"In regard to general measures, we are no longer in a state of calamity and we are now in a state of contingency, with rules applicable throughout the continental territory," said the governor, at the press conference held after the Council of Ministers, which met in an extraordinary manner to anticipate the changes foreseen in the second phase of easing lockdown.

In her initial intervention, the minister, who is leading the government at this stage because of the holidays of the prime minister and other ministers of state, highlighted that the country has an incidence of 316.6 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in 14 days and a transmissibility index (Rt) of 0.98.

“When we see the evolution, we see that since the beginning of this month the Rt has risen again, but still below 1. In the month of July, when the picture we are currently following was presented, we moved to a phase in which the central element became be the percentage of the population vaccinated with the two doses. On 18th August, we surpassed 70 percent and the country has a percentage above the European Union average”, she stressed.

Mariana Vieira da Silva also compared the last epidemic wave with the one that occurred in early 2021, stressing that Portugal has never come close to January numbers and that the current situation has “plateaued ”. “When comparing the two waves in relation to admissions, the difference is even more significant. The same with regard to intensive care units, with the country currently having numbers that are about half of what is the red line of 255 beds", he indicated, adding: "With regard to deaths, the values maintain stable and starting a downward trend”.

In Portugal, since March 2020, 17,622 people have died and 1,014,632 cases of infection have been registered, according to the Directorate-General for Health.