The Council of Ministers announced last Thursday that the whole of mainland Portugal would return to an emergency situation from September 15.
Is this a step backwards in view of the increasing number of new cases?
Portugal prepares for a second wave of Covid-19
Several experts claim that there could be a second wave of Covid-19 with the arrival of autumn, and it was this scenario that led the government to announce last Thursday that mainland Portugal would return to emergency status from September 15.
From that date onwards, the whole country will be in an emergency situation - as is currently the case in the Lisbon metropolitan area ( AML ) - so that the necessary measures can be defined "in each zone to prepare for the start of the new school year. and the return of many Portuguese to their places of work", declared the Minister for the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, at the end of the Council of Ministers meeting.
The government also reported that the meetings Infarmed will resume at the beginning of September. When we consider that the last meetings were described by the government as "not very useful", we can't even imagine the conditions in which they will resume.
As for the measures that the emergency situation will entail, these should be announced in 8 days' time (around September 7), following the Infarmed meeting and approval by the Council of Ministers. The second week of September should bring news in this area, and the government may choose to follow up on the measures currently imposed in the AML.
As a reminder, the rules are:
- Mandatory home or hospital confinement for people infected with Covid-19 or subject to active VIGILA INSTANCE ;
- 10-person limit on gatherings;
- No alcoholic beverages allowed in outdoor areas;
- Ban on selling alcoholic beverages at service areas and service stations;
- The opening hours of commercial establishments may be modified by decision of the mayors of the communes;
- There are no closing times for fuel services (they can operate 24 hours a day exclusively for the sale of fuel), pharmacies, funeral homes, sports facilities, clinics, offices and veterinary surgeries.
- More vacancies in higher education
The country is thus preparing for the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19s, which will coincide with the start of the back-to-school period. For this reason, the government has also decided that universities and polytechnics will be able to allocate places for international students to candidates in the national competition for access to higher education.
The state will pay a subsidy to people infected with Covid-19
In another new development, the sickness subsidy in the event of infection by the new coronavirus will be paid in full for the first 28 days, announced the Council of Ministers. The measure had already been approved in the supplementary budget.
In addition to sick pay, employees who have to comply with prophylactic isolation also receive the corresponding 100% of reference pay, for the same maximum period. The measure is retroactive to July 25.
Justified absence has also been approved for employees with children or dependents in prophylactic isolation. The measure applies, for example, in situations where, upon confirmation of a positive case in a class or school, pupils must complete their prophylactic isolation at home, enabling parents or guardians to take time off work for their follow-up, without any reduction in pay.
Stayaway Covid' application now available
The " Stayaway Covid In addition, the Minister for the Presidency and Administrative Modernization announced that "the new system for tracking infected contacts has been available since Sunday.
As you can see, the back-to-school period is likely to be a complicated one, both economically and socially. Of course, we'll keep you informed as soon as possible about the rules put in place by the state of emergency.