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Portugal is preparing for gradual deconfinement

Two months after the start of total containment, the government will present a plan to return to normal life on Thursday. Schools and nurseries are preparing to reopen their doors. As for the businesses, they should find their customers for Easter.

Two months after the start of total containment, the government will present a plan to return to normal life on Thursday. Schools and nurseries are preparing to reopen their doors. As for the businesses, they should find their customers for Easter.

(AFP) – The Portuguese government will unveil its deconfinement system on Thursday afternoon that is differentiated according to the business sectors and flexible according to the evolution of risk indicators. “We currently have some of the lowest levels of contagion in Europe,” the Minister of the Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, said on Wednesday. Portugal has indeed recorded in 24 hours 22 deaths and 642 new cases, while the number of patients in intensive care has fallen for the first time in four months below the threshold of 300 hospitalizations.

According to experts, the conditions are met “for a reopening before Easter,” said the minister after a meeting with the social partners on the deconfinement plan, but without giving more details.

However, the government has already announced several measures to prepare for the return of students to schools. This feedback will be based on the deployment of mass screening in schools, while teachers and staff have also been designated as priorities for the Covid vaccine. So far, only 297,000 people have received the two doses of the vaccine, barely 3% of the Portuguese population.

Caution remains in order

In Portugal, returning to a normal life should be gradual and marked by great caution, defended the experts heard Monday by the government. According to the Portuguese media, this deconfinement plan, which would adapt to the epidemiological situation in each region, would be reassessed every two weeks. It could begin next week with the reopening of nurseries and the relaxation of certain rules, as demanded by many businesses closed since January.

Spared by the first wave of the pandemic, Portugal found it more difficult to stem the second wave, limiting itself to partial containments. After the easing of restrictions at Christmas and the arrival of the British variant, which is more contagious, in January Portugal was the country in the world hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, compared to its population of 10 million. inhabitants. As a reminder, four Luxembourg caregivers went to Espirito Santo hospital in Evora, Portugal in March to help.


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