With the sun shining all over the country, although covered with more clouds in the center and south, and maximum temperatures above 20 degrees on Monday, everything points to the activities allowed in the start of the second phase of the deflation to be used to the maximum .
There is a lot of nostalgia for a meal or drink on a terrace, even if there cannot be more than four people at the table (unless they belong to the same household) and at the weekend the spaces have to close at 13:00. On working days, the opening hours extend until 10:30 pm. The other good news is that you can choose the terrace that you like the most, regardless of the county, since circulation restrictions will end, even at the weekend. Since the end of the year, it was impossible to change the county between Friday night and Monday morning.
But even on an outdoor terrace, with the risk of contagion being substantially less, the order is the same. You need to keep some distance from the people you are with and from the rest, so there will also be limitations in relation to the ability to receive customers. AND if you are neither eating nor drinking, continue to wear a mask “to avoid the risk of transmission”, The Prime Minister appealed last week, when he announced the green light for the second phase of deflation in“ the whole national territory ”.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Government clarified in a decree-law published this Saturday the concept of terraces: “any space in the establishment, as long as it is outdoors and outdoors”. Even if it has “a structure or roof”, this “does not prevent the qualification as an open terrace, as long as those are folded or removed so that the space is not fully covered and allows air to circulate”.
For the elderly who attended day care centers, the reopening of these social support structures will be a breath of fresh air, which will allow many to resume routines and the coexistence of which they have long been estranged.
And for those who do not dispense with physical exercise, the second stage of deflation also brings long-awaited reopenings, as is the case with gyms and gyms. The limitations are back to capacity and also due to the impossibility of participating in group classes, which should only come back in May, if all goes well. If you want to have the company of training colleagues, you will have to opt for the outdoors, where physical activity will be allowed in groups of up to four people.
Fans of padel, tennis or golf will also be able to return to classes and make games again, as low-risk sports are also re-authorized.
The return to school
But it is in the return to face-to-face classes, now for almost 600 thousand students from the 5th to the 9th grade, that the hustle and bustle will be greater. For now, with the covid-19 screening operation that will be applied to all teachers and school staff that are now taking over, in an estimated universe of 150 thousand tests. To these are added a new light of tests in the municipalities with more cases of covid-19 and that will be repeated with kindergarten teachers and teachers of the 1st cycle.
The President of the Republic is keen to mark the start of the 3rd term, which everyone hopes will be able to reach the end in person, and will visit, with the Minister of Education, the Francisco Arruda School, in Lisbon. In addition to the schools of the 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education, the centers of study and leisure activities for children and young people of these levels of education reopen.
As for stores, they may reopen as long as they are less than 200 m2 and have a door to the street, which does not yet cover most shopping centers. In super and hypermarkets it will be possible to buy clothes and toys again and all the products that were prohibited by other stores, closed, will also not be able to sell them.
If you choose a more cultural program, count on most museums, monuments, palaces and art galleries with open doors. Cinema and theater only from the 19th of this month.
Next steps and councils at risk
The decree establishing these and other measures, such as the maintenance of the “general duty of home collection”, teleworking whenever possible and the use of a mask, was published on Saturday at the end of the day. In an introduction to the measures, the Government clarifies that the epidemiological situation in Portugal allows “the strategy of progressive lifting of the confinement measures to be continued”.
There is also a reference to the 19 counties where the incidence of new cases within 14 days is currently over 120 per 100 thousand inhabitants. The Government has decided not to stop the process in these municipalities – only if the situation remains in the next assessment for 15 days – and guarantees that more public health measures will be taken in these regions.
The next stages of reopening are scheduled for April 19 and May 3. But they will only happen if the indicators for monitoring the epidemiological situation do not come close to red.
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