António Costa advises the Portuguese to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of the measures that the Government has proposed in recent days, such as the mandatory use of a mask abroad and also the use of the Stayaway Covid mobile application (app), with fines that can go up to 500 euros.
“With this pace of growth of the pandemic that we are having, if we do not adopt measures of this nature now, perhaps we will have to take much more constricting measures of freedoms in the future, from the outset of freedom of movement, as in the beginning of this pandemic, “said the prime minister, a day after saying that it is” unimaginable “to repeat at Christmas what he did at Easter.
Speaking to journalists in Brussels, the Chief Executive insisted that “the question is whether they are useful in preventing the spread of the pandemic and whether it is better not to use them now than to be in two weeks, a month or two months from now to have to impose much more restrictive measures, such as saying that you simply cannot go out, with or without a mask “.
“It is never justified, in my opinion, to suspend the Constitution. We had to do it during those periods of the State of Emergency. Fortunately, we did it in a limited, contained manner, with respect for the freedoms and guarantees of the citizens (…). We must measure , step by step, the measures that are necessary, trying to disturb the minimum activity of people and companies, but knowing that it is not possible to face this pandemic without restrictions “, he added.
Faced with the 2,608 new cases registered in Portugal in the last 24 hours, the official maintained that “until we achieve control [da pandemia], we will have every day [estes valores] to grow “. And if the country fails to contain this daily growth of contagions, then the Executive”[terá] to take more serious measures in terms of people’s freedom “.
If we cannot contain [o crescimento dos contágios], we will have to take more serious measures from the point of view of people’s freedom. António Costa, Prime Minister
“I believe that we are all aware of the social cost for families, for children’s learning, for psychological health especially for the elderly, for job loss and for the sustainability of companies, of the measures we had to adopt in March and April. We all have an obligation to make as much effort as possible to avoid at all costs that we have to return to this “, he added.
Asked by RTP on whether this is a serious warning to the Portuguese, António Costa replied that it is rather an “alert” to let them know that “if we do not want to halt a set of activities and impose new constraints and strong restrictions on freedom, we must change the rules. behaviors “. For the prime minister, this second wave “results from people having relaxed in the discipline of their behaviors”, contrasting that the rise in new cases is not a “fatality”.
At the end of a two-day meeting of the European Council, which suffered two “casualties” precisely because of the new coronavirus – the President of the European Commission and the Finnish Prime Minister -, Costa stressed having “hope that, as at the beginning of this crisis, people are very aware that it depends essentially on them to stop the spread of the pandemic and that it depends on the discipline with which each one complies with the rules “, such as physical distance or the use of a mask.
The socialist leader acknowledged that “people have accumulated tiredness”, but warned that “we will still have many months of pandemic ahead”. “We must resist this exhaustion”, he dramatized, concluding that “if we all act with awareness of the risk, we will surely be able to contain the pandemic without having to resort again to drastic measures”.