LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s president has marked a day of national mourning for COVID-19 victims with a ceremony outside his riverside “pink palace.”
A military band played the national anthem and the Portuguese flag was lowered to half-staff before President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and other high-ranking state officials, all wearing masks, observed a minute’s silence Monday.
Just over 2,500 have died from the coronavirus in Portugal. The country is introducing new restrictions from Wednesday that will affect some 7 million people — around 70% of the population. The measures include mandatory working from home for those able to do so and a “civic duty” to stay at home as much as possible.
Tighter limits, such as curfews or lockdowns, constitutionally require a state of emergency to be declared first. The president, who is the only one who can decree a state of emergency, is due to discuss the possibility with the prime minister later in the day.