The new measures that the Government has decided on to contain the pandemic
Fines for those who participate in or organize gatherings of people, more supervised shopping centres, and shops to close at 8 pm in Lisbon and the Tejo Valley region.
These are some of the new government measures implemented to minimise the spread of COVID-19 announced this Monday by the prime minister, after a meeting with the mayors of the five counties within the region that politicians have claimed “deserve more concern”, after localised outbreaks have struggled to be contained for the past few weeks.
Some have speculated that if outbreaks such as the one witnessed last week as a result of an illegal party in Lagos are seen to happen again in the Algarve, similar measures to those being implemented in Lisbon this week could be put in place here.
– The Government will establish a new legal framework to punish gatherings of people in violation of the rules in force: 20 at most across the country, a number that drops to ten people in the municipalities of the Lisbon region. Police officers have complained about the lack of penal framework in order to be able to act in a more effective way to dispel these gathering.
– The Prime Minister did not reveal the amounts that the fines may be, merely stating that these “may not exceed the limits that would require the intervention of the Assembly of the Republic”; otherwise, the process “would take longer”. The Government decree-law will be fixed “within a margin” and will be approved in a Council of Ministers meeting, to take effect at midnight on Tuesday.
– Security forces will “reinforce their presence on the street” and will be able to impose penalties on those who participate in unauthorized gatherings.
– The sale of alcoholic beverages in certain areas will be banned (in Lisbon) and the ban on beverages on public roads will be reinforced, except on terraces of bars and restaurants, said the Prime Minister
– Shopping centres “will be more supervised”, both in controlling the number of entrances and in terms of circulation circuits.
– In Lisbon and the Tejo Valley, commercial establishments will have to close at 8 pm, “with the exception of restaurants serving meals”, which may continue to operate on a take-away basis. Cafes must also close.
– There will be a “reinforcement of the inspection” of construction sites and of the transport circuits of these workers.
– The state of calamity “must be maintained” in Lisbon and the Tejo Valley when, on Thursday, the Council of Ministers reassesses this measure.
– The Prime Minister admitted that it is necessary to “renegotiate” the increase in the capacity of buses with operators, due to the “brutal” drop in ticketing revenues during confinement.
– The situation of the trains “is now normalized”, he said.
– The Healthy Neighborhoods program will be launched. “It aims to develop community projects to strengthen prevention in the areas that have been most affected”.
– The Government wants a “stronger link” between municipality officials and health authorities, in order to “shorten the deadlines for notification of laboratory results” and ensure compliance with mandatory quarantine.