The phased plan for reopening the economy was presented by the Government to the social partners this Wednesday, the 29th April. The measures presented by the Prime Minister to social consultation and political parties are part of a basic document prepared by the Government and an indicator of the calendar and strategy.
But it is natural that in the Council of Ministers there are fine-tuning and changes, even as a result of the several meetings that took place this Wednesday.
During the meeting, António Costa stressed that this is a forecast plan, which will be adjusted if Covid-19 spreads faster than anticipated by health authorities.
The first stores to open will be the smallest, up to 200 square meters, already on Monday, May 4. At the same time, services such as hairdressers, barbers or beauticians (with only half capacity and by appointment) will open, as well as individual sports spaces, such as tennis courts, as long as changing rooms remain closed. As for the reopening of gyms, a date has not yet been set.
Also from Monday, public services such as finance offices will be open to the public, but not citizen’s bureaus, to avoid the risk of big gatherings.
As for cafes and restaurants, the plan drawn up by the Government indicates that it will be possible to have a coffee or have a meal, at the table, from 18 May. There will be limits on the number of people who can do this, at any given moment, and the Hotel and Restaurant Association is developing a framework of good practices to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Also on the 18th of May day care centers will open for part of the children. A maximum number is not defined, since the decision will be up to the parents: at least during the first phase of this opening, parents can choose to stay at home receiving family aid (entitled to 66% of the remuneration). Such support will be cut from June 1, the day when day care centers will be available to everyone, as pre-school education also reopens, if the pandemic allows it. On May 18, occupational activity centers for people with disabilities will open, several sources confirmed to PÚBLICO.
Still on the 18th of May, stores of up to 400 square meters open their doors. The last step will be shopping centers, on June 1st.
The reopening of trade will have limits on the number of people allowed to be inside an enclosed space. It is expected to be the same as what is already imposed on bakeries, of four people per 100 square meters. That is, as of Monday, there cannot be more than eight people in the same store at the same time.
Also among the protection measures for workers and customers will be the mandatory use of a mask and the provision of hand sanitizer at the entrance. The most sensitive point will be the changing rooms of clothing stores: they will either be closed or will have to be disinfected after each use. The clothes themselves will have to be disinfected after they are tried on.