BELO HORIZONTE – More than two months after having reduced economic activity due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus, Belo Horizonte will reopen the store on Monday, 25, with pre-set hours for stores to control the circulation of people around the city, restriction in the number of customers in establishments and mandatory use of masks.

The return involves beauty salons, by appointment, retail sector stores, such as furniture, popular malls and stationery stores. Bars and restaurants are outside the initial reopening phase, as are shopping centers. The announcement was made on Friday, 22, by the infectious disease committee of the city. Trade closed on March 18.

Mayor Alexandre Kalil (PSD) did not participate in the presentation of the reopening program. The doctor Jackson Machado, who is part of the committee, admitted fear about the beginning of the resumption of commerce in the city. “The moment brings me a little fear. We don’t know what will happen,” he said.

The follow-up to maintain the reopening process, or its interruption, if necessary, will take into account three criteria: the level of disease transmission and the number of specific beds available for patients with covid-19 in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and in wards.

The elaboration of the program took into account the movement of people in the city, therefore the pre-established times for the return. Popular malls can operate from 11am to 7pm. Beauty salons, from 7 am to 9 pm. In addition to the scheduled time, there is a ban on the use of cloth towels and definition so that there is an interval of 30 minutes between one client and another.

The decision to allow popular shopping malls to return, rather than shopping malls, is due to the number of workers in each sector. In the case of the former, according to the infectious disease specialist, the total number of workers is 2 thousand, less than that of the other malls, according to the doctor. “In this way, the number of people circulating is allowed to be diluted throughout the day,” explained Machado.

Risk group is prohibited from resuming work

Employees of authorized return establishments who are over 60 years old, are diabetic, hypertensive, that is, who are in the risk group in relation to covid-19, are prohibited from returning to work, according to the city reopening plan. Under the program, stores must respect an area of ​​five square meters per person. A 30 square meter establishment, for example, can allow six people, including employees, to enter. There can be no promotions and the air conditioning must be turned off.

The doctor says that respect for the isolation in Belo Horizonte allowed the beginning of the reopening of commerce in the city. Machado, however, expressed concern about the use of a mask in the city. “I stopped at a bus stop. There were fifteen people. Half with the mask on their chin,” he said. The infectologist, as Mayor Kalil has already said, said that if the rates taken into account for the reopening plan worsen, there may even be a lockdown in the city.

Currently, according to the doctor, the level of transmission is 1.09. The alert, for this index, occurs when the level reaches 1.20. The other two indicators, specific ICU and ward beds for covid-19, are now at 40% and 34%, respectively. Belo Horizonte has 867 beds for the disease, 220 in ICUs and 647 in wards. The city says that, in partnership with hospitals, it can open another 729 ICUs and 1,752 infirmary at any time. The city now has 1,280 cases of covid-19 and 36 deaths from the disease.

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