The Prime Minister announced the measure, which will come into force tomorrow (Friday, 22 January), after a meeting of the Council of Ministers and said it was justified by a "precautionary principle" because of the increase in the number of cases of the most contagious variant of SARS-CoV-2, which increased from around 8% last week to around 20% currently.

António Costa said that the 15-day break would be compensated for in another holiday period and assured that there would be support measures for families similar to those in place during the first lockdown in 2020.