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Portugal hardens measures to contain pandemic

ANI
·2-min read
Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa (Photo Credit - Reuters)
Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa (Photo Credit - Reuters)

Lisbon [Portugal], January 19 (ANI/Xinhua): The Portuguese government announced on Monday more restrictive measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new measures are aimed at better containing the movement of people, with the main one being the ban on movement between municipalities on weekends, according to the government.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa explained in a press conference that stricter restrictions are necessary because the reduction in the movement of people last weekend only reached 30 per cent, which was considered as an "insufficient" result.

Costa announced that it is prohibited to operate any business other than the sale of food items, even the sale of any beverage.

"Security forces will have greater visibility on public roads, especially in the vicinity of school establishments, to prevent gatherings, which are a threat to public health," said the prime minister.

Another restriction is that workers will only be able to circulate on the street with "company credentials, to reinforce the mandatory teleworking."

In addition, Costa said, service companies with more than 250 workers "must send in the next 48 hours a nominal list of all workers whose face-to-face work they consider indispensable."

The prime minister also asked Portuguese mayors to "limit access to places of the great concentration of people."

According to Costa, the use of garden benches, parks, or sports equipment and permanence in public spaces is prohibited.

"All establishments of any nature must close at 8 pm on working days and 1 pm on the weekend, with the exception of the food retail that can be extended until 5 pm on weekends," he said.

Portugal has registered 556,503 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, with 9,028 deaths, according to a tally by US Johns Hopkins University.

Portugal has entered a new two-week nationwide lockdown since Friday in a bid to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on January 12. (ANI/Xinhua)