The joint guidelines of the guardianship and the General Directorate of Health for the reopening of daycare centers are still being worked on, but they should reach social facilities this week, said minister Ana Mendes Godinho today.
We are currently with the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) working to provide guidance. We already have a base of guidelines that will be made available this week by all daycare centers, basically with safety rules, rules on the measures that must be implemented so that this reopening is done in the safest, most peaceful way “, said the Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho.
The minister visited this afternoon the daycare center of the Centro de Promocao Alta de Lisboa, in Lumiar, Lisbon, where today 24 employees were tested for covid-19 screening, a measure to prepare for the reopening of the space on May 18, which, according to director Maria Serra, is expected to receive 32 children out of more than 100 who usually attend the equipment at Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa.
The Government has defined a transition period for the opening of daycare centers, between May 18 and June 1, so that families can leave children only when they “gain confidence” without losing the support attributed to families.
About 29,000 workers from more than 2,000 daycare centers will be tested for the coronavirus that causes covid-19 disease, in a national screening program.
Ana Mendes Godinho said that the Government is working with partners in the social sector so that when the guidelines are concluded, it will be possible to “disseminate information and provide training by all daycare centers for the standards they must follow”, namely in the separation of spaces, equipment entrances and exits, also taking as an example European countries where this equipment has already reopened.
“This Wednesday, we will have a first online clarification session, also with the DGS, to answer any questions that arise and to ensure that we do this programmed reopening of the daycare centers in the safest and most reliable way,” said the minister.
Ana Mendes Godinho reaffirmed the maintenance of support for parents with children of daycare age until the end of May, so that for 15 days they can test their return and gain confidence in the permanence of children in these spaces.
For all other support for parents with school-age children, the guardian minister said that they remain as long as the classroom activities are closed and as long as there is no alternative to staying at home with the children.
Regarding the reopening of homes to visits by family members, the minister said that this is an issue that is being evaluated, taking into account criteria for the safety and protection of a population particularly vulnerable to the disease and the most serious consequences of the infection, since the lethality rate mainly affects older people.
At a state of the art on home testing, Ana Mendes Godinho said that the screening program has already covered more than 41,000 workers from these institutions.
On the scholarship for placing workers in homes through the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP), he said that more than 2,800 people are working under this program.
Portugal accounts for 1,063 deaths associated with covid-19 in 25,524 confirmed cases of infection, according to the daily bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) on the pandemic.
The country entered Sunday in a calamity situation, after three consecutive periods in a state of emergency since March 19.
This new phase of combating covid-19 provides for mandatory confinement for sick people and under active surveillance, the general duty of home collection and the mandatory use of masks or visors in public transport, public attendance services, schools and commercial establishments.