"The Council of Ministers approved raising the alert level to the level of calamity as of December 1, so that we are qualified with the necessary legal framework to be able to adopt the appropriate measures that are proportional to the risk", said António Costa at the press conference at the end of the Council of Ministers meeting in which new measures to contain the pandemic were decided.
Mainland Portugal returns to the calamity situation for the second time this year, after having been at this level between May 1 and September 30.
The disaster situation is the highest level of response to disaster situations provided for in the Basic Civil Protection Law, after the alert and contingency situation.
Why the change in rules?
António Costa, explained that new measures are needed due to the pandemic because, despite high levels of the vaccination and being in a better situation better than other countries in general in Europe, the country "is not doing so well".
At a press conference, António Costa stated that the worsening situation has resulted in the increase in hospitalisations and deaths, what he “regretted”.
For this reason, António Costa considered that the time had come to adopt “new measures” involving citizens, families, companies and all entities in the public sector.
THE NEW RULES FOR PORTUGAL
Remote work mandatory between 2 and 9 January
Remote working is once again being recommended, however it will be mandatory between January 2nd and 9th, the week after Christmas and the end of the year festivities.
"Whenever possible, telecommuting is recommended to avoid excessive contacts that could aggravate the pandemic situation", said the prime minister.
Entry into bars and clubs subject to negative test
Entrance to nightclubs and bars will be subject to the presentation of a negative Covid-19 test, even for those who have been vaccinated, from December 1, with clubs to be closed between January 2nd and 9th.
Entrance to bars with dance spaces and clubs, which opened on October 1 after closing for about 19 months due to the pandemic, was until now limited to the presentation of the digital certificate, which could be related to vaccination, recovery or performance of negative test.
The closing of the clubs takes place in the so-called “contact contention week”, said the prime minister.
Mandatory use of mask in all enclosed spaces
The use of masks will once again be mandatory in all closed spaces as part of the reinforcement of measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Masks are now mandatory in all closed spaces that are not excepted by the Directorate-General for health", announced António Costa.
According to the prime minister, the measure is one of the three main instruments to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, along with the reinforcement of testing and the use of digital certificates.
Mandatory test for entry into sporting venues
The presentation of a negative test at entry will become mandatory in sports venues.
Even vaccinated people will have to present a negative test to access sports venues, according to the prime minister.
At the moment, sporting events do not have a limit of spectators and it was only necessary to present a vaccination certificate or a negative test.
Vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 from 20 December
Vaccines against Covid-19 for children between five and 11 years old, if the inoculation has the approval of the technical commission for vaccination, will arrive in Portugal from December 20.
António Costa said that the government already has the supply of pediatric vaccines contracted with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and that it guarantees coverage for more than 600,000 children in this age group.
“We will be prepared to vaccinate the 637,907 children who are eligible, and the supply schedule has already been contracted with Pfizer, which will begin arriving in Portugal on December 20, with a view to guaranteeing the necessary supply of pediatric vaccines – which are different. On December 20, the arrival of the first batch of 300,000 vaccines is scheduled and during the month of January another 462,000 will arrive”, he said.
The prime minister stressed that this measure still needs validation by the Technical Vaccination Commission "next week", although he reiterated the importance of the "necessary conditions" for this process in place, recalling the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA ).
António Costa also clarified that the eventual vaccination of children must respect “the parents' wishes” and result from an “informed dialogue” between parents and doctors.
Classes to resume on January 10 after Christmas break
Classes will resume on January 10 after the Christmas break to contain the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.
“We introduced a slight change in the school calendar, postponing the reopening of the beginning of the second period to January 10”, said António Costa.
The prime minister added that these five days will be made up for "with the reduction of two days of interruption at Carnival and three days of interruption at Easter".
The head of Government explained that this “week of containment [from 2nd to 9th January] aims to ensure that after a period of intense contact and family life, the mixing of people from different households is avoided”.
Digital certificate required for access to restaurants and hotels
The Covid-19 digital vaccine certificate will once again be mandatory for access to restaurants, tourist establishments and local accommodation from December 1.
According to the prime minister, the certificate "is universal today" since 87 percent of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19, contrary to what was previously verified and constitutes a "security" measure and not a "barrier".
"It is essential that people feel safe going to a restaurant, shopping, participating in normal life. The [digital] certificate is not a barrier, on the contrary, it is a guarantee of safety," said António Costa in response to journalists.
The digital certificate is also required at the entrance of gyms and certain events.
Where do we get the digital certificate? We are tourists here, double vaccinated with proof of vaccine but not from a facility in Portugal.
By Kathleen Allisen from Algarve on 25 Nov 2021, 19:15
It's a well known fact that fully vaccinated people can just as easily contract and transmit COVID. The is NO "guarantee for safety" whatsoever, at best there's a smaller chance of getting hospitalised or death. This man is lying, again.
"The [digital] certificate is not a barrier, on the contrary, it is a guarantee of safety," said António Costa in response to journalists."
By Fred Doe from Algarve on 25 Nov 2021, 22:05
Here comes the bill for the vacation period. From mid May, tourists from outside EU were welcome. Even EU had recommended restrictions. The hotel owners got some profit. And now we have to pay with restrictions/lock down.... Affection regular people's daily life. Limiting our possibilities to do normal activities.
By Gustav from Algarve on 25 Nov 2021, 22:42
I see the Portugal News are getting very selective about which comments they publish now. Censorship is alive and well in a “free” western “democracy” in the 21st century.
By SS from Algarve on 26 Nov 2021, 06:33
Well this didn't work before why will it work now? Most have been vaccinated, so what's the problem? We need to treat this as the flu and move on with our lives. This is getting ridiculous!
By Lucy from UK on 26 Nov 2021, 09:37
"Censorship is alive and well in a “free” western “democracy” in the 21st century."
All publications have always had the right to choose what they publish. If you write a letter to the editor of a print publication you don't have any right to have it printed. The same applies to online publications. Freedom of expression includes the right not to express something.
By Mike from Other on 26 Nov 2021, 12:18
Reply to Kathleen,
If you start complying you need soon monthly injections in exchange for a certificate of vaccination ID 2019 document.
By Magnus from Other on 26 Nov 2021, 12:22
'It's a well known fact that fully vaccinated people can just as easily contract and transmit COVID.'
By Fred Doe from Algarve on 25 Nov 2021, 22:05
The above statement is demonstrably false and dangerous.
Yes, there seems to be the same chance of transmitting COVID regardless of vaccination status. BUT, funnily enough, you have a dramatically lower risk of actually catching it if you've been vaccinated.....
By Jack Woodcraft from Lisbon on 26 Nov 2021, 13:06
Contrary to the misinformed opinions stated online, this is not a 'flu'. This is a very deadly virus. The reason why it is so effective is because it is able to mutate-which is the very nature of a virus. As long as the virus can find a host, it will infiltrate the host and mutate. This is a fact. Also a fact, if the host is not vaccinated and if the virus mutates to such a level that the vaccines we have at our disposal no longer work against the mutated virus, then more people will become infected, more people will die. Also, the more people we have who are not vaccinated the greater the chance that an un-vaccinated person will become infected, and there is a greater chance that the virus will mutate into a new and more dangerous virus. If this happens, and it is likely, then even the vaccinated individuals could fall prey to virus. However, another fact, those who are un-vaccinated are more likely to contract the original virus and the new mutated versions and become gravely ill and possibly die, this is what the hospitals are seeing now-more than 90% of people taking up ICU beds in hospital are UN-vaccinated adults. So we as a community must remain vigilant. We must encourage people to get vaccinated. There is a new and potentially very deadly mutation now in Europe........should this spread, and mutate we are all going to have to work together to beat this plague.
By Jean McManus from Lisbon on 26 Nov 2021, 13:43
Only logging on to agree with Lucy. Was in PT last July for the month with my family. I had planned to return this summer (we have family there), but I don’t think I will return in 2022
By John Newman from USA on 26 Nov 2021, 14:15
These governments are in their own fantasy world in which we pay the price.
By Marco from Algarve on 26 Nov 2021, 15:26
some more verbal diarrhea from Mr.Costa & Co.
By Do from Lisbon on 26 Nov 2021, 15:30
Could you kindly clarify if a non-vaccinated but tested, using either a lateral flow or PCR test, which ever is mandatory, will be able to stay in an already booked hotel after 1 December? Thank you
By Paul Jarvis from Alentejo on 26 Nov 2021, 16:10
Will our digital certificate issued by the Government of Canada be accepted in Portugal ?
We have 2 Pfizer vaccinations AND a booster shot.
By Ian Adamson from Other on 26 Nov 2021, 16:39
Natural immunity gained from catching this cold will be supressed and mean restrictions never end. The vast majority are vaccinated so have hardly any symptoms worse than a cold. My brother and his wife had it and never used a full box of tissues.
By Ian Chestney from Other on 26 Nov 2021, 18:57
So what was the point of getting vaccinated if you still have to show proof of being virus free to attend any public gathering? Even if we all walked around wearing Haz Mat suits I'm sure that still wouldn't suffice . We need to stop the insanity.
By Tony B from USA on 26 Nov 2021, 20:03
Only like the flu? Try telling that to the families of the 5.2 million dead so far.
By Felix from UK on 26 Nov 2021, 20:08
With so many super fit athletes falling over after the ‘Jab’, seven in the last week!!, why is this not being investigated?
By JG from Algarve on 27 Nov 2021, 06:47
Me and my daughter is vaccinated…how can i get the digital vaccinated certificate…and can i travel by air and showing the vaccinated card which we got after vaccine.Thanks
By Shadab from Lisbon on 27 Nov 2021, 07:31
Despite the fear mongering comments, yes this is like the flu, and yes people die or used to die from the flu. Now they are all lumped into the CV file. Word of note, those 5.2 million people would have passed regardless of the classification. Statistically, 98% + of the population will have mild symptoms and recover without any intervention or injection. Despite what the overpaid bureaucrats medics say, in the long run natural immunity will trump any injection. Foe any one that is pushing the injection, I would like to see full disclosure of their investment portfolio. Get the injection if you like, stop forcing it on those that don't want it as the stats show it has done little to remedy the situation. It has however made some very rich and vastly increased the public debt. For those fear mongers, start thinking about the collateral damage to your kids lives, grandkids lives and future generations and less about your selfish near future.
By Anthony G from Algarve on 27 Nov 2021, 07:59
I was involved in a dinner party of 15 people. One person had the virus without knowing and found out through symptoms a few days later. Results were that everybody who had been vaccinated got the virus and everyone who didn't was safe. This is a very true story and I have all the evidence to prove this so please no censorship because this is vital to help others make their decision. I am now being targeted as an individual for not wanting the vaccination and my job is being threatened as well this is becoming ridiculous
By Crystal Rose from UK on 27 Nov 2021, 08:04
Felix people who have reached old die anyway with or without flu virus, 5,2 million deaths in 2 years is not abnormal, it is similar to any season flu, look how many die every year from Malaria, Dengue, Zika and TBC and how many die from cancer and heart related illnesses, did media channels report about all of these deaths?
By Magnus from Other on 27 Nov 2021, 10:26
Magnus, you'll need to cite a source for your statement, because actual annual global deaths from flu are usually less than 0.5 million. Covid19 is much more contagious and far more likely to result in death. Fear of the pandemic shouldn't lead you to deny the facts.
By Felix from UK on 27 Nov 2021, 16:36
There's still no vaccine for stupid. But there is one for covid. Figure it out.
By Howie Rosen from USA on 28 Nov 2021, 00:53
This makes no sense, as many health professionals have stated , vaccinated people are also spreading the virus , and in fact , if 87% are vaccinated, then it's mostly vaccinated people spreading it , not unvaccinated. So stopping tourists using restaurants , gyms etc , just because they are not vaccinated is probably useless , and just takes money away from Portuguese restaurant and club owners.
By Charles Bond from UK on 28 Nov 2021, 11:26
Howie Rosen: indeed. Plus, neither of them work/would work.
By DD from Lisbon on 28 Nov 2021, 17:15
Can the Netherlands "borrow" the Portuguese government and also Henrique Gouveia e Melo to facilitate the booster vaccinating here?
As they say here, the Dutch polder guys are not baking anything at all …
By Patrick Raas from Other on 29 Nov 2021, 08:52
Vaccines only protect the individuals who get them. It protects them from getting so sick that they require hospitalization or worse. It doesn't prevent you from getting the virus., you can still transmit it to others . So whether you're vaccinated or not it makes no difference, you can get it and transmit it. If everyone in the world were vaccinated, the virus will still spread. Some say the more it spreads the less lethal, much like the common cold. Bottom line, get vaccinated and protect yourself.
By Tony B from USA on 30 Nov 2021, 19:15
Reply to Felix: I start to reply saying that year 2020 and 2021 had no higher mortality in Sweden compared with past 20 years, the data is from SCB Swedens Statistical Central Bureau or innStatistiska Centralbyrån, where is the pandemic when no more people died? Remember also Sweden increase every year population with migration from middle east, asia, afghanistan and africa, since 2010 almost 1 million more people live in Sweden. The PCR tests can not show what kind of flu or infection someone has. The horrible manipulation regarding certificate of vaccination ID 2019 flu virus should have been stopped long time ago but instead the show goes on...
By Magnus from Other on 30 Nov 2021, 23:04