and 5 am, but only for the next two weekends: 14/15 and 21/22 And it is applied in 121 municipalities that register more than 240 new cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days with the objective of curbing the contamination during the month of November, stressed the prime minister.

During the mandatory pick-up period, the restaurants in the 121 counties must be closed, but may be served as a take-away. In the question period of journalists, António Costa clarified that take-away from restaurants “is available”. “Restaurants are working, people may not go there, but [establishments] can deliver meals,” he said.

In comparison with the previous state of emergency, the Prime Minister said that the current “has more intensive measures on Saturday and Sunday and less during the week to preserve that the academic year runs smoothly, and that there is no discontinuity of economic activity. and work during the week ”.

Public sector workers who are ‘at home’ for reasons of prophylactic isolation or because they are in ‘at risk groups’ will be mobilised to support health professionals in efforts of contact tracing, and ‘the accompaniment and vigilance of people in confinement’. The idea here being that this ‘relieve pressure on health systems’. Among these ‘public sector workers’ will be Armed Forces military and non-assigned teachers.

“The most restrictive measure of freedoms foreseen in the decree is the limiting circulation in the 121 counties”, said the Prime Minister, António Costa, at the end of the Council of Ministers. “There will be a ban on driving on public roads between 11 pm and 5 am, with the exception of situations of people who have to go to work, people who return from work to their home and people who have to leave due to urgency, be it to go to a health establishment, to a pharmacy or to help a family member who is sick”, he added.

“We have the clear notion that social interaction has a very important contribution to contagious situations and that this interaction occurs in the after-work hours”, he justified.

Our professionals are excellent but they will not be able to do the job without our help and the help we can give them is to control the way we relate in society,” he said, underlining the “extraordinary effort” of health professionals. “We have the right to do everything in our power to help them to have the conditions to be able to treat those who need treatment and avoid at all costs being one more that they have to treat”, he reinforced.

The evolution of cases from two thousand a day to six thousand daily cases in a month “means that the measures adopted since October have not been sufficient to contain the pandemic,” said the prime minister.

Asked about the biweekly review of restrictive measures at the municipality level, António Costa said that the international criterion of 240 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants was adopted in the previous 14 days, adding that this assessment will be made next Thursday. “As a result of this reassessment, there will be counties of 121 who will be removed from the list and others who should be included. It may be justified that next Thursday the Council of Ministers may adopt more restrictive measures ”, he said, pointing to the example of Paços de Ferreira as a municipality that has a high level of incidence of covid-19.