The prime minister received, this Tuesday afternoon, some parties with parliamentary seats and revealed little about the deconfination plan, which will be officially presented on Thursday.
Despite having lifted the veil very little, António Costa hinted that the country is going to distrust by municipalities and that the plan will outline five levels based on concrete indicators. Easter will have restrictions between municipalities to “avoid what happened at Christmas” and, as for private education, Costa admitted to funding the tests.
On face-to-face education, a source told the Observer that the opening should be made by levels of education, creches it’s at pre-primary should be the first establishments to open. However, the parties have not been given a specific date.
What is now on the table may still undergo changes, since the deconfination plan will be debated this Thursday and voted on by the Council of Ministers.
Sources who met with Costa revealed that, in relation to schools, the idea is a national opening of face-to-face education. However, a new closure can be, from the application of the new plan, dependent on the behavior of the indicators in each county.
The daily advances that the lack of definition of economic activities is also being designed to be able to open according to the epidemiological situation in each municipality, in order to “be able to preserve the activity in some territories”.
Another source confirmed that there is “clearly on the table the existence of degrees of risk according to activities“.
The Government will also initiate a massive testing program to prevent the reopening of schools and showed an openness so that the tests are also provided by the State to private education, as requested by the industry associations and the opposition.
At the meeting, the Executive was not clear about how this deconfiguration plan will adapt to the state of exception that is in force in the country at all times, adding that the legal solution is still being studied.
“It will be another hard blow to miss Easter”
This Wednesday, the Government will present the deconfination plan to the social partners. The tourism sector, one of the most affected by the pandemic, looks forward to it.
To Expresso, Francisco Calheiros, president of the Confederation of Tourism of Portugal (CTP), revealed that he will ask the Government “that the measures he will take are clear, transparent and timely, because tourist activities, whether hotels, restaurants or travel agencies, need time to prepare, such as stocks, etc., there must be predictability here to organize the operation ”.
As for Easter, the official said that it is a start-up period for the tourist season, so “if it turns out, as it is probable, that Easter is lost, this is more a hard blow in the eventual recovery and profitability of companies ”.
“After one year, and if the situation of confinement lasts longer, we have to warn that new measures and new support for tourism are needed,” said the president of CTP.
Unions ask for vaccination
Workers’ representatives claim vaccination priority of those who are going to return to classroom activities and argue that it is beneficial to keep teleworking, whenever it is possible.
“It is important to involve workers’ representatives in the massive testing process in the workplace. But that is not enough. Activities that reopen, especially schools, should be given priority in vaccinating teaching and non-teaching staff, ”said Sérgio Monte, UGT’s deputy general secretary, to the weekly Expresso.
Isabel Camarinha, from CGTP, considers that “it is important to reopen schools and the economy as soon as possible, since support is insufficient and is not reaching the speed that it should and there are companies and workers in a situation of deep agony”.
In addition to massive testing in the sectors that reopen and the strengthening of the vaccination process, Camarinha recalls that it is also crucial to prepare public transport for the reopening of the economy.
Liliana Malainho, ZAP //