The new period of state of emergency due to the covid-19 pandemic was approved on Thursday by parliament, which endorsed a second renewal proposed by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, which extends the measure of exceptionality until 02 May.

At the parliamentary session, the Prime Minister said he hoped that this was the last time it was necessary to renew the state of emergency and that the next 15 days "are decisive" to prepare for the next phase of economic resuscitation, but admitted that some restrictions may be maintained for the next year and a half, to avoid reactivating the pandemic until a vaccine is available.

In a message to the country at the end of Thursday, the President of the Republic also stated that he wished it was the last time he signed the renewal of the state of emergency and justified the extension with the need to give the Government "time and space" to define criteria for reopening society and the economy, creating "trust and security" in the Portuguese.

The presidential decree that extends the state of emergency initiated on March 19 until May 2 provides for the possibility of a "gradual, phased or alternate opening of services, companies or commercial establishments".

On Thursday, the Prime Minister pointed to the possibility for May day care centers to reopen and for public administration services to resume face-to-face service to citizens, and guaranteed an abundance of individual protection materials on the market.

On the occasion, the executive's leader defended the need to start to define the priorities of what should be the pace in terms of relieving the existing social pressure in terms of restrictions on circulation and economic activity.

In this context, he said that the Government will look at the activities and companies that had to close during this period, due to the imposition of a state of emergency, namely trade or restaurants. "We have to start with the small neighborhood trade, which brings together fewer people, the one that best serves the local economy and the one that best responds to the immediate needs of citizens," he said to underline the need for this process to be done prudently and gradually.

On Friday, at a press conference, the Minister of State and the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, said that the regulation of the new period of state of emergency brings little difference compared to the previous one.

"This decree has few differences compared to the decree approved 15 days ago, in addition to not having measures related to Easter, it also provides for the possibility of participating in activities related to official celebrations of Labour Day, through the observation of recommendations from health authorities, namely in terms of social distance and through the articulation between the security forces and the social partners ", said Mariana Vieira da Silva.

It was also announced the lifting of the sanitary fence in Ovar, which ceased to operate at midnight, even though "through the application of special limitations", such as restrictions on freedom of movement, explained the Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, said at same press conference.

Regarding the celebrations of the 1st of May, Eduardo Cabrita said that they will take place "with the appropriate social distance", and the Government is awaiting the necessary indications from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).

The celebrations of the 25th of April, which will take place in the Assembly of the Republic (AR) with one third of the deputies on the benches and some guests in the galleries, as decided in a conference of leaders, have a format that deserved criticism from the CDS-PP, for voice of deputy João Almeida, who asked public authorities for “consistency” and asked that people who compromise the objective of containing the pandemic should not be given “wrong signals”.

The intervention deserved a response from the president of the AR, Ferro Rodrigues, who stressed that the celebrations stem from the will of the majority.

In Portugal, 657 people died of the 19,022 registered as infected.