“The numbers at this time suggest that the situation in Lisbon is not yet over”, which means that “the specific measures in place have to be maintained, as they were maintained in other parts of the country when they were at special risk” said Marta Temido at the time of going to press.

“We have to be aware that we are dealing with a phenomenon whose evolution is still fraught with uncertainties. It is not possible to guarantee that the future will be this way or that, the only thing can guarantee is that we will do everything so that this is not necessary, but we know our reality. The numbers continue to increase, we are not yet at a time when we are seeing them decrease and, therefore, we must be attentive”, said the minister.

Stressing the importance of vaccination, testing and “some non-pharmacological measures”, the government official also reacted to the criticism of German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the opening of Portugal to host the final of the Football Champions League and, consequently, thousands of English supporters.

“Controlling the movement of populations is one of the challenges we face. We are in a phase of combating the pandemic in which there is an increasing desire to resume normal life and this is a difficulty. If we knew everything we know today, could we have acted in certain moments differently? Probably yes, but you can’t rewrite history,” she said.

Marta Temido also repeated the idea that the country seeks to “buy some time through non-pharmacological measures”, such as the use of masks and distancing, in order to be able to vaccinate more people and appealed to the population to carry out tests regularly, although without defining a fixed periodicity.

“What we are asking is that people take advantage of free testing in many areas or from the possibility of prescriptions that exists through health services. People who are not yet vaccinated can undergo a test before subjecting others to exposure that may be risky”, she concluded.