The third presidential decree of State of Emergency – due to be approved by parliament today – doesn’t just signal a gradual re-opening of the economy, it opens the way for the confinement of certain regions and age groups.
In other words, it sets out to ensure that in ‘returning to business’, the country doesn’t career towards a second outbreak of infections.
Explain reports this morning, this new two-week period will come into effect tomorrow (Friday April 17) and run to until Saturday May 2.
Wording on the decree describes a “gradual, phased or alternate opening of services, businesses and commercial establishments” with adapted timetables and adequate monitoring.
It restores some of the labour rights initially removed, particularly when it comes to the ability for syndicates to participate in the drafting of any new labour legislation – and bearing in mind that this third period of emergency cover Liberty Day, on April 25, it allows for people to be able to commemorate this Bank Holiday “although within limitations of public health”.
For pensioners however, this third decree sets out the mechanism for ‘confinement of specific age groups’.
Says the text: “Symmetric and asymmetric restrictions may be imposed by the competent public authorities, principally in relation to people and age groups and places of residency”.
These measures will be taken “without discrimination”, “appropriate to the epidemiological situation and justified by the need to reduce contagion risks and implement measures to prevent and combat the epidemic”.
While Portugal’s outbreak carries what’s dubbed a ‘lethality percentage of 3.2’ (meaning an average of 3.2 people out of 100 die from the Covid-19 virus), this increases dramatically with the over-70s. At yesterday’s press briefing secretary of state for health António Lacerda Sales pegged the lethality percentage for the over-70s at 11.4.