Culture

500 union activists gather for May Day in Lisbon amid global pandemic

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Hundreds rallied for workers’ rights on May Day in Lisbon while respecting social distancing limits applied to stem contagion amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Portugals main union organized the event with special measures in place.

Protesters respected social-distancing measures, standing several metres away from each other as they gathered on a large grass-covered promenade where the traditional May Day marches end.

Wearing face-masks, around 500 protesters carried signs with messages against layoffs and precarious job contracts.

Normally, thousands of people march across the city on May Day.

Portugal’s state of emergency will end on Sunday, seeing the reopening of small stores, hair salons, libraries and government tax departments.

However, most shops are set to reopen on Monday, as most of Portugal’s shops are usually closed on Sunday.

According to John Hopkins University, Portugal has recorded over 1,000 coronavirus deaths and more than 25,300 cases.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.