The Prime Minister has addressed the nation and announced the new stricter lockdown rules to be applied across the country.
A new lockdown was already certain and inevitable, given the exponential increase in cases of infection by the new coronavirus in recent days.
The Prime Minister António Costa, warned that the Portuguese could expect something close to what the country experienced in March and April last year, in the first phase of combating the spread of Covid-19.
At this “dangerous” and “difficult” moment, in António Costa’s words, we knew then that the new confinement will have an essential rule, similar to the previous one: “stay at home”. There are a few exceptions, he stressed, but it is important to reiterate that this is the rule. The measures take effect from midnight on Friday 15.
One of the issues that most debate has raised, schools, is clarified: they will remain open, for all ages. The decision was explained by the Prime Minister with “the need not to sacrifice the current generation of students again.” Therefore, he announced at a press conference after the council of ministers on Wednesday, “we will keep all educational establishments in operation as they have been operating so far.”
The confinement comes after the increase in cases and after Tuesday’s meeting at the infarmed’s head office, which also served to prepare the country for the difficult weeks ahead, and should imply new negative records even with restraint.
Before the announcements, on Wednesday morning, the Assembly of the Republic voted in favour of the new period of state of emergency. This is the ninth time this has happened since the beginning of the pandemic, at a time when Portugal is experiencing the most difficult days of combating covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.