Portugal ponders banning unvaccinated from cafés, restaurants and supermarkets

This is the bottom line coming out of yesterday’s meeting between government ministers and health experts at Infarmed.

It is seen as the easiest way to get the one in four people resisting the call to vaccinate against Covid-19 onboard (click here).

Explain reports, Portugal’s government is pondering going the same way as France and Italy: enforcing the wider use of Covid Digital Certificates for entry into many more public venues, at the same time ‘doing away’ with restrictions like the operating limits on restaurants and shops in areas of high or very high virus transmission risk.

Sol online this morning is suggesting Covid Digital Certificates will be required for “access to all public spaces from events to shows, restaurants, cafés, gymnasiums and supermarkets”.

The rules will be kept in place until “at least October, when it is hoped that 85% of the population will have completed their two-doses of vaccination”.

According to the author of the proposal, pneumologist Raquel Duarte, the objective is to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, at the same time as allowing the economy to reopen.

These are strategies announced recently by France, Italy and Israel, explains SOL – not adding that in France certainly the plan has not extended to being enforced for entry into supermarkets, and it has already seen massive demonstrations by furious citizens.

For now, these are still just proposals: government ministers will be making their decisions at tomorrow’s Council of Ministers.

Yesterday, prime minister António Costa insisted his government viewed the meeting at Infarmed as a way of getting “the maximum information possible”.

It was an opportunity to listen to “specialists, investigators and technicians at a time when the process of vaccination is progressing throughout the country with success and in which the Portuguese continue to be exemplary in complying with measures of protection to contain the pandemic”, he tweeted.

Beyond the question of how deeply into daily life Covid Digital Certificates will bite is the issue of whether or not the government will decide that the vaccination of children over the age of 12 is as fundamental in reaching a point of herd immunity as some experts believe it is.

The ethics of vaccinating developing children has divided the medical profession, with many specialists insisting there is no data to prove that the benefits outweigh the risks (click here).