Lisbon, Dec 6 (IANS) Portugal will ease travel restrictions between the country’s municipalities during the Christmas holidays with certain limitations, but not during the New Year festivities, Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced.
Costa’s announcement on Saturday came a day after the country’s parliament voted to extend the coronavirus-related state of emergency, which was in effect since November 9, until Dec.=ember 23, with another 15-day extension until January 7, reports Xinhua news agency.
Addressing a press conference here, the Prime Minister said there will be a relaxation of restrictions between December 23-26, allowing family reunions and trips around the country, as well as the operation of restaurants and similar establishments.
Costa said that “public celebrations and gatherings in public venues of groups of more than six people would be banned”.
For the New Year, however, restrictions will be back, with the ban on travel between municipalities and the holding of public or open parties or celebrations between December 31 and January 1, he said.
The Prime Minister said that the restrictive measures will continue in Portugal until vaccination reaches 60 to 70 per cent of the population.
“The volume of vaccines will arrive in Portugal gradually and will also be administered gradually.
“Until then, we have to make the measures to prevent the epidemic compatible with the vaccination program, since it will be long months,” he said.
Portugal has so far reported a total of 318,640 coronavirus cases and 4,876 deaths.