The Portuguese government has extended a state of emergency over Covid-19 until May 2, when it will then ease some of the restrictions in place.
"I hope this is the last extension," Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said during an address on Thursday.
He explained the extension aims to further protect those in care homes, to keep the stabilization of the number of hospitalized and to give time for the government to prepare "the gradual opening" of society and the economy in May.
In May the government plans to gradually reopen schools, daycare, and in-person appointments in public departments. During that month, the country will allow more commerce and restaurants to reopen, Prime Minister António Costa told parliament on Thursday. Beauty shops will also reopen under "specific hygiene rules."
Without specifying a date, the prime minister also mentioned the slow reopening of cultural and sports venues, as well as outdoor shows.
"We are starting to look to the future after a decisive month to contain the pandemic without killing the economy, know we have to ensure we can revive the economy without letting the pandemic out of control," Costa said.
Portugal has reported at least 18,841 cases of coronavirus and at least 626 deaths.