Curfew, limits on gatherings, schools closed on São Miguel

  • Lusa
  • 7 January 2021

The regional government of the Azores will implement new restrictions on the island of São Miguel to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government of Portugal’s Azores region is from Friday to impose new restrictions on the island of São Miguel to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, including limits on gatherings, curfews, earlier restaurant and shop closing hours, and the closure of schools.

Among measures announced on Thursday by the regional secretary for health and sport, Clélio Meneses, is “the limitation of gatherings on public roads to no more than four people, unless they are part of the same household.”

It will also be compulsory to “close cafes and restaurants at 3 pm, [though] maintaining activity for home delivery or takeaways” while “distance learning will be implemented for all educational establishments at all levels of education.”

Meneses also announced the “ban on movement [on the streets] between 11 pm and 5 am on weekdays and from 3 pm at the weekend,” and the “closure of local commerce and shopping centres at 8 pm.”

The regional secretary also announced “compulsory remote working, whenever functions and activity allow it” for people aged over 60 or with certain pathologies. Where this is not possible, staggered shifts must be introduced to keep these people safe.

The measures are to be in force during the period of the new nationwide state of emergency approved yesterday by Portugal’s national parliament, from 8 to 15 January, but only on the island of São Miguel, where there have been the most cases of infection with the coronavirus.

There are currently 564 active confirmed cases of infection with the virus in the Azores, of which 519 are on São Miguel, 39 on Terceira, three on Flores and three on Faial.

Since the start of the outbreak 2,346 cases have been confirmed, with 22 deaths associated with Covid-19 and 1,666 cases of patients recovering.