The Prime Minister’s Address to the Nation following Council of Ministers Meeting 15th April 2021

António Costa spoke to journalists today, 15 April, about the next phase of de-confinement after a meeting of the Council of Ministers, which started at 9:30am. The Prime Minister notes that the evolution from 9 March to 14 April is “clearly positive” having gone from an incidence rate of over 118 cases per 100,000 inhabitants at 14 days to 69 per 100,000 inhabitants. “The other variable is of the rate of transmission (Rt) and that one, unfortunately has not had a good evolution,” says Costa. From 0.78 on March 9, today the Rt is at 1.05. “We are heading towards the dangerous side of this matrix,” warns Costa. It is based on these two criteria that the Government has been evaluating the next steps, warning that the country is now in a “yellow” zone, but “in conditions to take the next step”.

At stake is the need to stop the growth of cases in some areas of the country, according to the most recent data from the Directorate-General of Health (DGS), there are 22 municipalities at risk on the mainland.

What is open from next Monday, 19th April?

  • Secondary and higher education;
  • All shops and shopping centres;
  • Restaurants, cafés and pastry shops (maximum of four people or six on the terrace), until 10.30 pm (or 1pm on weekends and public holidays);
  • Cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, concert halls;
  • Loja do Cidadão, with face-to-face service, but by appointment;
  • Sporting activities of medium risk;
  • Outdoor physical activity up to six people;
  • Outdoor events with reduced capacity;
  • Weddings and christenings with 25% of capacity of the venue.

 

The third phase of de-confinement will be applied “to the generality of the territory”.

António Costa said there are 4 where the number of cases is greater than 240 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Therefore, in these municipalities, not only will there be no progress towards de-confinement, but there will be a regression. The activities in these municipalities will return to the previous phase, returning, for example, to the sale of products at the entrance and without terraces – Moura, Odemira, Portimão and Rio Maior.

António Costa warned that there are 13 municipalities that for the first time have an incidence rate of more than 120 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and that for this reason will require “special attention” over the next 15 days.

Municipalities that are on “alert”:

  • Aljezur
  • Almeirim
  • Barrancos
  • Mêda
  • Miranda do Corvo
  • Miranda do Douro
  • Olhão Paredes
  • Penalva do Castelo
  • Resende
  • Valongo
  • Vila Franca de Xira
  • Vila Nova de Famalicão

 

The municipalities that continue to have more than 120 cases per 100.000 inhabitants (for more than 15 days) and therefore will not be able to advance in the de-confinement process, as in the rest of the country. These municipalities will not be taking any further steps towards their reopening, and will remain “with the restrictions in place”, the Prime Minister detailed.

Municipalities that will not de-confine in the next phase:

  • Alandroal
  • Albufeira
  • Beja
  • Carregal do Sal
  • Figueira da Foz
  • Marinha Grande
  • Penela

Recalling the recommendations of the experts, António Costa explains that the face-to-face functioning of schools in the risk municipalities will not be affected. “The measures concerning the education system will always be national,” reinforces the Prime Minister. “Therefore, in all municipalities, including those that are retained in the current phase and those that go back to the previous phase, there is no change,” he says. In other words, the schools that are already open will remain open and secondary and higher education schools will also open (similarly to the rest of the country).

The border with Spain remains closed for the next 15 days. As for flights, the criteria remain the same as those currently in force. In other words, tests are still required for countries with less than 500 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, while the others above will have to undergo a test and be subject to quarantine.

SOURCE: PÚBLICO.


Sign up for Newsletter

Please enter your email address