Portugal steps up lockdown measures; 10 pct of UK tested positive last month

Madrid Desk, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Portugal was preparing Tuesday to toughen lockdown measures amid sustained infection rates, while the United Kingdom has found that around 10 percent of its population tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in December.

The situation is considerably brighter in neighboring Belgium, which saw another decline of Covid-19 infections over the past week, as officials in Italy scramble to review their inoculation schemes amid delays of deliveries from vaccine producers.


Authorities in Portugal were preparing to toughen lockdown measures on Tuesday.

Prime minister Antonio Costa on Monday appealed to the nation to make a “civic effort” to bring infection rates down.

Once approved, the restrictions will see gatherings in parks and public squares banned, while restaurants will only be open for takeaway or delivery services.

The measures are a step up from rules being applied since Friday, but the sight of large groups of people walking the streets over the weekend and on Monday has forced officials to review their strategy.

Some estimates suggest that the current lockdown has only reduced travel by 30 percent, well short of the 70 percent drop achieved in the first lockdown in March, during the first, less severe wave of the pandemic.


Around one in ten people in the United Kingdom had Covid-19 antibodies in December, almost double the figure for October, according to the Office of National Statistics.

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