Faro Mayor Rogério Bacalhau has urged the government to provide more financial support to businesses in the country’s 191 “high-risk” municipalities due to the heavy restrictions they are facing.
Faro was one of the seven municipalities in the Algarve added to the list yesterday evening, along with Portimão, Vila Real de Santo António, Tavira, Albufeira, Lagos and Vila do Bispo. São Brás de Alportel was already included.
Says Bacalhau, the restrictions that will be enforced in these municipalities – particularly the weekend curfews which begin at 1pm – will have a devastating effect on local shops and restaurants.
“Every municipality is worried about this situation, they are all trying to help as much as they can, but only the government can provide access to credit lines to help these businesses,” he told Lusa news agency.
While Faro Council has been helping families pay for food and rent, Bacalhau stresses that local authorities simply do not have the financial means to “help the local economy”.
He also hopes that the government will review some loopholes in the new restrictions. For example, people living in a “high-risk” municipality can simply travel to a neighbouring municipality that is not on the list to host events.
(Click here) to see the new restrictions which were announced by Prime Minister António Costa on Thursday evening.