The Prime Minister, António Costa, announced this Wednesday that the country will return to confinement and revealed the rules that will come into force.
In a press conference, the prime minister asked for unity and joint responsibility to “stop this pandemic together”. Costa warns that “we are in a dangerous moment” and the essential rule “is to stay home”. In other words, there will be a duty of home collection “as we had in March and April last year”.
The measures will take effect from 00:00 on 15 January. These measures are valid for 15 days, for legal reasons, but the Prime Minister stressed that “we must assume” that they will last a month.
The head of government ended one of the questions that generated the most doubts and said that the schools will continue to operate, in person.
The Government also decided to double all fines for violating any of the measures in force to contain the pandemic, namely the use of a mask on public roads.
Teleworking is mandatory, “whenever possible”, and barber shops, hairdressers, and gyms will close. Grocery stores and supermarkets may be open but the capacity will be limited to 5 people per 100 square meters, whereas restaurants and cafes will only be able to operate on a take-away or home delivery basis.
Dentists and pharmacies will be open, as will the courts, but cultural establishments will be closed. Professional football remains active, but without an audience, and religious ceremonies can continue as long as they comply with the rules of the Directorate-General for Health.
“We really have to take a step back”, stressed António Costa, reiterating that “life is priceless”.
The Prime Minister assumed that the situation will have a very negative impact on the economy and added that the program to support companies and culture will be extended. Also “all closed activities will have automatic access to the simplified lay-off”.
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