São Paulo Governor João Doria announced that his state will take a step back in its reopening plan and adopt the strictest quarantine measures at evenings and weekends to curb a recent spurt in coronavirus cases.
All non-essential businesses must close before 8 pm on weekdays and will not be allowed to open on weekends. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to operate as delivery-only during these times. For the rest of the week, Greater São Paulo will be placed on the second-strictest stage of the reopening plan, wherein non-essential businesses will be allowed to open with reduced capacities. The measures will take effect on January 25.
“We will need extra measures to curb the spread of the virus until the majority of the population is vaccinated,” said Mr. Doria, in a press briefing. The state began its campaign on January 27 and, so far, a reported 75,482 people have been immunized.
Meanwhile, the governor will reactivate over 750 ICU beds in the state until February 25. Classes for the 2021 school year will be postponed and the state will not require mandatory in-person presence in state schools.
The decision was met with protests, especially from retailers and restaurant owners. Governor Doria asked for citizens’ and businesses’ help and understanding. “There is no economy without life. We need to make sure people are alive to go to restaurants, bars, and bakeries,” he said.Support this coverage →