On May 2nd, the current state of emergency in Portugal ends and the country begins to outline detailed plans to ease lockdown.
Today the Portuguese Government published the deconfinement plan and a calendar for the gradual process of reactivating the economy, so that life in society can return to normality. But we all know that the new normality should still be a long way far from what we were used to, before the covid-19 pandemic. It will be a new phase of adjustments and changes.
The Directorate-General of Health (the public body of the Ministry of Health in Portugal) will keep monitoring the evolution of covid-19 cases, and Portuguese authorities might reevaluate the ease confinement measures according to the impact they might cause on the number of cases.
The main milestones of the Government plan for this new phase are presented below. The information below is based on what has been published until the date of this post, April 30th, 2020.
• May 2 – Saturday – End of State of Emergency.
• May 4 – Monday – Small stores, including bookstores, hairdressers and car stands open. Local businesses are privileged.
• May 6 – The government plans to conclude the “Going to the Beach Manual”. Beaches will have access restrictions and a defined maximum capacity according to beach size. The “beach manual” might also impose the use of masks in beach bars and restaurants.
• May 18 – Nurseries and High Schools (11th and 12th grades) open. Restaurants reopen following the new “rules of admission control”, which include measuring workers and customers’ body temperature and a reduced capacity to guarantee they meet the social distance rules.
Museums, monuments and palaces, art galleries and exhibition halls reopen.
• June 1st – Reopening of preschool and stores in general, including shopping malls. Cinemas, theatres, concert halls, auditoriums (with marked seats, reduced capacity and physical distance) reopen.
• Mandatory use of masks in public transport, schools, shops and other closed places with multiple people.
But there is still a lot of uncertainty on hotels reopening. Hotel industry expects to have a gradual reopening by June, but according to the Portuguese Hotel Association that will depend on the evolution of the pandemic. It is most likely that hotels reopen in July. One thing we already know is that the hotels that accomplish all the disinfection and hygiene practices recommended by DGS and the World Tourism Organization (OMT) will have a “guarantee stamp”.
The fact is that we will still have to live with the virus for a long time. From now on, hygiene and personal protection habits and procedures will have to be incorporated into our lives, so that economy can start going back on track. But it is still early to predict how tourism in Lisbon and Portugal will be from now on.
We will continue to follow the news and decisions of the Portuguese authorities and as soon as we have more news, I share with you guys.
Let’s keep following the guidelines of the health authorities so that we can explore Portugal and Lisbon again as soon as possible!
To see the complete Deconfinemente Plan check the official page of the Portuguese Government