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Covid Digital Certificates and testing “just for the summer”

News from Expresso today is that the use of Covid Digital Certificates and testing to give diners access to restaurant interiors (as well as other venues) should only be for the summer.

“At a certain time, life will have to return to normal, without restrictions or conditions”, says the paper, citing “some government figures” reacting to the fact that the level of vaccination nationally is rapidly approaching the point where herd immunity will kick in.

Says the paper, the ‘certain time’ will be “after the summer, in September.

“However before this moment of release arrives, there will be long weeks in which the strategy will continue to encourage use of covid digital certificates and tests as a way of keeping activities like bars and clubs open”.

In other words, the moment for bars and clubs to return seems close.

Contrary to the very negative message conveyed by yesterday’s Council of Ministers (click here), Expresso’s is much more upbeat – suggesting the opening of bars and discos will be decided after the July 27 meeting between the government and experts at Infarmed.

Economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira – who today signed a dispatch reopening waterparks – is named as one of the voices powering this sea change.

He told Expresso that he hopes that Covid Digital Certificates and the testing strategy will carry society through to herd immunity without the need for further business closures.

Duarte Cordeiro, secretary of state for parliamentary affairs, has already said that it is high time the enforced inactivity of bars and discos was reconsidered, particularly as their return could be an incentive to young people to accept Covid vaccinations.

And in the face of any ‘health authority resistance’, Expresso’s text explains this will “be harder now” to sustain – particularly as numbers entering hospitals “are far from the (established) red lines”. 

There is something of a warning however in the last paragraph of today’s story. “The intention therefore is to extend the obligation to present the certificate or test before removing all restrictions…”

Bottom line: “If everything continues as it has been, and with the population experiencing high rates of vaccination, September could be the turning point in which even the certificate no longer makes sense in some sectors, such as restaurants (hospitality)”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com