The diploma that amends the exceptional and temporary measures relating to the Covid-19 disease pandemic, promulgated on Tuesday by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and published today in Diário da República, include the measures already announced by the Council of Ministers such as the mandatory use of a mask in closed spaces and public transport.

Social support unchanged

Speaking to Lusa, the Secretary of State for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, André Moz Caldas, underlined that at this stage it was decided not to make any changes regarding social support.

“We defined a set of priorities from the point of view of cleaning up this system. We have decided not to alter support rules. That matter will obviously be revisited at another time. At this moment, all matters referring to support remain as they were in force until now”, he said.

Among the new features of the diploma is, for example, the extension of the right to sick pay in case of contracting Covid-19 until December 31, a measure that was in force only until the end of September.

Remote working

But it is also established that immunosuppressed people or people with children or dependents in charge with disabilities or chronic illnesses are entitled to teleworking, whenever applicable, without requiring an agreement with the employer.

Immunosuppressed patients who need a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine may still excuse themselves from work as long as they present a medical certificate.

Mask wearing

Situations in when the use of a mask or visor is mandatory are also listed, including commercial spaces, including shopping centres, with an area greater than 400m2, Citizen Shops, schools, except in playgrounds, concert halls and events, sports facilities, health establishments, homes for the elderly or for people with disabilities, integrated care units, public transport, including taxis and TVDE and other situations where use is determined by the General Directorate of Health (DGS).

In the case of workplaces, the mandatory use of a mask can be decided by companies and in schools the use is mandatory in closed spaces from the age of 10 or from the 2nd cycle of education, regardless of age.

In bars and restaurants, workers must wear a mask, as well as in any commercial establishment where there is physical contact with customers, exempting themselves from wearing them only in cases where, due to the nature of their activity, it becomes impractical.

Covid-19 testing

Regarding Covid-19 screening tests in the social responses, it is determined that “it is an expense of the social action subsystem, regardless of the legal nature of the recipient institutions, which is carried out by the Social Security Institute, IP, until December 31, 2021, with the acquisition of services to perform SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests, to be carried out, in accordance with the norms of the General Directorate of Health, to workers affected by social responses in support of elderly people, people with disability and children”.

Beach access

The decree-law published today does not yet revoke the diploma with the rules for access to the beaches and takes the opportunity to add rules that determine the obligation to maintain a physical distance of one and a half metres in all access zones until the end of the bathing season.