New Delhi (NVI): Portugal government has announced an expansion of a night-time curfew and weekend lockdown already in place across more than 100 municipalities to a further 77 areas as it scrambles to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The situation is serious and more critical than what we experienced in the first wave of the pandemic,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa told a news conference.
Residents of affected areas are asked to not leave the house except for work, school or shopping during the week, and must stay home between 11 pm and 5 am.
Furthermore, at weekends, a lockdown is in place from 1 pm to 5 am, during which all commercial outlets and restaurants will remain shut, although there are exceptions for bakeries, pharmacies and neighbourhood grocery shops.
However, restaurants will be able to apply for compensation of 20 per cent of their average revenues to make up for income lost over the next two weekends, Costa announced, after workers in areas where the weekend lockdown was already in place protested that it was killing the sector.
Any municipality with more than 240 new cases per 100,000 people in the space of two weeks must follow the new rules. Seven were removed in the past week as their infection rate fell below the threshold.
In addition to this. a nationwide state of emergency that came into force on Monday and is due to last until November 23, could also be extended if necessary.
Portugal, with a population of just over 10 million people, has recorded 1,91,011 coronavirus positive cases and 3,181 deaths so far.