At the end of the Ministers meeting, António Costa considered that the evolution of the pandemic in Portugal has been “serious”, which is why the Government has decided to proceed with “eight fundamental measures” to help curb infection rates.
1. “Raise the level of alert of the contingency situation to the state of calamity throughout the national territory, thus allowing the government to make the justified measures whenever necessary”, said the Prime Minister.
2. António Costa added that, “already protected from the situation of calamity, as of 15 October, there will be no more gatherings in public areas of more than five people”, a decrease from the previous limit of 10.
3. “Limit events of a family nature, such as weddings, baptisms and others, which are scheduled from 15 October, to a maximum of 50 people, all of the participants must comply with the rules of social distancing and individual protection such as the use of a mask”.
4. It is now “forbidden in academic institutions, namely in universities and polytechnics, all academic celebrations and activities of a non-academic or scientific character, such as the freshman reception ceremonies and other types of celebrations that involve gatherings. We have to avoid at all cost the repeating of circumstances that have already occurred as a result of contamination in events of this nature”, he said.
5. “Determine to the security forces and ASAE (Authority of alimentary and economic security) a reinforcement of the actions of compliance with these rules, either in public spaces or in commercial and catering establishments”.
6. “Increase fines up to €10,000 applicable in commercial and catering establishments that do not ensure scrupulous compliance with the rules in force regarding the capacity and the security distance that is necessary to ensure those within are safe”.
7. It is “strongly recommended to all citizens that they use a mask in public and whenever there are other people in public areas. Also the use of the STAYAWAY COVID app and communication through this app whenever there is a positive test”, said the Prime Minister.
8. “To present to the Assembly of the Republic a proposal for a law that we will request an urgent procedure to impose the mandatory use of a mask in public when there are more people in public and also the use of the mandatory downloading of the application STAYAWAY COVID in work, school and academic contexts, in the armed forces and in the security forces and in the whole of the public administration”, highlighted António Costa.
Costa also stressed that the new measures serve to “frame” behaviour and he concluded with an appeal to the people of Portugal: “More than the inspection by the authorities, it is the inspection of our own conscience that is imposed to prevent risks and control the expansion of this pandemic”.