Cafés and restaurants “only reopen from May 18”

Ahead of today’s Council of Ministers – given as the point after which Portugal’s roadmap to reopening will be fully revealed – economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira has hinted at what’s coming for cafés, bars, restaurants, discotheques and gyms – all of which are desperate to reopen, even if hugely limited in the numbers of clients allowed in at any one time.

He told SIC television news last night that cafés and restaurants must wait until May 18 before opening their doors – while bars, discos and gyms face another month without trading.

As the tabloid press stresses, some of this detail could change during the government’s key meeting today. But it’s looking very much like a ‘plan’ at the moment – and has clearly evolved following hours of discussion with health experts.

As has been continually stressed, every business reopening on Monday will be faced with a list of ‘sanitary demands’ that will inevitably reduce the number of customers/ clients attended at any one time. These demands will be mirrored across all sectors as they open in two-weekly intervals towards June.

Meantime, police are expected to be out in force over the long weekend, ensuring that everyone remains within their borough of residence.