Portugal Extends Virus Emergency

Portugal, on Friday, extended the state of emergency imposed on it by 8 December to reduce the rate of coronavirus infection as the second wave of the disease spreads.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced that he had signed a decree expanding the emergency steps set to expire on Monday, warning that a further extension would remain necessary, reports AFP.

“The state of emergency will last as long as is necessary to fight against the pandemic” he said in a televised address.

While the second outbreak of the virus is expected to hit its peak at the end of November or the beginning of December, a third wave is likely to follow early next year the president said.

More than 80 per cent of Portugal's population has been partly locked up, but the controls are less stringent than those introduced in the spring.

The declaration came after the Communist Government convened an emergency cabinet meeting to decide on the possible virus controls.

The precise measures to be applied from Tuesday, and the extent to which they differ from those already in place, will be announced today (Saturday).

Local media said that the capital of Lisbon could switch to a three-tiered structure based on the risk of infection in each municipality.

Since the 9th of November, those living in the hardest affected areas also had to observe a night curfew. The curfew starts at 1:00 p.m. on the weekends.

Working from home is obligatory in these areas, though schools have remained open.

The north of the country has been particularly badly hit by the virus.


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