More than eight million Portuguese people, living in 191 municipalities, will be subject this weekend from 13:00 to the curfew imposed by the government as part of the state of emergency due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The ban on Saturday and Sunday between 13.00 and 5.00 had already been imposed last weekend, but affected only 114 municipalities with a high risk of transmission of the new coronavirus.
However, as the list of areas at high risk of transmission of Covid-19 has been revised by the government, 77 more municipalities are now covered by the emergency measures, i.e. curfew between 23:00 and 05:00 during the week and between 13:00 and 05:00 at weekends.
Of the 18 district capitals in mainland Portugal, Leiria is the only one to be removed from the list. Viana do Castelo, Braga, Vila Real, Bragança, Porto, Guarda, Aveiro, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Lisbon, Setúbal and Beja were still classified as high risk capitals, including Viseu, Coimbra, Portalegre, Évora and Faro.
The list, which is reassessed by the government every 15 days, is defined according to the general criteria of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) of “more than 240 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days”, taking into account the proximity of another municipality in this situation and the exception for outbreaks in municipalities with a low population density.
The group of areas covered, which continues to include all municipalities in the Lisbon and Porto metropolitan areas, can be consulted at https://covid19estamoson.gov.pt/novas-medidas-para-concelhos-de-risco-elevado/.
According to Lusa’s official data, the weekend restrictions affect a total of 8,445,007 people, representing 86.3% of the population living on the continent.
According to the Eyedata and Pordata platforms, only 13.7% of the population living in 87 municipalities on the Portuguese mainland is excluded, according to the latest estimates of the National Statistics Institute.
According to INE estimates, 9,789,403 inhabitants live in the 278 municipalities on the continent.
On Friday, during the discussion in Parliament on the Presidential Decree extending the state of emergency in mainland Portugal until 8 December, the Minister of the Interior, Eduardo Cabrita, admitted that the number of municipalities at high risk of infection will increase and will exceed two hundred.
Also on Friday, the Council of Ministers met to adopt the measures under the prolongation of the state of emergency, which will be announced today.
In addition to the curfew from 1 p.m. on weekends, the government has stipulated that shops may only be opened from 8 a.m. and closed at 1 p.m., except for, among others, pharmacies, clinics and offices, grocery shops up to 200 square metres with a door to the street and petrol stations.
During the weekend, from 13.00 hrs, restaurants in these municipalities may only be open for home deliveries.
The ban on driving on public roads provides for a series of 13 exceptions to the freedom of movement allowed, including the exercise of professional activities such as those of health professionals and civil defence officials, the use of medical care, visits to establishments selling food and hygiene products, assistance to vulnerable persons, the exercise of freedom of the press and short walks.
In addition to the curfew, municipalities with a high risk of Covid-19 transmission have an obligation to stay at home, an obligation to telework, the closure of shops by 10 p.m. and of restaurants by 10.30 p.m., and a ban on events and celebrations involving more than five people unless they belong to the same household.
These special measures will remain in force until 23.59 on 23 November.