João Gouveia, from ADN, said that he did not believe there is a need “to wait until October for the clubs to open”, arguing that it would be “the postponement of a situation that would only create more problems and bankruptcies”.
The ADN leader spoke after the coordinator of the vaccination plan against Covid-19 admitted that, next week, the vaccination rate with first doses should reach "85 or 86 percent", standing at 81.6 percent the rate of people with complete vaccination.
“For next week, we will reach, with the help of the Portuguese people, 85 or 86 percent [of the vaccination rate]. And the process in terms of first doses is complete. Then there is the process of second doses,” said Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo, from Guarda.
"This is the moment. If next week we reach 85 percent of vaccination in Portugal and given that the Government said that the clubs would open when these numbers were reached”, said José Gouveia.
“It's time to open the clubs that has reached the target of vaccinated. Nightclubs in Portugal are extremely prepared to open, with all the restrictions that may come from that”, he added, explaining that, despite continuing with “the awareness that the dance floors must be in 'stand-by'”, they believe that “in a house with tables, people can get up to dance with a mask”.
For José Gouveia, it is necessary to “leave a certain prejudice” with this type of establishment behind.
“After removing the limitation [on capacity] on public transport, the question is now why you can't dance with masks, why people can't have fun on a dance floor with a mask”, he asked.
José Gouveia also recalled that the sector was given the opportunity to function as a bar, but also acknowledged that it “was insufficient for the heavy structure” that this type of company has.
“I don't see why we remain closed. We still have a summer period going on, we still have a vacation period for our students who certainly want to have fun at night, to dance, and feel some freedom”, he said.
The gradual lifting of restrictions due to vaccination against covid-19 started on 1 August, with rules applicable throughout the mainland, including the limit of closing time until 02:00 am for restaurants.
These relief measures include the reopening of bars and other beverage establishments “subject to the same rules as restaurants”.
Among the measures that took effect on 23 August, is the increase in the maximum capacity of restaurants and similar, which went from six to eight people per table inside, and on the terraces from 10 to 15 people.
Bars and nightclubs that refuse to operate within the restaurant rules and remain closed until October.