Portugal announces the state of calamity, followed by new measures

  • ECO News
  • 14 October 2020

The government raised the country's alert level, moving from contingency to calamity. In addition to this decision, the Council of Ministers approved seven other measures.

The Portuguese government raised the country’s alert level, moving from contingency to calamity. The change was announced this Wednesday by the prime minister at the exit of the Council of Ministers.

“Throughout Europe, we have seen a progressive and consistent worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic situation since mid-August. Unfortunately, Portugal is no exception and we can classify the evolution of the pandemic in our country as a serious evolution,” said the Portuguese prime minister.

António Costa stressed that it is “consensual in Portuguese society” that we must avoid “sacrificing what is essential,” that is: The ability of the National Health Service (NHS) to respond to coronavirus; The need to keep schools open; And avoid measures that aggravate the crisis, which threatens employment and income.

“We must therefore establish pandemic control on individual behavior and the urge for individual responsibility. In this sense, the Council of Ministers [decided] to raise the alert level of the contingency situation to the state of calamity throughout the national territory, enabling the government to adopt, when necessary, the measures that are justified to contain the pandemic, from restrictions on movement to other measures that may be justified,” said António Costa.

In addition to the level of alert, the Council of Ministers approved seven other measures:

  • Prohibition of gatherings with over five people on public road;
  • Limitation of family events scheduled from this Wednesday to a maximum of 50 participants;
  • Prohibition of academic celebrations and activities of a non-teaching character;
  • Strengthening the supervision of security forces and ASAE;
  •  Fines of up to 10.000 euros for commercial and catering establishments that do not ensure the rules on physical distancing and capacity;
  • Recommendation in favor of a mask mandate on public roads and the use of Portugal’s “StayAway Covid” app.