"We are going through a dark period, of which no one is to blame, and we must find solutions, all of which will allow us to overcome this, or closures will have to happen," said the FEVIP's director-general, António Paulo Santos, to Lusa News Agency.

According to a resolution by the Council of Ministers, which came into force on 4 November, cultural facilities - including cinemas - located in those 121 municipalities in Portugal will have a partial confinement, and will be forced to close at 10:30 pm.

The decision covers a large part of the 544 cinemas on the exhibition circuit, as they are mainly concentrated in the districts of Lisbon (144), Porto (90), Setúbal (48) and Braga (40), according to data from the Cinema and Audiovisual Institute (ICA).

António Paulo Santos doesn’t question the Government's decision, although he considers it incongruous, because it both appeals to the Portuguese to stay at home and guarantees that the cultural activity continues to take place, but only until 10:30 pm.

António Paulo Santos recalls the "very high costs" of exhibiting in Portugal and calls for measures such as financing with low interest rates for exhibiting companies and an effective application of the flexibility of space rental costs, mostly in shopping centres.

According to the most recent data from the ICA, until September there was a 71 percent drop, compared to 2019, both in the number of spectators and in box office revenue, especially since March.

The recovery in revenue and viewers has been gradual, but is still below last year's statistics.

According to the ICA, up to September, cinemas registered 3.2 million viewers, compared to 11.5 million in the same period in 2019.