Portugal’s state of emergency extended to March 1

Portugal's state of emergency was extended by two more weeks but is likely to last until the end of March.

On Thursday, much as we all expected, the Portuguese government approved extending the current state of emergency for another two weeks, the maximum allowed constitutionally. Until 23:59 on March 1, the same restrictions are in place that have been in effect since January.

“Restrictions implemented by the Government on January 15 have resulted in improving the epidemiological situation in Portugal. Therefore, and in order to win the third wave while preventing future waves, it is imperative not to relax the rules and to reinforce the fight against the pandemic,” the government said.

Moreover, Prime Minister António Costa warned that the current state of confinement is likely to last at least another six weeks.

“”We have to maintain the current level of confinement, surely for the next 15 days. And we must realistically assume that we will have to maintain it even during the month of March,” he said in a televised address to the country on Thursday evening, according to Sapo. “It is not the time to start discussing lifting restrictions, totally or partially — it is time to continue with all the determination to do what we have done in the last few weeks, because only then can we bring the country as a whole to a level of security that gives us comfort in managing the pandemic.”

Earlier this month, Pedro Simões Coelho, who coordinates the COVID-19 Insights platform, raised hope that we could see some restrictions getting lifted as early as this week.

Related: COVID-19 Case Numbers Are Declining Rapidly in Portugal, Leading to Optimism Among Experts

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