"Obviously, it is difficult to explain and take these measures, but it is a condition that seems fundamental to us at this time in order not to spread the situation in Lisbon throughout the country", the Minister of State and Presidency. Mariana Vieira da Silva said to journalists.

According to Mariana Vieira da Silva, this ban on circulation, in the Government's view, “is framed in civil protection law and in public health law, with the country in a state of calamity as it is”.

“It will be communicated and explained using the ways we usually use it,” she said.

The Government decided today to prohibit the movement to and from the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML) on weekends, from 15:00 on Friday until 06:00 on Monday, due to the increase in cases of covid-19 in this area.

“After 15 months of pandemic, it makes no sense, as far as I am concerned, for us to systematically question our ability to take the measures we have been taking over the past few weeks,” she argued.

According to Mariana Vieira da Silva, “it is too early” to say how long this new measure is expected to last.

“Even because, as I said, in the coming weeks we will have a lot of information about the prevalence of the Delta variant and also depending on this information and its dispersion in the territory, we will be able to look again at the measure we took here. At the moment, with the information we have, the incidence seems to be much more significant in AML than it is in the rest of the country”, she explained.

The Minister and State and the Presidency justified this decision with the need to have no regrets in the future “of not having taken the decisions in time”.

“We made this decision now, we are always available to reassess it according to the data that comes to us”, she assured.