At a press conference held in Lisbon, the Prime Minister, António Costa, presented the rules of a new lockdown, which covers the closure of all trade, “except authorised establishments”. “Retail and service activities are suspended in establishments open to the public, with the exception of those that provide goods or provide essential services,” reads the statement from the Council of Ministers, which took place this week.

In March last year, when the state of emergency was declared and the obligation was for bookstores to close doors, they were allowed to be open if they made sales through ‘postigo’, as the Minister of Culture at the time justified, considering that books are also a product of first necessity. Asked if this possibility was taken care of in this new confinement, the Ministry of Culture confirmed to Lusa agency that bookstores will be able to sell through the ‘postigo’.

Meanwhile, António Costa referred to the lockdown announcement of “a set of measures to support sectors that are particularly affected”, to be presented by the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Economy. Contacted by Lusa, the Portuguese Association of Publishers and Booklets (APEL) declined to comment on the measures announced, preferring to wait to know all the rules and support provided for the book market.

According to the latest data on the sale of books in Portugal, made available by the consultant Gfk, at the end of October the book industry had recovered partially from the abrupt fall it recorded due to the pandemic, but has already losses of €7.5 million.