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Portugal and Cyprus opt for caution in the easing of lockdowns

Both countries will be reassessing their approach every two weeks

  • April 24, 2020 11:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Source: António Costa, Mayor of Lisbon, CoR PES Group member by PES Group Committee of the Regions on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

With all of Europe believing that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic has already been put behind us, countries are now looking towards adapting to life in new circumstances. Perhaps some of the most common phrases used by leaders across the continent include different iterations of “the virus will be with us for a long time” and “we can not rush towards returning to how things were” – which is why some countries are designing their lockdown exit strategies to reflect precisely that reality.

Relaxation of measures in Portugal

On Wednesday, during a parliamentary debate, the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, announced that the lifting of lockdown measures will be done gradually starting in May. Until then – nothing will change, as the country has so far had one of the best track records when it comes to dealing with the pandemic.

The further lifting of restrictions will be reassessed every 15 days, according to government officials, as that is the estimated time need to do a proper assessment of the impact of the removal of measures. The idea is that if it is discovered that some measures that were lifted have caused a massive upsurge in cases, then the government will have the opportunity to retrace its steps and reintroduce previous measures.

The Prime Minister concluded his statement saying that things simply will never return to the way they were before the outbreak.

Reassessing the future in Cyprus

Meanwhile, in Cyprus, government officials are also looking at the bi-weekly timeline for the relaxation of lockdown measures. The government’s goal is to bring down transmission levels to a sustainable level before they begin relaxing restrictions.

In order to be able to chart a course for the future, the country’s lockdown will be reassessed every fortnight starting this week – thus acting according to the scientific consensus that two weeks are needed to observe the effect of any new or changed circumstances.

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