Luanda — After 60 days of social confinement under the Presidential Decree on the State of Emergency, Angola is observing, as of Tuesday, a Public Calamity Situation, with new rules to overcome the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The decision, according to the Government aims to allow for the gradual process of a return to normal social life in the country, despite the recognition that there is still a "high risk of contagion" of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
The Government believes that "it cannot neglect the serious economic consequences that have resulted from the halt of social life and the undermining of fundamental rights".
For this reason, with the new measure, it seeks "a proportional balance between the defence of public health and the normal exercise of economic and social activities".
Among other measures, as defined by the competent authorities, it is maintained the national health fence and is only allowed to leave or enter means of transport with humanitarian aid and food or persons for health and death reasons.
The province of Luanda will observe a special health fence in the period from 26 May until 23h59 on June 9.
According to the new Presidential Decree, public and private institutions will continue to operate, in a first phase, with 50 percent of the workforce, until 29 June.
The companies, the legal instrument determines, will increase to 75 per cent of the workforce in the period from 29 June to 13 July, the time foreseen for the general return of workers.
Another new element in the Public Calamity Situation is the full reopening of all public and private health units that have been operating only with essential services since the entry into force of the State of Emergency in March.
Thus, the provision of all curative and preventive services in the national public and private sector will be resumed, such as consultations and specialty treatments.
Primary education classes
Classes in primary education institutions, both public and private, will resume officially on 27 July if the country's epidemiological situation recommends.
In the meantime, university and secondary education classes resume on 13 July, if the minimum conditions in epidemiological terms are also created.
The resumption of pre-school education is subject to their own regulations, with the conditions for maintaining physical distance, at the entrance and inside the school building, waste management in accordance with biosecurity rules.
Another new aspect is the reopening of restaurants and similar establishments on 26 May, working initially from Monday to Friday, between 06h00 and 15h00.
From June 8, they will be open until 10:30 p.m. and must comply with the criterion of reducing the maximum capacity of the establishment, in order to ensure the recommended physical distancing between people on the premises.
Under the same condition are the hotel and similar establishments, through compliance with various measures, such as the obligation to control temperature at the entrance and the use of masks in the access and concentration areas of people.
Commercial establishments will also be able to work to the full, and must ensure a specific safety plan for covid-19 and display the maximum capacity of people within the establishment in a visible document for the public.
Also from 26 May, the vocational training centres will be reopened, allowing the practice of individual sport and leisure in open space.
Industrial, agricultural and fishing activities, and urgent, strategic and priority public works will also begin.
From June 8th, all other civil construction works will be authorized.
Churches reopen on June 24
As of 27 June, official training and sports activities and unofficial collective sports practice will resume, and the presence of spectators in these places will have to be defined by law, in accordance with the Presidential Decree.
As for the collective transport of people and goods, they will operate in three phases, with the first one the capacity should be only 50 per cent, and later increased to 75 percent.
Among the new measures of the Government also includes the reopening of churches from 24 June, with a maximum capacity of 50 percent of the place of worship , when in a closed place, with a maximum limit of 150 people.
The Government stipulates that visits to hospitals will be allowed from 24 June, the same date for Class C prisons. Visits to Class B jails begin on 9 July and to Class A jails only on 25 July.
Rules of operation
In general terms, under the new measures, the institutions will have to comply strictly with the regular hygiene of surfaces, the provision of hygiene solutions of hands at entrance and placing sanitizing points on the premises.