Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has announced a ban on free movement between municipalities ahead of the two upcoming public holidays amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country will observe the Restoration of Independence Day on December 1 and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, reports Xinhua news agency.
The two-phased ban from November 28 to December 2 and from December 4-9 is part of the government’s new set of measures to curb the pandemic under the “state of emergency”, Costa announced on Saturday.
According to the resolutions approved by the Council of Ministers, the new measures will go into effect on Tuesday when the “state of emergency” is renewed.
Another measure announced by Costa is the mandatory use of masks in workplaces and the suspension of teaching activities on November 30 and December 7, the eves of the two holidays.
“At work, viruses are transmitted and also at work, the mask protects against virus transmission.
“We still have a lot to strive for in order to achieve the desired result,” the Prime Minister said in a speech to the nation.
Saturday’s announcement came a day after President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced the renewal of the “state of emergency” in the country until December 8 aimed at the curbing the pandemic.
The President also warned of a possible third wave of the pandemic, saying: “A third wave is likely to occur between January and February, that will be even worse than we had now.”
The renewal of the state of emergency for another 15 days was approved by the Portuguese Parliament on Friday, requiring compulsory confinement or active surveillance of people infected, as well as the total or partial closure of establishments, services and companies.
Portugal has so far reported a total of 249,498 coronavirus cases and 3,762 deaths.