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São Paulo lawmakers could approve a lockdown

. May 21, 2020
são paulo lawmakers lockdown São Paulo State Congress. Photo: José A. Teixeira/ ALESP

The São Paulo State Congress will vote today on a bill to bring forward the July 9 state holiday to Monday — prolonging the five-day “mega holiday” currently underway in the state capital as an attempt to enhance social isolation rates. Furthermore, attached to this proposal was an amendment request that would place São Paulo under a full-scale lockdown between June 1 and 15.

If the lockdown amendment passes — and if São Paulo Governor João Doria ratifies it — only public cars performing essential services will be allowed on the streets. Moreover, people would only be allowed to enter the state if they prove they live within state boundaries.  

The whip line on the issue remains unknown. Two sources familiar with behind-the-scenes negotiations told The Brazilian Report the amendment will pass, but one lawmaker on the state governor’s bench said otherwise. “Bills from the governor’s office are usually approved without any amendments,” he said.

Last resort

For weeks, Mr. João Doria has threatened a lockdown, while clarifying that it would not be necessary should people respect existing stay-at-home orders. On Wednesday, the first day of the “mega holiday,” São Paulo registered a 49-percent social isolation rate — the same as the day before and in line with previous weeks.


Correction: an earlier version of this text said the “mega holiday” was statewide, but only the city of São Paulo — the state capital — has a six-day holiday. The text has been corrected.

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Brenno Grillo

The Brazilian Report's correspondent in Brasília, Brenno has worked as a journalist since 2012, specializing in coverage related to law and the justice system. He has worked for O Estado de S. Paulo, Portal Brasil, ConJur, and has experience in political campaigns.

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