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DE ASUNTOS PÚBLICOS

Portugal to declare State of Calamity in December

Due to a significant increase in infections, hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 and following the reinforcement of sanitary restrictions throughout Europe, the Portuguese government approved this Thursday new measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

In a press conference after the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister praised the high vaccination rate in Portugal, highlighting it within the entire European panorama and pointing this factor as a justification for the fact that the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, despite a recent increase, are still below the European average. Due to this factor, the epidemiological situation in Portugal is now considered better compared to the same period last year.

Nevertheless, the Prime-Minister, António Costa, affirmed that the country is entering a riskier phase due to the approach of the holiday season and weather conditions more favourable to the spread of the virus, which has resulted in the observed trend of increased infections, hospitalizations and deaths. For these reasons, the Government will declare State of Calamity from December 1st onward.

The Prime Minister emphasizes the 85% vaccination rate, with all the advantages made possible, did not mean the end of the pandemic and health restrictions. It is the Government’s priority to avoid that January 2022 resembles the context of January 2021, with mandatory confinement. For this reason, during the first days of the New Year there will be exceptional measures such as compulsory remote work and the closing of nightclubs and bars, carrying out a «contact containment week».

General measures from December 1ST

  • Decree of the State of Calamity
  • It will be mandatory to wear a mask in indoor spaces not exempted by the health authorities
  • Requirement to present a digital certificate for access to restaurants, hotels and touristic establishments, events with assigned seats and gyms
  • Mandatory negative PCR or antigen test (even for vaccinated people) for access to nursing homes, visits to patients in health care facilities, large events without assigned seats or in improvised venues, sports venues, nightclubs and bars

CROSS-BORDER MOVEMENTS

  • It will only be possible to enter Portugal by showing a negative test, regardless of point of departure or nationality

AIRLINE COMPANIES

  • Will be responsible for ensuring that passengers seeking to enter Portugal have a negative test
  • Fines and penalties will be greatly increased for airlines that do not comply
  • All airports will have a reserved area to detain anyone who has been improperly transported into Portugal without being properly tested
  • Airlines will be responsible for any subsistence costs arising from the prophylactic isolation of a passenger who has been improperly transported into Portugal
  • Control at airports will be reinforced by contracting private security companies

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Remote work recommended whenever possible
  • Citizens are expected to conduct self-tests regularly, especially before and after family and social gatherings

EXCEPTIONAL MEASURES IN EFFECT BETWEEN JANUARY 2ND AND JANUARY 9TH (CONTACT CONTAINMENT WEEK)

  • Mandatory remote work
  • Resumption of classes postponed to January 10, applicable to all education cycles
  • Nightclubs and bars will be closed

Tiago Vidal

Partner and Managing Director LLYC Portugal

Responsible for the operations of LLYC in Portugal, Tiago Vidal leads a team of experts responsible for the development and implementation of Reputation Management strategies, Communications and Public Affairs in leading companies in sectors such as Finance, Real Estate, Energy, Transport and Logistics, Distribution, Automotive, and FMCG. He was previously Head of Corporate Communications at Sonae Sierra, where he led all B2B communication activities in 14 countries. During his 16 years at Sonae Sierra, Tiago was responsible for reputation management, brand, corporate marketing and PR, relationship with stakeholders and crisis communications, including IPO’s, mergers and acquisitions.

Maria Eça

Client Services Director

Maria is responsible for the Public Affairs and Crisis&Risks areas in LLYC in Portugal, working with clients from the banking and insurance sector, health, online gambling and retail. She is advising companies such as Leroy Merlin, Liberty Seguros and Unilever. She has also participated in M&A and foreign investment projects.

With over 8 years’ experience as a journalist, specializing in economics and society, Maria worked at TVI (private television), where she had the chance to follow and report Portugal’s key issues and relevant news about the main companies operating in the country, on a daily basis.