ANTÓNIO COTRIM/LUSA

São Brás de Alportel slams new COVID-19 measures

The Portuguese municipality of São Brás de Alportel on Sunday called the inclusion of the municipality in the 121 high-risk municipalities to be covered by new COVID-19 measures  “inappropriate and unjust.”

A day after the government announced new measures to stop the spread of COVID in key regions of Portugal, the Mayor of  São Brás de Alportel, Vitor Guerreiro, said his municipality had been among those with the least number of cases, and that “everything” had been done to contain the spread of the disease, according to local media.

Portugal’s prime minister on Saturday said in a televised address to the nation that new lockdown restrictions would be introduced on November 4, a day after coronavirus cases reached a record high. 

The measures cover 70% of the country and people will be asked to stay at home except for work, school or shopping. Shops must close at 10 pm and restaurants at 10.30 pm, with a limit of six people allowed per table. 

“We are facing a very tough month ahead. It is more likely that we will add more municipalities to the list than we will drop them,” Costa said.

The municipality of São Brás de Alportel is the only municipality in the southern Algarve region of Portugal included in the high-risk list. 

According to the Mayor of São Brás de Alportel, out of the 37 cases that are currently active in the municipality, 80% are limited to one only outbreak in a local nursing home and was being closely monitored by the local health authorities.

“We lament the option to go with cold criteria, based only on a mathematical formula, but that does not take into account the reality of the territories, or the nature of the outbreak and the monitoring that is being done by the local health authorities, therefore seriously harming the already difficult survival of the local economy which depends on the wellbeing of the family and the community,” Guerreiro said. 

Portugal on Saturday posted a new record of daily COVID-19 infections with another 39 deaths, over 4,007 new infections and 286 patients in intensive care.

Countries across Europe are grappling to control the outbreak, with France announcing new measures and the UK imposing a four-week lockdown.