75% of businesses ‘can’t comply with rules of hygiene and safety’

Three out of every four of the nation’s businesses are finding it difficult to comply with all the new rules of hygiene and safety.

This is the conclusion of a recent inquiry undertaken by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) which cites the businesses’ inability to purchase all equipment deemed necessary and reluctance to comply with physical limitations on available space.

This last ‘complaint’ explains why so many restaurants are waiting until June to reopen. (This is the moment when PM António Costa has suggested the 50% limit on normal capacity will be lifted). But it won’t deal with the equipment issue which is all down to the business’s lack of funds to buy what they have been told they must have. Yes, there are government programmes available but they are not, apparently, as easy to access as they should be.

Another study by CIP, the confederation of Portuguese industries, and ISCTE business school, has concluded that the “crushing majority of firms say Government measures are insufficient”.

It is in this context that political leaders now are looking into extending the lay-off regime for certain sectors (particularly hospitality which has been so badly hit).

The CIP/ ISCTE study also concluded that measures imposed because of the pandemic are not always being complied with.

Says Rádio Renascença, 5% of companies have not put hand-sanitisers outside their premises, 7% haven’t got all their workers in masks, 66% are not performing daily disinfection routines, 13% haven’t demanded the use of masks, or created physical barriers, 26% haven’t ‘incentivated’ employees to take their temperatures daily and 10% haven’t informed their workers on what to do if they have the symptoms of the virus.

(This last failing is not the most serious as DGS health authority advice has been clear throughout: anyone suspecting they could have Covid-19 should instantly self-isolate and call Linha Saúde 24 on 808 242424).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com