Portugal has reopened high schools, museums and cafe terraces after a three-month closure. Four people are allowed to sit at each terrace table. These are the first small steps towards “old life”, after the country had to cope with a large outbreak of the Coronavirus in late January and early February.
The southern European country was the region where the virus was spreading the fastest in that period. The Portuguese healthcare system has become overloaded and at extremely risky times, only seven beds were available for Corona patients on the mainland.
At the height of the Corona wave, the country reported nearly 10,000 to 16,000 positive tests per day, while only 850 beds for coronavirus patients were available in the country. Corona numbers may have increased due to the rapid spread of the most contagious British virus.
Other countries monitored Portugal closely due to the rapid spread of virus variants. For example, there was a fear that variants of the South American virus that spread in Brazil through Portugal via the European mainland. For example, the United Kingdom has banned flights to and from Portugal. This measure was lifted just three weeks ago.
Portugal, in turn, banned flights to and from the United Kingdom and Brazil. The country also closed the border with Spain. These travel restrictions will remain in effect until mid-April.
Not ten thousand, but several hundred positive tests per day
The situation in Portugal now looks better. The three-month lockdown reduced the number of positive tests per day to several hundreds. Residents of the country were only allowed out for a good reason, such as seeing a doctor or getting groceries. All non-essential stores and schools are closed.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa is considering reopening universities on April 19. Halls may open for performances. Restaurants will have to wait until early May, depending on the government’s schedule. Team sports are not allowed yet.
The country has a total of 823,000 positive tests. Almost seventeen thousand patients have died of corona in Portugal.