By Damon Mitchell • 08 May 2020 • 15:21
THE government has lifted Portugal’s state of emergency which has now been replaced with a state of calamity. This means that restrictions are easing in Portugal to allow the opening of further businesses and certain activities.
According to the government, every 15 days, the impacts of the measures on the evolution of the pandemic will be assessed, “taking into account the permanent updating of data and the assessment of the situation by the health authorities.” If the numbers are looking good then further easing of restrictions will come into place.
Here are the essential points of the containment measures:
• Mandatory confinement for sick people and active surveillance.
• General remaining at home where possible (regardless of age or whether a person has risk factors).
• Mandatory use of masks on public transport, in public attendance services, in schools (employees, teachers and students, except children up to six years old) and in commercial and service establishments open to the public.
• Maximum capacity of five people per 100m2 in closed spaces.
• Funerals: family members are allowed.
• Hand hygiene recommendations, as well as physical distance, are maintained.
• Religious ceremonies: community celebrations according to rules to be defined between the General Directorate of Health (DGS) and religious denominations.
From 4 May
• Work: Mandatory teleworking regime, whenever functions allow. In cases where telecommuting is not possible, Decree-Law 20/2020 authorises employers to carry out ‘body temperature measurements for workers for the purposes of access and permanence in the workplace,’ although data protection is ensured by prohibiting the ‘recording of body temperature associated with the person’s identity, except with the person’s expressed authorisation.’
Persons or entities ‘must inform users who do not wear a mask that they cannot access, remain or use the spaces, establishments or collective passenger transport and inform the authorities and security forces of this fact if users insist on not complying with that obligation.’
• Local commerce: Opening of stores with open doors to the street up to 200m2, bookstores and car trade, regardless of the area (mandatory use of a mask, operation from 10am and capacity of five people per 100m2), hairdressers, manicurists and similar (by appointment and specific conditions).
• Culture: Opening of libraries and archives (with reduced capacity and physical distance).
• Possibility to practise individual sports in the open air (without using changing rooms or swimming pools).
• Some accesses to beaches can open for the practice of nautical sports activities.
From 18 May
• Schools and social facilities: Reopening of schools for the 11th and 12th years (with the use of a mandatory mask), from 10am to 5pm, from day-care centres (support to the family will be maintained until June 1 for ‘Families to gain confidence’) and social facilities in the area of disability.
• Commerce: Reopening of stores with an open door to the street up to 400m2 (mandatory use of a mask, operation from 10am and capacity for five people per 100m2).
• Reopening of restaurants, cafés and the like (50 per cent capacity and open until 11pm).
• Opening of museums, monuments and palaces, art galleries and the like (reduced capacity and physical distance).
From 30/31 May
• Restart of religious ceremonies, with rules to be defined between the DGS and religious denominations.
• Resumption of football competitions, with only the conclusion of the Primeira Liga and the realisation of the final of the Portuguese Cup, with all games taking place behind closed doors.
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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.
Originally from Scotland but based on the coast for the last three years, Damon strives to bring the most heartfelt news stories from the spanish costas to the Euro Weekly News.
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