From Emergency to Calamity – what changes from tomorrow…

Portugal’s State of Emergency lockdown ended at midnight last night, but for the purposes of this weekend inhabitants are still ‘locked in their boroughs of residence’, unable to travel beyond them, and very much under the ‘civic duty to stay at home’ as much as humanly possible.

From tomorrow, the reality of the country’s new ‘situation of Calamity’ will become much clearer.

As outlined on by the government on Thursday, local commerce and businesses as well as various public services will start attending people ‘face-to-face’ with a gamut of new rules and restrictions in place designed to limit chances of virus propagation.

Masks will be the order of the day tomorrow – with anyone trying to use public transports without one running the risk of fines – as will all recommendations when it comes to social distancing.

Under a Situation of Calamity, groups of more than 10 people are prohibited but there can be exceptions, particularly when it comes to funerals, involving family members.

For the full list of do’s and don’ts coming Portugal’s way from tomorrow morning, see the government’s roadmap outlined in this story.

PS Socialists’ plans have left some sectors wondering if they may have been forgotten. Driving schools, for example, were unsure over the weekend whether they can reopen on Monday, or have to wait. Bars and discotheques have realised they weren’t mentioned for the simple fact it’s still much too soon for  this level of social interaction. Gyms too are ‘desperately hoping’ for guidance. More than anything old people’s homes are keen to know when their inmates can start having visits from family members.

Bit by bit these grey areas will become clear, but for now it will be a very different Portugal that slowly opens up its economy from tomorrow.

Ahead of the new week, European Commissioner for Transports Adina Valean has announced that Brussels is advising against any foreign travel outside the EU until the end of the year for European citizens, because the situation is not yet stable enough, and the Commission doesn’t want to have to deal with any more repatriation dramas involving Europeans ‘stuck’ in non-EU countries.