It had been previously proposed that a new law to enforce the mandatory wearing of masks in public places and the mandatory downloading of the app would be discussed in parliament on 23 October but now this law will only cover the wearing of masks.

In an interview with TVI, António Costa said that he asked the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Ferro Rodrigues, to withdraw the appointment of the Government diploma, which “determines the mandatory use of a mask for access or permanence in public spaces and roads”, as well as “the mandatory use of the mobile application”.

“However, the PSD presented a diploma only on the mandatory use of masks in public spaces. Therefore, if this matter about masks is consensual, then let’s legislate on masks”, justified the leader of the executive.

According to António Costa, of the two proposals made by the Government to reinforce precautionary measures against Covid-19 in the country, it was found that there was one that was reasonably consensual, regarding the mandatory use of the mask on public roads, while the mandatory downloading of the app faced a large amount of criticism.

“Regarding the application, it is useful for the Assembly of the Republic to hold all the hearings that the PS has proposed to reflect on this topic. I think that there will be nothing better than a great debate and decision on this matter. The government would not be responsible if, in view of the evolution we are experiencing of the pandemic, we do not put to the Assembly of the Republic this issue of the mobile application”, said the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has launched a platform for sharing information on the first national applications for alerting and tracking contacts within the scope of Covid-19, which includes only four Member States, although Portugal is said to be able to join in November.

At the request of the Member States, the European Commission created a European Union (EU) wide system to ensure the connectivity of the various contact tracking applications in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The system has already gone live with the first wave of national applications linked together through this service, and includes the ‘Corona-Warn-App’ from Germany, the ‘COVID tracker’ from Ireland, and ‘Immuni’ from Italy.

Brussels guarantees full respect for the protection of citizens’ personal data and the information will be stored for a maximum period of 14 days and is “entirely anonymous and encrypted”.

This access service ensures that applications work across borders without interruptions.

Thus, users will only have to install a single application and, when travelling to another participating European country, they will continue to benefit from tracking contacts and will receive alerts, both at home and abroad.