Locked out since January 15, Portugal will begin to suspect, at a slow and gradual pace, from next Monday (15). Even if the pandemic remains under control, the reopening of the country will not be completed until May 3.
It will be a “cautious, cautious, gradual and trickle reopening,” Prime Minister António Costa said in a speech to the country on Thursday evening (11).
The lack of Portuguese definition will begin on Monday (15) with the return to face-to-face education for young children (nurseries, kindergartens and elementary schools) and the reopening of a hairdressing salon, bookstores and libraries.
Most of the measures currently in place – travel restrictions, curfews and store closures – are expected to be maintained until Easter. To avoid meeting friends and family during the holidays – as happened over Christmas – there will be additional, more stringent measures between March 26 and April 5.
It is only after this that the lack of definition really begins to unfold, with the reopening of 2nd and 3rd cycle schools (primary school).
Stores up to 200 m² are also reopened. Meetings of up to four people in open spaces are now allowed, as well as the practice of sports with a low risk of contamination.
On April 5, museums, palaces, national monuments and art galleries will reopen.
On April 19, the opening was widened, with permission to operate general commerce and shopping centers. They are also returning to face-to-face classes in secondary education and universities.
Restaurants and cafes will also be able to reopen, but limited to occupancy: groups of up to four people in closed spaces and up to six outside. The establishments will only be able to operate until 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
On the same date, cinemas and theaters also return.
On May 3, in the last stage of the plan, restaurants and cafes begin to operate with free time, but still with a limit for group size: six people, indoors and ten outdoors.
Gyms are also being released.
The Portuguese Prime Minister said that caution should be exercised in the lack of definition, so as not to threaten the good result obtained recently by the country.
“We believe that life and health must be safeguarded, and if we have been able, during these two months, to achieve remarkable results, after being the worst in the world for a few days, we must continue to maintain this trajectory, and do not spoil it, “justified.
António Costa said the deconfination plan will be subject to constant revisions and could be halted if sanitary conditions deteriorate.
At least until Easter, the borders remain closed. Travelers arriving from Brazil remain required to undergo a mandatory quarantine and submit a negative PCR test for Covid-19 performed 72 hours before departure.
Considered a good example during the first wave of the pandemic, Portugal saw the situation spiral out of control in January, after a spike in contamination caused by the reduction in traffic and urban restrictions during the Christmas period.
With a record number of deaths and cases, the country has seen its healthcare system on the verge of collapse and has even sought help from other countries in the European Union.
A kind of soft containment was put in place on January 15. With schools and universities open and with a few exceptions, the measure failed to deliver results and dissemination rates remained high.
On January 22, there was an option for an extended foreclosure and face-to-face class interruption. The new constraint has borne fruit, however. Currently, Portugal has one of the lowest transmission rates in Europe.
This Thursday (11), the country of 10 million inhabitants recorded 627 new cases. On January 28, the record to date was 16,432.