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The governor of Brazil’s state of São Paulo, João Doria, said on Monday he wants to avoid “the images we saw in Rio de Janeiro and London” after bars and restaurants in the state’s capital city reopened Monday, and therefore strict rules will be in place. 

“We don’t want to see in São Paulo city the images we saw in Rio de Janeiro and London,” Doria said at a news conference, adding that bars and restaurants will have to close by 5 p.m. in order “to avoid crowds.”

Bars, restaurants, and beauty salons reopened with restrictions on Monday in São Paulo, after having been closed since March 24. Dining establishments will now have seating areas after being restricted to delivery and takeout services. 

A decree published by Sao Paulo City Hall establishes that bars and restaurants can operate for six hours a day and with a maximum occupancy of 40% capacity. Establishments, such as shopping malls, that had already been permitted to open in an earlier phase of the reopening plan were allowed to extend operating hours as of Monday.

Last Friday, the Sao Paulo state government also authorized the reopening of theaters, cinemas, cultural events, and gyms in additional regions. 

The state of São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous, leads the country in coronavirus infections and deaths. The state registered 10,540 new cases and 56 deaths from novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to the state health secretary. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the state of São Paulo has recorded 323,070 cases of Covid-19 and 16,134 deaths related to the virus.


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