Following the confinement in force since January 15 throughout Portuguese territory, on Monday January 18 the government clarified and strengthened the measures adopted until the end of January. These modifications to the measures imposed during confinement were approved on Tuesday 19 by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and come into force from midnight on Wednesday, January 20.
This tightening of containment measures follows situations in which the population did not comply with the measures in place, particularly at the end of the week. Thus, Prime Minister António Costa saw himself obliged to clarify and strengthen the measures imposed to combat the pandemic. According to his words "we are living the most serious moment of this pandemic". Indeed, the deterioration of the pandemic situation continues throughout the country and threatens the response capacity of hospitals day after day.
The last eight days the average number of cases has been close to 10,000 and the number of deaths per day has reached an average of 165. For eight days, the number of new cases has been close to 1000 cases per million inhabitants, which places Portugal ranks second after Israel, globally, of the countries with the highest number of cases in recent days. On Tuesday, January 19, the number of cases rose to 10,455 and the number of deaths to 218.
The new measures imposed for containment are as follows: • Prohibition of movement between municipalities on Saturdays and Sundays, • All businesses must close at 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. and for food stores at 5 p.m. • Door-to-door sales are generally prohibited and in particular drinks (coffee and other drinks) • Closure of day centers for the elderly and senior universities. • Closure of all outdoor sports equipment. • Prohibition to stay in gardens and public spaces • The inspection brigades are reinforced The schools remain open, however from Wednesday a rapid test campaign will take place and depending on the results the decision to close them can be taken.