The pandemic 2nd wave is hitting Europe, as Autumn progresses and, with it, the season of respiratory diseases. The Portuguese government is taking new measures to fight the spread of SARS-Cov-2. Let’s take a quick look in some of them.
Algarve: F1 Grand Prix attendance reduced
The Formula one race saw the attendance reduced to 27,500 spectators. Previously, it was expected that up to 46,000 might cross the gates of the Portimão Autodrome; notwithstanding, both the mayor of Portimão and the president of the Portuguese racing federation were satisfied with this number. The circuit has large open spaces and should accommodate visitors without major issues.
Temporary municipality movement restrictions
The government decided that movement between different municipalities will not be allowed in the All-Saints weekend of October 31st and November 1st. The measure will apply between Friday (30th) and Tuesday (3rd).
It is almost sure that Halloween celebrations and the widespread “Pão-Por-Deus” tradition of All Saints Day will not happen. But the government concern is about the concentration of people in cemeteries in All Souls Day, on November 2nd.
Mandatory use of masks in the street…
The Portuguese Parliament approved the mandatory use of masks “when physical distancing isn’t possible” for 70 days. Although it is not clear how the law will be implemented, it shows that there is a widespread consensus in the Parliament regarding the usefulness of the mask. Almost every MP voted in favour.
…but mandatory Covid app will “Stay away”
The Portuguese government hinted that the Stay Away Covid app might become mandatory, but that generated a huge backlash. The Stay Away Covid app is a voluntary measure for people to inform other people around that they have been close to someone infected. The app had a reasonable number of downloads (more than one million), given that not everyone owns a smartphone. However, the idea of having a legally mandatory app in the smartphone was almost universally considered an abuse of power by the government and will probably be dropped.