Covid-19: Costa says that reopening has to be prudent and with trustworthy social conditions

António Costa says that the removal of restrictions must be done in a "gradual and progressive" way.

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The prime minister said today that the reopening of economic activity must be prudent and with conditions of trust in society and defended that in Portugal the restrictions on industry were lower than in other countries.

António Costa was speaking to journalists at the end of the meeting with epidemiologists, at Infarmed, in Lisbon, about the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in Portugal, in which he reiterated that citizens in general have to make “a great effort” this April to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

“We must always be prudent, progressive and always measuring the consequences of decisions so that we don't take risks. At the same time, we have to create conditions of trust in society and conditions so that, with responsibility, it is possible to decide to reopen restaurants, neighborhood stores or large supermarkets”, declared the prime minister.

António Costa sought to highlight the importance of the social trust factor in the reopening process, claiming that it can even be decided that the restaurants will reopen, but then, “if people don't have confidence, they don't go to the restaurants either”.

Questioned once more about the Government's calendar to start lifting restrictions on the movement of people and economic activity, the leader of the executive once again claimed that “it is not possible to anticipate results” in terms of combating the pandemic.

"Serenely, without anxieties, we have to wait for the end of the month, the 28th, to see what the evaluation will be," he said, referring to the next meeting with epidemiologists at Infarmed, before leaving a repair.

“Portugal has not had the same degree of restriction as other countries and, with regard to industry, with the exception of Ovar, no restrictions were imposed on the operation of industrial units, in addition to the need to comply with safety and of social withdrawal. Many stopped their activity, either because the supply chain had been interrupted, or because there was a collapse in demand”, he claimed.

At this point, the prime minister stressed that the removal of restrictions “will have to be done in a gradual and progressive way”.

“Each time we withdraw a restriction measure, without treatment and without a vaccine, the number of infections will increase. We must always measure whether, when this risk of increased contamination occurs, it is controllable or not. Only then can we begin to withdraw the measures,” he added.