Minister of State and Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva has confirmed that Portugal will remain in a state of calamity until June 27th and that certain municipalities will not advance to the next phase of deconfinement before a new reassessment of the epidemiological situation.
"We are at a time of growing pandemic and this implies that we all have to continue to comply with collective and individual measures. Despite everyone's fatigue, the need to continue to control the pandemic is evident," said the official at a press conference.
Admitting that there is "difficulty in reducing cases in Lisbon", Mariana Vieira da Silva, underlined that the situation is "worrying" in several municipalities in the region and with a "higher incidence in younger generations", but with a "very diverse" origin . "It is important to continue to increase testing," she insisted.
Lisbon, Braga, Odemira and Vale de Cambra are the only four municipalities that are not moving towards the new stage of deconfinement that starts next Monday in most of the country. But there are 10 other municipalities on alert: Albufeira, Alcanena, Arruda dos Vinhos, Cascais, Loulé, Paredes, Santarém, Sertã, Sesimbra and Sintra.
Mariana Vieira da Silva recalled the rules that come into force from next Monday for most of the country: citizen offices no longer have mandatory service by appointment, family parties maintain the 50% reduction in space capacity, the amateur sports activities can now have spectators (with distanced seating and a maximum capacity of 33%), and catering establishments can opening until 1am. Telecommuting, on the other hand, remains mandatory in high-risk municipalities, such as Lisbon, but is no longer mandatory at national level.
The increase in cases in LIsbon leads to a change in the testing strategy: it becomes mandatory for companies with more than 150 workers and for sporting, cultural or family events. The General Directorate of Health (DGS) is responsible for providing the respective guidelines.
Asked about the plan, the Mariana Vieira da Silva explained that the strategy involves testing on a regular basis and preventing further outbreaks. "There is a diversified set of tests and great availability for testing. Whenever there are gatherings of significant size, we must all, as a precaution, be tested at the entrance to avoid new outbreaks", she stressed.
As for the risk matrix, the Minister of State and Presidency considered that this will not need to be changed, "taking into account several indicators". She claims the pressure on the national health system (SNS) is not comparable to that seen in January, the worst phase of the pandemic. "There are signs of a greater number of hospitalisations, especially in the region of Lisbon and Tagus Valley, but that situation is very far from the situation we are now experiencing", she assured.
In Funchal, the António Costa also admitted that Lisbon can not be treated differently and that despite the increase in the number of cases there is no reason to be alarmed about the response of the SNS. "Obviously we have a risk matrix and the steps will be taken as the position of each municipality is in that risk matrix and this has to be applied without exceptions. It is true that we are not having hospital pressure, which indicates that the cases these are not very serious cases, but there are cases, there are people who are getting sick, this is a reason that should concern us", said the president in statements to RTP upon arrival to Madeira, to participate in the celebrations of the Day of Portugal.
From next week onwards, councils with more than 120 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (240 in low-density councils) in two consecutive weeks will have moderate rules, with greater restrictions for those that exceed twice the 240 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (480 in low-density municipalities).
The European Parliament have approved the adoption of the Covid-19 digital certificate, which will allow EU citizens already vaccinated, recovered from an infection or tested, to travel without restrictions within the European Union from 1st July.
In a vote held on Tuesday in Strasbourg, but the result of which was only released this morning due to the remote counting of votes, the assembly gave its 'green light' to the digital certification, with 546 votes in favour, 93 against and 51 abstentions.
After, in mid-May, the negotiators of the Portuguese presidency of the EU Council and the European Parliament reached a political agreement on the certificate, proposed by the European Commission last March, the approval by the assembly paves the way for its entry into force, as planned, on July 1st, for a duration of 12 months.
Designed to facilitate a return to free movement within the EU and to support the tourism sector in particular, in an attempt to 'save' the summer of 2021, this 'transit pass', will work similarly to a travel card. boarding for trips, in digital and/or paper format, with a QR code to be easily read by electronic devices, and which is made available free of charge, in the citizen's national language and in English.
As part of the implementation of this European certificate, it is expected that Member States will not apply restrictions again, when almost half of Europeans have already received the first dose of the vaccine against Covid-19, unless the epidemiological situation justifies it. However, it will always be up to national governments to decide whether travellers with the certificate will have to undergo quarantine, further testing (for example, in addition to entry tests) or additional requirements.
On Tuesday, the European Commission urged EU member states to start issuing certificates proving vaccination, recovery or testing to Covid-19, in order to avoid “major blockages” in the official launch of the digital document at the community level.
According to data from the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), twenty municipalities in mainland Portugal are currently at maximum fire risk, at least until the end of the week.
In the Algarve, at maximum risk of fire are the municipalities of Monchique, Portimão, Silves, Loulé, São Brás de Alportel and Tavira (Faro).
Throughout the country, Nisa and Gavião (Portalegre), Mação (Santarém), Vila Velha de Ródão, Proença-a-Nova and Fundão (Castelo Branco), Figueira Castelo Rodrigo (Guarda), Torre de Moncorvo, Sword Ash ash, Mogadouro, Alfândega da Fé, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Miranda do Douro and Vimioso (Bragança) are also at high risk.
The fire risk determined by IPMA has five levels, ranging from reduced to maximum. Calculations are obtained from air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and amount of precipitation in the last 24 hours.
IPMA forecasts for today on the continent are light cloud or clear skies, with a north wind, more intense in the western coastal strip.
The forecast also points to a small increase in the maximum temperature in the Centre and South regions, and fog or morning fog in some places on the North and Centre coasts.
The minimum temperatures throughout the week on the continent will fluctuate between 10 degrees Celsius (in Viana do Castelo) and 20 (in Faro) and the maximum between 19 degrees (in Aveiro) and 35 (in Évora and Beja).
The PSP in Olhão have detained a 20-year-old and identified an additional two suspects for drug trafficking. The arrest occurred following a normal patrol, when officer became suspicious of the occupants in a moving vehicle.
Authorities ordered the driver to stop, but he began his escape at high speed, ordering the other two occupants to throw a package through the window, which was later intercepted outside the city of Olhão.
After recovering the package, the PSP found that it was heroin, a total of 5,617 individual doses.
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