By Damon Mitchell • 22 April 2020 • 11:09
WITH over a million people due to return to work in May, Portugal’s PM António Costa has been outlining some of the ‘rules’ likely to be imposed as a way of combating a resurgence in the number of Covid-19 cases.
Access to the country’s most popular beaches will be restricted through July and August to prevent ‘large groups of people’ coming together and increasing the risk of further infections.
None of the proposals is ‘set in stone.’ The next 10 days will see the executive defining the way forward, in collaboration with scientists, State advisors, the leaders of other political parties and President Marcelo.
“What we’re aiming for is to announce the programme of progressive deconfinement after the meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 30,” said the PM.
The PM was very certain about beach restrictions, particularly in August, pointing out that ports authorities and maritime police will have extra powers to ensure the ‘popular beaches’ are not inundated with people.
Beach concessions (renting out sun loungers) will have to be ‘reorganised’ to allow sufficient space between clients.
Costa’s emphasis was on the fact that “large groups of people cannot exist. Councils and ports authorities will have to take the necessary measures so that we can go to the beach without it being full of people. What the scientists are telling us is that the virus doesn’t hibernate in the summer.”
Concession holders and beachside businesses are already reportedly ‘in panic’ at the prospect that they may not be able to open on time or be as free to operate as usual, with João Carrera president of the Portuguese Federation of beach concessions predicting ‘chaos’ and the threat of bankruptcies.
Hopes are that beachside business will be ‘fully open’ by June and people can at least try and make the best of a very unusual summer.
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From the interviewed to the interviewer
As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.
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