COVID 19: Portugal Reopen Schools, Café terraces. Portugal has reopened secondary schools, museums, café terraces on Monday almost up to two months after initially strengthening Covid-19 restrictions due to some new wave of cases earlier in the year.

There was a lot of cases following Christmas and New Year festivities which led to overstretched hospitals and the government imposed a general lockdown in the middle of January and closed schools a week later.

There have been nearly 16,900 coronavirus deaths and 823,335 cases so far in the country, according to an official tally on Sunday.

Primary schools were reopened on March 15.

However, Monday’s easing comes with some regulations. Only four people will be able to sit together at a table in cafe terraces while there will be a change in opening hours at museums.

Group training sessions at gyms and sports venues remain closed.

“We are expecting very few visitors” due to the paucity of foreign tourists, Antonio Nunes Pereira, director of the Palace of Pena in Sintra, outside Lisbon, told AFP.

“We expect a return to normalcy next summer when the vaccination process advances in Europe,” he said.

The museum is one of Portugal’s most visited sites and drew over two million visitors in 2019. Eighty-five percent of them were foreigners.

The government has begun mass Covid tests and started vaccinating teachers.

The government also has plans of reopening high schools, universities and auditoriums and concert halls later this month and restaurants in May.

The situation is being reviewed every two weeks and the government can tighten restrictions in municipalities with a high number of cases.

Portugal has suspended flights with Brazil and Britain to ward off the new variants that emerged in those countries and tightened controls on the land border with Spain.

COVID 19: Portugal Reopen Schools, Café terraces