Portugal unveils gradual lockdown exit plan

Portugal unveils gradual lockdown exit plan

Portugal’s government on Thursday unveiled a plan for a gradual exit from coronavirus lockdown, starting on Monday with the opening of some shops and businesses.

Some small shops will be allowed to reopen as will hair salons and car dealers and further restrictions will be lifted during May.

“We can start taking steps towards deconfinement,” said Prime Minister Antonio Costa as he shed light on the “transition plan” his cabinet has drawn up.

Portugal, which declared its first coronavirus cases several weeks after neighbouring Spain—one of Europe’s worst hit countries—declared a state of emergency on March 19 and has to date recorded 1,000 deaths and some 25,000 cases.

From Saturday it will ramp that down a notch although residents will only be allowed to travel beyond their immediate home area over the May Day long weekend if their jobs are listed as essential.

May milestones along Portugal’s road back to normality are the reopening of senior schools only on May 18—after they are first disinfected.

Long-distance learning will remain the norm for primary and middle schools through to the end of the year.

Museums, bars, restaurants and art galleries will also open their doors once more from May 18.

But those who can will be expected to work from home throughout May.

Football league action is slated to resume the final weekend of the month.

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