"I understand that there must be a plan for lockdown and easing lockdown, in this case, a national one, but if the whole territory is not homogeneous then we should open up the country again at different rates, depending on the region," he said.

The Social-Democratic leader, who met today in Porto, with representatives of the Bread and Water Movement, which brings together businesspeople from the catering, commerce, hospitality and events sectors, however, rejects lockdown at s municipal level.

“I do not think that we need to harm regions and people in those regions unnecessarily. (...) Therefore, it seems to me that it is not possible to exclude the possibility that easing lockdown is not the same way throughout the country. It may be, but it seems to me that it can be done in a slightly different way for those populations that are not so overwhelmed by the pandemic ", he said.

Rui Rio believes that this is the time to design the easing of lockdown road map, but not to let the guard down, which can only be done, he argues, after the red lines are indicated by the technicians.

Despite admitting that this plan should have been prepared by the Government sooner and recognising that it would bring more security to the people, the Social Democrat believes that, if it existed, he would not say that the country could have come out of lockdown any sooner.

The National Health Council (CNS) recommended, on Thursday, that easing lockdown in the scope of the Covid-19 pandemic should be gradual and accompanied by clear guidelines and the guarantee of the control of the transmission of infection by SARS-Cov-2.

"The decision must be planned, based on monitoring processes that follow both the epidemiological evolution and the country's economic and social indicators", reads the document sent to Lusa with the recommendations of the advisory body for the lack of definition.

For the CNS, the reopening of activity in the different sectors of society must be gradual and accompanied by measures to ensure control of the transmission of infection, the timely identification of points of greatest risk and an effective test-screening programme.

Regarding the testing capacity, the CNS states that the diagnostic tests should be distributed in a comprehensive manner, even with a medical prescription, and particularly aimed at people in contexts of higher risk for the occurrence of outbreaks.

On the other hand, it is recommended that the lifting of restrictive measures should not happen without clear guidelines, not only for different levels of health care and different sectors, but also for citizens in general.

The easing of lockdown plan is to presented by the Government on March 11, but the Prime Minister, António Costa, has already said that, in addition to being gradual, progressive and differentiated by sectors of activity, "it may also be, depending on locations , as it has been in effect for a certain period of time in the country ".