National Chronicle

Portugal enters phase one of reopening

Lisbon,  Portugal started to revive its economy and society after nearly 50 days of lockdown under the state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the phase one of the three-step deconfinement from Monday to May 18, commercial centers up to 200 square meters and street stores are allowed to reopen with strict sanitary measures, Xinhua news agency reported.

Streets have been no longer deserted with more and more pedestrians wearing masks. The use of a mask is mandatory in public transport, public services, schools and commercial establishments, while security forces have been monitoring the entry of passengers at public transport stations.

The first morning of new rules in public transport is “going very well”, said Minister of Environment Joao Matos Fernandes.

He said that until 8 a.m. 30 people were found not wearing a mask at a metro entrance in Lisbon, but they agreed to buy one before entry. Those not in compliance with the mandatory use of a mask in public transport can be fined between 120 and 350 euros.

Also on Monday, in an interview with Radio Montanha on the Azorean islands, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa warned that the COVID-19 pandemic “did not disappear by miracle” and has yet to be won.

The president stressed the “fundamental role” of the European Union in the fight against the pandemic, calling for “quick action” and “big decision” from the EU.

As of Monday, Portugal has registered 1,063 COVID-19 deaths and 25,524 confirmed cases, the health authorities said.

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