Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced on Tuesday evening the end of the "state of emergency" on April 30, due to the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
"After hearing the experts and the parties in the Assembly of the Republic, all seen and considered, I decided not to renew the state of emergency," the head of state said in a speech to the nation.
Decreed since Nov. 9, 2020, this highest level of civil protection in the country, which allows restrictions on people's rights and freedom, has been renewed 15 times to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in Portugal.
"This decision weighed in the stabilization and even the decrease in the average number of deaths, inpatients in the infirmary and in intensive care, as well as the stabilization of the number of infected people, that is, the incidence of the pandemic," the president explained, noting that the pandemic remains under control even though "a month has passed since Easter and the reopening of schools."
However, he was quick to warn that "we are not yet at a time free of COVID-19, or free of viruses," and the Portuguese still face the risk of new variants, which "justifies a concern for all."
"Without a state of emergency, it is necessary to maintain or adopt all measures considered indispensable to prevent setbacks, returns to a past that we do not want," he said, adding "the times ahead will be demanding."