Portugal’s State of Emergency comes up for renewal on January 7.
To that end, President Marcelo will be hearing political parties on Monday (January 4) before the subject goes two days later for what will be the 8th parliamentary debate since the start of the pandemic.
Portugal has so far lived through seven States of Emergency – each one running for two weeks.
The last two particularly have been hotly-contested by minority parties which argued that draconian measures (suspending rights and liberties enshrined in the Portuguese Constitution) cannot be perpetuated because of a virus – even one that is as contagious as Covid-19.
Nonetheless, the two ‘main parties’ (PS and PSD) have consistently voted together to ensure decrees are passed. These have seen the strictest of restrictions enforced in boroughs deemed to be at ‘extremely high’ or ‘very high’ risk. There are currently 109 of these boroughs which are essentially ‘locked down’ every weekend. The rest of the country is less restricted and in tiers of ‘elevated risk’ (92 boroughs) and ‘moderate risk’ (77 boroughs).
Reading between the lines, it looks very much like an 8th State of Emergency will be declared, though some boroughs may see their risk-ratings changed, either upwards or downwards.
Say reports, Marcelo “has re-emphasised that there should be no illusions about the process of vaccination.
“According to the President of the Republic there will only be a very small number of people vaccinated in January. There won’t be – either in January or the immediate months after – the millions required to ensure an ample immunization that will stop the pandemic”, says Lusa.
The country has been in a State of Emergency since November 9 (roughly two months). It was previously in a State of Emergency from March 19 to May 2.