As of midnight October 14, Portugal moved to a “state of calamity” that will last until 11:59 pm on October 31, 2020.
The biggest changes to current rules are as follows:
- No more than five people may gather on public roads or in commercial spaces and restaurants unless they are cohabiting;
- No more than 50 people may gather at family events such as weddings; all people at such an event will be required to follow social distancing and personal safeguarding rules such as wearing a mask.
- There will be no non-academic activities and celebrations (welcome receptions, etc.) at academic establishments, namely universities and polytechnics.
- The Forças de Segurança and Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica (ASAE) is to monitor compliance with these rules, both on public roads and in commercial and catering establishments.
- There is an increase in the possible fine to 10,000€ for “legal persons,” in particular shops and restaurants, “which do not ensure scrupulous compliance with the rules.”
- A strong recommendation that all people should wear a mask on public roads and use the Stayaway Covid application.
- A law is to be proposed to the Assembleia da República to impose the mandatory use of masks on public roads and the use of the Stayaway Covid application in schools, the Armed Forces, the Forças de Segurança, and all public administrations.
These updates were announced on Wednesday by Prime Minister António Costa in a press conference held after a meeting of the Conselho de Ministros. Costa went on to say that individual action is what will count in battling the virus and warned that young people have a false idea that they are at lower risk from the effects of Covid-19.
“This lower risk is illusory. Firstly, the contraction of the virus is a risk in itself and also poses a huge risk of transmission to others. The duty is to protect ourselves and, arguably, to protect others: whoever lives with us, our parents, our grandparents, our co-workers, friends, schoolmates,” the prime minister said.
Costa also added that we still don’t know the extent of the “consequences that [the virus] can leave on the health of each infected person.”
“In this ignorance, we cannot devalue the future risk to the health of each one of us,” he also said.