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Ponta Delgada, Azores, 15 Jan 2021 (Lusa) – The curfew at 20:00 on working days on the island of São Miguel will only apply from Monday, according to the decree of the Regional Government of the Azores.

The decree, published in the Diário da República on Thursday evening, states that with the exception of the implementation of the sanitary fences in Ponta Garça (Vila Franca do Campo) and Rabo de Peixe (Ribeira Branca), the remaining new measures will only come into effect at 00:00 on Saturday.

On Wednesday, the president of the Regional Government of the Azores, José Manuel Bolieiro, announced that the new measures would come into force today.

In a note published on the Azorean executive’s website, it was also stated that “the implementation of new measures to contain the spread of the virus on the island of S. Miguel” would begin to be applied “from 00:00 on Friday.

However, the decree states that the decree enters into force “at 00:00 on January 16, 2021 [Saturday], ceasing at 23:59 on January 22, 2021”, without prejudice to what is determined in the article on the implementation of sanitary fences.

In this article it is stated that “the sanitary fences are in force from 00:00 on January 15, 2021 [today], ceasing at 23:59 on January 22, 2021”.

In other words, entering into force only on Saturday the other measures provided for, the curfew from 20:00 between Monday and Friday can only be applied from next Monday, the 18th.

The Lusa agency tried to question the Regional Government of the Azores about why only the implementation of the sanitary fences came into force today, but it was not possible to get an answer in time.

Since the 8th, when more restrictive measures began to be applied in Sao Miguel, the curfew is in force on the island at 23:00 on working days (time that from Monday will be brought forward to 20:00), in addition to the closure of schools and changes in trade hours.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the ban on public transit is from 3:00 pm, having already been implemented last weekend.

There are several exceptions to the public road ban, such as travel for health reasons, for work and for the purchase of essential goods.

The diploma also determines the closure of gyms, indoor swimming pools, casinos and gaming establishments throughout the island of São Miguel.

With the implementation of the health fences in Ponta Garça and Rabo de Peixe, the movement and permanence on the public highway in the parishes is prohibited and it is determined the closure of educational establishments, restaurants, drinks, similar establishments and cafes and the cancellation of all cultural events or extended social interaction.

The Azores have 835 active positive cases, 794 in São Miguel, 31 in Terceira, three in Faial, one in Pico and six in Flores.

So far in the region 2,947 cases of infection by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 have been detected, which causes covid-19 disease, with 23 deaths and 1,991 recoveries.

The covid-19 pandemic has caused at least 1,994,833 deaths resulting from more than 93 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a balance sheet made by the French agency AFP.

In Portugal, 8,543 people died out of 528,469 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin of the Directorate General of Health.

The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.

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