Sao Paulo, the hardest-hit Brazilian state by the Covid-19 pandemic, has announced that it will extend a night-time curfew to curb the further transmission of the virus but will relax restrictions on businesses starting from June 1.
“We are moving forward, but with caution and with prudence, and recommending that people continue to respect social distancing as restrictions are eased,” Governor Joao Doria said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The most populous state in Brazil, with 46 million inhabitants, has been in lockdown since March 8, when the hospital system collapsed in most parts of the country, and has been gradually relaxing restrictions since the end of April.
“On June 1 we will enter a new phase of the Sao Paulo Plan, expanding the opening hours of businesses until 10 p.m. with 60 per cent occupancy of venues. We are also going to initiate an extensive program of rapid tests of symptomatic people in Sao Paulo state cities,” said Doria.
Curfew was shortened by an hour to last from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., but will continue because the Covid-19 Contingency Committee blames nightlife, especially in the city of Sao Paulo, South America’s largest city, for spreading the virus.
Sao Paulo state has registered 105,105 of Brazil’s 441,691 Covid-19 deaths, and 3.1 million of the country’s 15,812,055 cases.