Portugal Closes Schools, Creches, Universities for 15 Days to Combat Spread of COVID

With the number of daily deaths surpassing 200 and numbers of positive COVID cases not dropping, Portugal is taking a much tougher approach.

Updated Jan. 21, 21h

On Jan. 21, after much pressure from doctors, the Portuguese government is closing creches, schools, and universities, according to Público. For now, this will be in effect starting on Friday, Jan. 22, and for the following 15 days — but will likely be extended all the way to March, experts have said.

For the first 15 days, there is also no long-distance learning, so essentially the kids are on vacation.

Hang in there, parents.

Those days are supposed to be made up with other holidays planned for later in the year, and universities will be able to adjust their exam periods. And the government promises to pay parents who aren’t in telework mode 66% of their salaries.

The closing doesn’t affect educational and daycare facilities catering to under-12 children of healthcare professionals, firefighters, and security forces, among other presumably essential workers, as well as facilities for special-education children, Público reported late Thursday evening.

Earlier this week, the government banned hanging out for a coffee outside the pastelaria, put tougher restrictions on restaurants, barred travel between concelhos (districts) on the weekends, and prohibited any gathering in parks and other public spaces, although you can still pass through them for exercise, dog walking, or on your way to a grocery store, pharmacy and a few other types of businesses. The state keeps a list of updated restrictions here. You can read about earlier restrictions that still remain in place, in English, on Atlas here

Related: How to Get a Public COVID-19 Test in Lisbon (for Free, If You Have a Prescription)

How to Get a Private COVID-19 Test in Lisbon

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