Portugal’s cultural life re-emerging as restrictions eased

Lisbon, Apr 10 (EFE).- Portugal’s cultural spaces came back to life with a limited capacity and emphasis on disinfection and safety measures as the country began the second phase of its plan to ease Covid-19 restrictions.

Due to the pandemic, the number of Lisbon’s museum visitors has dropped from nearly five million in 2019 to a little over 1.3 million in 2020, something the authorities want to reverse.

To that end, Portugal’s cultural heritage department is encouraging locals to visit the country’s museums with a message that the cultural spaces are safe.

Many tours have been modified to respect social distancing and tickets can now be purchased online.

Elisabeta Caramelo, communications director of the Gulbenkian Foundation museum in Lisbon, shared a similar message with Efe.

“Health-wise, it is safe. People wear a mask and there is no problem,” she said.

This museum received 500,000 visitors a year before the pandemic, roughly 90% of which were foreign tourists.

Joaquim Oliveira Caetano, the director of the National Museum of Ancient Art, concurred.

“Everything is done: cleaning, disinfection. The spaces are very wide and there is disinfectant everywhere,” he told Efe.

In a bid to attract visitors, many Lisbon museums and cultural centers will exempt guests from entry fees for a month.

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