The Prime Minister, António Costa, this Thursday presented the “Progressive Reopening Plan” for society and the economy, approved by the Council of Ministers, which foresees a “drip opening” with indicative data, but which is a great novelty depends on the review of the indicator criteria made by The teams, led by specialists Raquel Duarte and Óscar Felgueiras, who will take part in the Infarmed meetings.
These “basic criteria” of the “risk assessment” are the average of 120 new cases per hundred thousand people in 14 days, the RT (portability rate) below 1. According to the Prime Minister, they are 105 and 0.78 yesterday, respectively.
The country will therefore suspect, on the basis of a grid of four colors, green, yellow, orange and red, that António Costa has warned that the government will have to “cripple” the opening calendar if the country moves into the yellow and orange zones entry. And when you enter the red zone, which combines an average of more than 120 cases per hundred thousand and the RT over 1, there are “regression measures”. The Prime Minister made it clear, however, that in the event of national deflation, the regression of measures can take place both at the local level and at the level of the communities at risk.
Repeating the idea that he would proceed with caution, António Costa saw the plan as a “very conservative program” of “no risk” and stated that the government wanted to move forward with “security and confidence”. The Prime Minister warned that “what will happen from now on” depends on everyone and that “whatever happens, everyone’s behavior is essential”. He called for “conscientious adherence to the rules”, otherwise the government will have to “stop evolution or worse”, it has to “go backwards”.
The “progressive reopening plan” retains general liability in a state of emergency as a general criterion until Easter and then changes to the civic reminder obligation. This means that the state of emergency may not be renewed afterwards. The recommendation to use “telework whenever possible” continues.
Traffic between the municipalities remains in effect on the weekend of March 20th and 21st and between May 26th and April 5th, that is, during Easter week. As a rule, the rule remains that the trade runs until 9 p.m. and on weekends and public holidays until 1 p.m. and applies to food retailers until 7 p.m. on these days.
And all the operating rules of the sectors approved by the Directorate-General for Health continue to apply, especially those related to public transport.
In addition to these general principles, the plan is based on a 14-day schedule. On Monday, March 15th, the kindergartens, kindergartens, 1st cycle classes and ATLs are open for children of these years. The Prime Minister made it clear that the scientists did not speak in the first cycle, but the government decided to open it because “it is important that the learning process is affected as little as possible”.
With regard to the opening of schools, the Prime Minister stressed that this is when the new testing strategy begins to “look for asymptomatic symptoms”. And he emphasized that “vaccinations, checkups and tests complement health compliance”. During the vaccination, he affirmed that the goal of vaccinating 70% of the population by the end of summer would be maintained.
Also on March 15, the local non-essential goods trade begins with sales to wicket, bookstores, auto dealers, real estate brokers, hairdressers, manicurists and the like, libraries and archives.
On April 5, the 2nd and 3rd cycle of face-to-face classes and the respective ATLs open, social facilities in the field of disability, shops up to 200 square meters with a door to the street, the terraces of restaurants, pastry shops and cafes with a maximum of four people, museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries and the like.
Low-risk sports, outdoor physical activity for up to four people, and gyms without group classes are permitted on this day. Fairs and non-food markets can also be held, but at the discretion of the respective city council.
On April 19, the classroom courses for secondary and higher education, theaters, cinemas, auditoriums and concert halls will open. Citizen deals are also starting to set up face-to-face appointments, much like public services did.
You can then open all stores and shopping centers. On the other hand, restaurants, pastry shops and cafés can now offer table service with four people and six people on the terrace until 10 p.m. or 1 p.m. on the weekend. Physical activity outdoors and up to six people, as well as in gyms without group classes, outdoor events with reduced capacity, and sports with medium risk are also permitted. Weddings and christenings can again be celebrated with a capacity of 25%.
On May 3rd, six people and ten people on the terraces can be accommodated in the restaurants without a time limit. All sports, outdoor physical activities and gyms, large outdoor and indoor events with reduced capacity, and weddings and christenings with a capacity of 50% can be held.
This Friday, Minister for State, Economy and Digital Change, Pedro Siza Vieira, Minister of Culture Graça Fonseca and Minister of Education Tiago Brandão Rodrigues will announce new support for business, the cultural sector and sport.
When asked about the possible disagreement between him and the President of the Republic, who previously argued that the opening should not begin until after Easter, the Prime Minister denied that there was such a difference, stating that the President was making visits to the Vatican and Spain . So they agreed that only the Prime Minister would speak to the country. António Costa refused to comment on “talks with the President” and classified the news of anomalies as “speculation”.
And he said: “The President has repeatedly said that in fighting the pandemic there has been institutional solidarity between the President of the Republic, the Assembly of the Republic and the Government.” Then to guarantee that, in his opinion, there has been “great institutional solidarity, even strategic solidarity”.