LISBON, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Portuguese government decided on Thursday to extend the "contingency situation", a civil protection measure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 14, according to a statement published on the official website.
The government also extended "exceptional measures to protect credits from families, companies and institutions," which allows for a moratorium on the payment of credits until Sept. 30, 2021.
The contingency situation came into force on Sept. 15 and was set to end at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 30, but the Council of Ministers decided to maintain the restrictive and social-distancing measures due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the past weeks.
The gathering of more than 10 people is still prohibited. In restaurants, the maximum number of people per table is capped at four, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the public road and the sale of these products at gas stations is prohibited.
The Minister of State and Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, informed that the maintenance of the contingency situation will be reassessed by the ministers within two weeks.
Portugal recorded 691 new COVID-19 infections and three more deaths in the last 24 hours. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has registered 1,931 deaths and 71,156 cases.