Coronavirus: Portugal's "state of calamity" to end on 1st July

1st July is the date set by the Portuguese Government for the transition to the next phase of de-cofinement on the way to Portugal's new normality.

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Photo by Mathias Wichmann on Unsplash
18 June 2020,

Portugal has been in what is known as a "state of calamity" since 3rd May due to the pandemic, after three consecutive periods in a state of emergency for 45 days. With a new phase of de-confinement underway after the COVID-19 pandemic which began on 15th June 2020, several restrictions in the country have been lifted or relaxed, such as the opening of shopping centres in Lisbon, and other relaxed restrictions at a national level such as larger social gatherings of up to 20 people and the opening of water parks. Now, the Government is already looking ahead to the next steps and the summer season. Having already announced their schedule forseeing the end of the state of calamity at the end of June, on 1st July the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa wants Portugal to move to a state of contingency and even points out that regions like the Algarve and Alentejo could move to a "mere state of alert".

"If the health situation continues to evolve positively, as has been happening, our prediction is that from 1st July we will be able to make the change from state of calamity to state of contingency and some regions like the Algarve and Alentejo, may be able to move directly to a mere state of alert," the head of government said at a press conference after a meeting with MPs.

To make this possible, António Costa made an appeal to the country: "We have the responsibility, collectively, as we have done so far, to remain committed to controlling the coronavirus pandemic so that results can be achieved, and on 1st July we can take this new step", stressing that the "lifting of confinement measures cannot mean any kind of relaxation with regard to social distancing regulations, individual protection, such as the use of face masks, and hygiene".

This state of calamity in Portugal due to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue until the end of June due to holidays, popular saints celebrations and the reopening of air borders.

"Throughout the country, the rules currently in force will continue until the end of the month, not because there is a negative change in the state of the pandemic, but because we are taking into account that during this period there are several traditional celebrations of the popular saints, the opening of air borders to European countries on the 15th is also an important factor, as well as the high number of holidays at this time," the head of the socialist government told journalists.

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