The Council of Ministers has just announced a new national situation of borough lockdowns for the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend commemorating All Saints Day (November 1).
From Friday October 30 to Tuesday November 3 citizens will be prohibited from leaving the confines of their borough of residence.
According to a statement given by minister of the presidency Mariana Vieira da Silva, “the Council of Ministers recognises the necessity to commemorate mourning, and for this reason has decided to declare November 2 as another day of national mourning to remember all those who have died, particularly the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic”.
This at least is the explanation for restricting populations from any kind of travel or other plans. It will no doubt be pointed out in the next few days that all those who have died as victims of the pandemic are but a fraction of ‘excess deaths’ recorded since the start of this crisis.
For now, a country where myriad areas have no cases of Covid-19 whatsoever is coming to terms with the fact that yet again decisions have been made without any kind of ‘democratic debate’ in parliament.
News reports coming in as we write suggest certain boroughs, namely Felgueiras, Lousada and Paços de Ferreira (all in the north), will also be subject to other even tougher restrictions in a bid to bring down the spiralling level of Covid-19 infections within them, kicking in from tomorrow (Friday October 23).
These include confining people to their homes for every reason other than work, going to school and a defined set of activities (dog walking, buying food/ medication, going to the aid of a vulnerable family member, etc).
The government has also prohibited visits to old people’s homes and institutions of continuous care in these areas, as well as any fairs or markets, while all establishments will have to respect a 10pm curfew.
Updates to come.