"But it will not be before Friday" said the spokeswoman for the conference of parliamentary leaders, Maria da Luz Rosinha, at the end of the meeting.

According to the spokesperson, the specific appointment of the plenary to discuss the new state of emergency will be done "immediately" by the President of the Assembly of the Republic when the head of state proposes a decree.

"We expect it to be this week," said Maria da Luz Rosinha, who added that the speaker of the Assembly of the Republic, Ferro Rodrigues, will also ensure that there is time for the document to be analysed by the deputies before their vote.

Last Monday, the Prime Minister, António Costa, asked the President of the Republic to declare the state of emergency, in a “preventive” way, to help mitigate against the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and eliminate legal doubts about action from the government.

According to the Constitution, the declaration of a state of emergency in all or in part of the national territory is a competence of the President of the Republic, but depends on the hearing of the Government and authorisation by the parliament.

Today's conference of leaders was very short, since it was intended only to debate the way in which parliament - which has its plenaries suspended due to the period of discussion in the specialty of the State Budget - to analyse and vote on the new state of emergency.

On Monday, in an interview with RTP, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that there is a majority of at least two-thirds to approve a "very limited" state of emergency, after having heard the parties with parliamentary representation during the day, and said he was “pondering” this scenario.

The head of state stressed that a "very limited, mainly preventive" state of emergency is at stake, rather than "aiming for total or near total lockdown" similar to which was imposed in March and April.

The state of emergency was in force in Portugal at the beginning of this epidemic, between 19 March and 2 May, during the first wave of the pandemic.

According to the Constitution, the declaration of a state of emergency can determine the suspension of some of the rights, freedoms and guarantees, for a maximum period of 15 days.

On Monday, the Prime Minister proposed to the President that a state of emergency "with a preventive nature" be decreed to "eliminate doubts" about the Government's action to protect citizens in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic in four areas .

The four dimensions in which the executive wants a more robust legal framework are restrictions on circulation at certain times of the day or on weekdays, or even between municipalities; the possibility of requesting resources from the private and social sectors of health; the openness to requisition workers (whether in public or private), possibly changing their functions, to assist in missions considered urgent in combating the pandemic; and the legality of temperature collection, whether in access to the workplace or in access to any other public space.