In his seventh Christmas message since taking office as prime minister, António Costa praised the way in which health professionals have been committed to combating Covid-19.

“After the tireless work in 2020; after the dramatic wave they had to face in January and February of this year, the health professionals were once again unsurpassed – and in this case, very especially the nurses – in the remarkable vaccination operation”, he declared.

In this context, the prime minister also highlighted that his “intense experience of these two years” only reinforced his pride in the Portuguese and his confidence in the National Health Service (SNS).

He then left warnings regarding the evolution of the pandemic in the coming months.

“The vaccine has proven to be the most effective weapon in fighting the pandemic, an extraordinary victory for science, but the war is not over. As we know, there are millions of human beings around the world who still have not had access to the vaccine and, as long as that is the case, the virus will remain active and the risk of developing into new variants will persist”, he warned.

Therefore, for the executive's leader, "it is essential to accelerate vaccination on a global scale and continue the vaccination boost in Portugal".

“Schools, entities in the solidarity sector, local authorities, the State and the European Union did everything possible – and even when it so often seemed impossible – to help everyone”, he said.

However, according to António Costa, employment has "fully" recovered from pre-pandemic levels and Portugal has resumed "robust growth".

“We cannot lose focus on the national recovery effort. And we must do so with the confidence of a people who, having overcome each stage of this pandemic, are capable of overcoming themselves, of facing the future with hope”, he added.