“Deconfinement” rolls out in Portugal
According to Wikipedia, “in physics, deconfinement (…) is a phase of matter in which certain particles are allowed to exist as free excitations, rather than only within bound states.” Not widely used in English-language countries, the word is a literal translation of the most used word in Portugal lately. The Portuguese people are getting “deconfined” and going to the 2nd phase of the dismantling of the lockdown measures.
The first two weeks after the end of the total lockdown did not witness a significant increase in the pandemic numbers, at least according to the previous trend.
Beaches are preparing to get visitors
According to Portugal Resident, the feared worst-case scenarios for controlling people on beaches have not materialized. Is some beaches there will be a flag signalling similar to traffic lights, but there will be no drones patrolling the areas or telling people to go. In the same way, the police and other authorities (especially the Polícia Marítima, the Portuguese Marine Police) will only intervene in case of excessive agglomeration of people; premier António Costa stressed out that “each citizen should be he’s own policeman” and appealed to the responsibility and self-discipline that people have shown throughout this crisis.
Looking forward to phase 3
Restaurants and cafes are fully opening on Monday, May 18th, although still with several restrictions. Restaurants, for instance, will be limited to 50% of the capacity. However, there’s the expectation that these restrictions could be entirely removed by early June if the numbers of the pandemic remain at a low.
Portugal was one of the countries where the worst scenarios really appear to have been avoided. The press has updated the situation about several field hospitals that, in most cases, were not needed. Algarve, in a population of 450.000 inhabitants, recorded 15 deaths due to Covid-19 and 356 cases, as of May 16th.