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Portugal starts to emerge from coronavirus lockdown

Small shops in Portugal will be allowed to reopen Monday
Small shops in Portugal will be allowed to reopen Monday PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA AFP/File
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Lisbon (AFP)

Portugal will begin to ease its coronavirus lockdown on Monday, with small shops, hair salons and car dealers resuming operations as a state of emergency was lifted after more than six weeks.

The wearing of face masks or visors in stores and on public transport is compulsory under the government's plan unveiled last week for the gradual reopening of the country.

Portugal declared a state of emergency on March 19 and has so far recorded more than 25,000 virus cases, including over a thousand deaths.

That was lifted Sunday but people were still encouraged to stay home as the country takes tentative steps towards normal life.

Shops cannot open before 10:00 am and should ensure social distancing measures are respected. Hairdressers and beauty salons can receive customers by appointment only.

Anyone found not wearing a mask or visor on public transport could be fined up to 350 euros ($380).

Restrictions on movement will be eased in the coming weeks, the government said Thursday.

Senior schools will reopen May 18, but long-distance learning will remain the norm for primary and middle schools through to the end of the year.

Museums, bars, restaurants and art galleries will also open their doors once more from May 18 as well.

Those who can will be expected to work from home throughout May and groups of more than 10 people are banned.

Football league action is slated to resume on the final weekend of the month.

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