Portugal Back Under Lockdown Following a Resurgence of COVID-19 Cases

Portugal's management of the health crisis had been praised, but the country is now facing a resurgence of COVID-19, to the point of having to reestablish a lockdown. We’ll take stock of the situation.

While countries such as France, Spain, and Italy were struggling to reduce the number of people contaminated by COVID-19, Portugal seemed to be managing the health crisis calmly, with a death toll of less than 2,000 in the country just a few weeks ago.

4,000 new cases in 15 days

The contamination rate had so far been favourable since at the beginning of May it had fallen to about a hundred new cases daily, but in the last few days, there have been almost 400 new cases.

This alarming fact has forced the government to act. The President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has decided to reestablish a lockdown in 19 districts of Lisbon, where the new infectious outbreaks were detected. These new outbreaks of infection concern five municipalities on the outskirts of Lisbon, where there have been 4,000 new cases in the last two weeks.

A local lockdown

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa spoke about the resurgence in coronavirus cases:

We are aware that the situation is serious and that is why we are doing tests to find cases and isolate them quickly.

Like Germany, which had to place around 360,000 people under lockdown once again, Portugal is having to resign itself to doing the same. The government announced a total lockdown of the region with a ‘civic duty of being confined to the home’ for at least two weeks.

Inhabitants affected by this measure have the right to leave their homes only in specific cases: to go to work, to shop for food, and to go to the pharmacy.

Gatherings banned

In the northern suburbs of Lisbon, residents are once again being subject to certain restrictions. Impromptu parties have been blamed for the resurgence of the virus, and are said to be responsible, in part, for the new cases of infection.

New fines in effect

Gatherings of more than 10 people are once again prohibited. Anyone who violates this rule risks a fine of £320.

Until now, the Portuguese police have imposed few fines for failure to comply with the lockdown. (...) From now on, anyone participating in an unauthorised gathering will be fined 350 euros (£320).

Similarly, fines of £900 to £4,500 are also being put in place against establishments found not respecting health regulations. From now on, the country must count on the civic-mindedness of its inhabitants.

In a new wave in the cards? Time will tell.

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