Loulé Council has announced a new programme featuring 76 measures to tackle the social and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Programme of Action for Managing the Social and Economic Crisis (Programa de Ação para Gestão da Crise Social e Economic, PAGCSE), totalling €6.8 million, includes measures to be implemented from this month and to cover summer 2021 and even the end of next year.
During the first wave of the pandemic, the council had already invested around €4.7 million in measures to contain its effects, bringing the total amount of support funding since the start of 2020 to €11.5 million – around 10.7% of the municipality’s annual budget.
“It’s a significant amount which we were not expecting, but it is the responsibility of public powers, in this case at a local level, to face the crisis,” said Loulé Mayor Vítor Aleixo.
Said the mayor, the council has been forced to rearrange its projects and investment plans in order to channel money into what is “absolutely important: public health and supporting the economy”.
With forecasts suggesting the arrival of a new “stronger” wave of the pandemic, the council created a working group to come up with an extended programme after hearing 25 external entities.
“We now have the necessary ‘tools’ adapted to the difficult circumstances that our community is facing,” he said.
The measures will provide aid to a wide array of sectors, including economy and taxation, employment and training, local commerce, culture and events, social cohesion, health, housing, education and security and civil protection.
Loulé is one of the seven municipalities in the Algarve that has so far kept its number of positive coronavirus cases under control, thus coming off the government’s list of high-risk boroughs facing stronger restrictions.