See how Portugal will reopen economy

Portugal will reopen the economy in three steps after the peak of the pandemic: May 4, 18 and June 1. However, everything still depends on the evolution of the virus.

The Portuguese government will soon present its plan to reopen the economy after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. The programme will have three steps of the gradual opening of businesses and state entities (May 4, May 18 and June 1). Prime Minister António Costa will present the plan this afternoon.

On May 4 Portugal moves from State of Emergency to State of Calamity. What does this mean? It means that confinement will continue, but some shops will be authorized to open again. A wider opening of shops is expected for May 18.

If the number of new infections do not rise in a way that could jeopardize the capability of the National Health System, June 1 may see the country reach a level of “normal” activity.

This is what we already know about the reopening plan:

Local businesses open on May 4

The first step will see the reopening of local shops that have been closed since March 19 in Portugal. Bookstores, stores up to 200sqm, hairdressers are some of the businesses expected to open. Universities may open, but will not be obliged.

On May 18 restaurants will open

The government will monitor the effects on public health after 15 days of taking the first step. Thus, and if the contagions by Covid-19 do not register a significant leap, on May 18 we could see more business opening doors, such as restaurants and classes for high schoolers. Commercial spaces of up to 400sqm are also expected to open, although municipal councils will have a special prerogative that will give them the power to allow stores with larger areas to open. Cafés, pastries and restaurants too, but with new conditions. The reopening of all these establishments will take place with half the capacity, in order to ensure social distancing.

Large surfaces scheduled for June 1

If the pandemic develops in a controlled way, larger commercial spaces, like shopping malls, will open in the third and final step. Football may return too, but with no spectators in the stadiums. The start of the bathing season should also bring new rules of social distancing at the beach.

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