CCP, the Portuguese confederation of commerce and services, has told the government it wants to be allowed to reopen economic activities on March 17.
If not, thousands of businesses will simply go bust “with inevitable consequences on the level of unemployment”.
It’s just another example of the pressures building on politicians to ease the country’s lockdown as virus numbers decline.
Says the CCP, it has complied scrupulously with rules established by DGS health authorities to protect its collaborators and consumers, invested in PPE and other protective equipment. Indeed it knows of no business in the sector having suffered any kind of serious Covid situation.
Now, however, is the time for the government “to recognise this fact by demonstrating confidence in business leaders” and letting them get back to work.
Said confederation president João Vieira Lopes, the CCP is ready to collaborate on a phased plan for reopening, “it being evident that March 17, 2021 should be the start” of this new plan, while April, he said, should see the conclusion of Portugal’s deconfinement process.
When the current State of Emergency expires (March 16), Portugal’s lockdown will have been in place for two months.
Said Mr Vieira Lopes “in spite of various support measures with positive effects, the impact of these closures is only ever partially compensated… We do not envisage significant support measures for the post-confinement period, therefore it is urgent to start deconfining with the prospect otherwise of thousands of businesses closing down with inevitable consequences on the level of unemployment”.