April 3, 2020 by Ellis Dixon
Easter-geddon: The Prolonged State of Emergency
Portugal’s state of emergency has been prolonged, which is likely not a surprise to anyone paying attention to “the curve”. Additionally, Prime Minister António Costa has decreed that between April 3 and 17 there will be new rules on travel and a whole bunch of other things. Find out what that means for your Easter plans here.
You can’t leave your concelho.
This is the time of the year when people get out of the city in favor of their hometowns or their second homes and invite the family together to eat a big meal and hunt for eggs. We drink too much and eat too much chocolate, and we look forward to it weeks in advance. This year, you can only over-indulge at home, because for five days (between 00h00 on 9 April and midnight on 13 April) it’s against the rules to travel outside your municipality. Not sure what your municipality is? Look at this map.
If your family lives in the same concelho, too bad. You should still stay at home and avoid going out unless it’s for the necessities (i.e., the supermarket, pharmacy, or work). Take a cue from John Cusack and walk by Granny’s house with a stereo playing her favorite song if you want to do something special. You can even get dressed up a little with this mask.
Unless you’re going to work, the hospital, or you and your ex have shared custody of the kids and it’s a swap day, there’s not much more you can get away with if the police stop you and demand to see your cartão de cidadao or the employer statement that you’ll be required to carry during this time period.
Public transport will continue working at limited capacity.
Don’t expect super regular service, but do expect the busses, trolleys, and metros to get you from one neighborhood to another. The limits of one-third of the total capacity are still in effect, but now the limitations have been extended to planes. Incoming air traffic has also been suspended for those five days, except for repatriation, cargo, state, or humanitarian flights.
Social gatherings have been limited to five people.
While the exception is immediate families of more than five, social gatherings are generally frowned upon at this stage. But if you want to risk it, this is the maximum Costa says you are legally allowed. Our advice is to opt out and stay put.
Some prisoners are about to get lucky.
That’s right. To protect prisoners and employees working in the prison system, measures will be taken to reduce the number of prisoners in jail. If you’re “elderly or particularly vulnerable,” then you’ve got a good chance at getting released early. There are also plans to partially pardon and implement precarious leave, but that’s getting a little technical, so I’ll just leave it.