A new law, due to come into force from December 27, obliges public and private entities to give priority to the elderly, handicapped and “people carrying children”.
It is the kind of law that could have us all investing in walking sticks, letting our hair go grey and even picking up children who can already walk perfectly well for themselves – because it means that no matter where we are in any queue, or how long we have been there, others considered “less fortunate” will be able to bunny-hop over us.
To make matters worse, ‘public and private entities’ that do not conform with the new rule face fines of up to €1,000.
National tabloid Correio da Manhã concedes that the law has applied to public services for some time.
The novelty now is that it has been extended to private entities or indeed any concern or business that attends to the public.
The idea is to “promote an inclusive society of equal opportunities and quality of life”, says the paper, advising people in a box beside its story that should they wish to declare “physical incapacity” of any kind, they should seek an appointment at their local health centre.