After listening to experts, the government should ease some restrictions, such as the mandatory use of masks in some situations, limiting working hours in restaurants and stores, and ending preventive quarantines for vaccinated people.
This Tuesday, 27, the recurring meeting was resumed at Infarmed to analyze the epidemiological situation in Portugal. Thus, after listening to the experts, the government will decide, in the cabinet on Thursday, the possibility of easing restrictions. This meeting – the second since the end of the state of emergency, on April 30 – usually includes the participation of the President of the Council of the Republic, the Prime Minister and leaders of parties with parliamentary representation, and takes place at a time when Portugal saw a decrease in cases compared to the previous week, cutting a month and a half consecutive weekly increases in bulletins Monday. However, an additional 40 people are in hospital (a total of 919) and five more are in intensive care units (there are now 198).
Lightening the rules for using the mask
Everything indicates that there will be a lifting of the restrictions, which the government and experts considered very likely. For Pedro Simas, a virologist and researcher at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, there are several rules that could change: “The use of masks, which is no longer mandatory in outdoor public places, such as beaches and theme parks; opening hours in restaurants and shopping malls, which It doesn’t make sense because we have all the rules in place that have to be maintained – the use of masks, hand hygiene, social distancing. It’s still too early for bars and clubs to open.” Preventive quarantine of vaccinated people who have been in contact with an infected person is another “meaningless” standard and must end. “It is unlikely that a vaccinated person will become infected, but if they do, the possibility of transmission is very small.”
As for presenting a negative test or vaccination certificate at the entrance to hotels or restaurants, the virologist understands that it should be kept because it is safer, in addition to encouraging people to get vaccinated. “It is really important and Portugal is on the right track, with more than 50% of the population fully vaccinated,” he says. Last week, at a hearing in Parliament, the coordinator of the task force on the vaccination scheme, Henrique Gouvia e Mello, declared that “the 50-year age group is practically closed”, with only 4% of this population missing out to complete vaccination knowing that it is in the age group 40 In general, 11% of the two doses are missing, and among 30-year-old users, 25% are missing. According to Gouveia e Melo, the largest jump was recorded among young people over the age of 23, since 30% of people have already been vaccinated.
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