Raquel Duarte, a specialist from ARS Norte and from the Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto, presented this Tuesday a proposal for the continuation of the plan to reduce restrictive control measures for Covid-19, at a meeting with experts on the epidemiological situation. In Portugal, at the headquarters of Infarmed, in Lisbon.
Experts compared cases of the United Kingdom, which has already lifted restrictive measures against Covid-19, and Israel, which has taken a more cautious stance (with digital certification, indoor masks, and border controls), to identify a proposed plan to reduce restrictions in Portugal.
It is proposed to establish four levels of safety, according to the vaccination of the population, among which a gradual lifting of restrictions (with level 1 corresponding to the current moment and level 4 to the moment when group immunity is reached – with about 85% of the vaccinated population, a proportion that may need, with it, to modify).
Raquel Duarte explains that for any level, there should be three basic rules: adequate ventilation and indoor air conditioning (with the expert emphasizing that this aspect should be planned for the upcoming fall/winter), and routine use of digital certification risk self-assessment ( For example, each person should be aware of the dangers of incomplete vaccination, dangerous contacts, and frequent spaces with many people).
Along these lines, specialists propose several general measures for different areas of society, always adhering to the basic rules of physical distance, the use of masks in a closed environment and public events, and the avoidance of uncontrolled gatherings.
It is proposed to maintain mobility control at sea, land and air borders.
With regard to work, time delays and teleworking should be maintained whenever possible.
In terms of catering: The number of people allowed at the table, both indoors and outdoors, should be increased according to the level of security.
Large events in a specific space should have specific circles and places for each person, in order to achieve physical distance. If the events are in an unfenced space, they should not occur at least during the period of the first and second levels of security.
The increase in capacity at large events is also expected to increase as security levels advance.
Regarding public transportation, again, focus on air conditioning (with air filters and CO2 monitors, or, when this is not possible, maintenance of open windows), promotion of physical distance and mandatory use of a mask.
On the contrary, when traveling on the street, in the open air, the mask must be able to fall from level 2 onwards (except in cases where the distance cannot be achieved).
Weddings and christenings were also addressed in an enclosed environment, whose energy and capacity would also increase along with the levels of security.
On the beach and camping, physical distance should be maintained and masks should be used in public places (such as bars) or crowded situations, and the number of people per square meter should be limited.
For experts, the wisest thing is to maintain individual protection measures while betting on vaccination.
Read all about the COVID-19 pandemic here
“Friendly zombie guru. Avid pop culture scholar. Freelance travel geek. Wannabe troublemaker. Coffee specialist.”