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The Azores are also known as the Flower Islands, probably because belladonna lilies, bougainvillea, hydrangea, crane flowers, agapanthus, goldenrods and hibiscus are everywhere.
But the language is at least as flowery. Everywhere in the world, there are signs informing us that premises are “Closed due to the Corona virus”. But in Portugal, this would come across as rather rude. Here, citizens are informed in detail about the reasoning behind every decision, and in convoluted syntax which I had hitherto deemed exclusive to German:
Given the importance of preventive action to minimize the collective risks that are inherent to the spread of the outbreak of the disease COVID-19 in the region as well as the importance of the protection of the population, the Autonomous Government of the Azores has decided and hereby announces that the public shall, until March 31st, 2020, no longer be permitted to enter and enjoy this Recreational Forest Reserve.
The officials tasked with the security and information of the public wanted to write much more, but unfortunately, it had to fit on one page. When I read the announcements of the Azores Government in the newspapers, however, their verbose prose hasn’t changed much since the communiques issued by the court of João VI.
By the way: The vast majority of the forest which is not explicitly designated as a recreational reserve and equipped with barbecue areas is still freely accessible. Unless you life in a village that is especially hit by the virus and where special limitations are in place, you can still go for long cross-country walks here – and make some surprising discoveries: