ESSENTIAL POINTS Covid-19: Restrictions and rules for renewing the state of emergency

in News · 03-04-2020 11:32:00 · 1 Comments
ESSENTIAL POINTS Covid-19: Restrictions and rules for renewing the state of emergency

The Government decree on exceptional measures to be implemented during the renewal of the state of emergency due to the covid-19 pandemic provides for a set of restrictions and other rules, which came into force at midnight last night.

In addition to restrictions on circulation, which now have additional limitations in the Easter period, and determinations on spaces and establishments that can continue to operate and those that must remain closed, the diploma establishes the following rules:

Telework

Teleworking is mandatory, regardless of employment, whenever the functions in question allow.

Leasing and “real estate exploration”

The closure of facilities or establishments due to the state of emergency cannot be invoked as a basis for resolution, denunciation or other form of extinction of non-housing lease agreements or other forms of property exploitation, nor as a basis for the obligation to vacate buildings where they are installed.

E-commerce and services remotely or through an electronic platform

E-commerce activities, service provision activities that are provided remotely, without contact with the public, or that develop their activity through an electronic platform, can continue to operate.

Travelling sales people

The activity is permitted by itinerant sellers, for the provision of essential goods or other goods considered essential, in the locations where this activity is necessary (the identification of the locations will be defined by the municipalities, after a favorable opinion from the local health authority).

Rental of passenger vehicles without driver

Renting a car without a driver (‘rent-a-car’) is permitted in the following situations:

- Authorised travel, namely for the purchase of essential goods or services, and travel for health reasons or to assist other people.

- For the exercise of retail trade or authorised services.

- To provide assistance to damaged and immobilised or damaged drivers and vehicles.

- When vehicles are intended to provide essential public services.

Restrictions on access to wholesale establishments and markets

The maximum occupancy per square meter of area is 0.04 people, the rule being applied to wholesale trade establishments and any markets and auctions authorised to operate.

Funeral activity

Companies that carry out funeral activities remain in operation and perform the funeral services for the dead diagnosed with covid-19.

Authorisations or suspensions in special cases

Retail trade and service activities located along the motorway network, inside airports and in hospitals continue to operate.

Safety and hygiene rules

In retail or service establishments that maintain activity, "a minimum distance of two metres between people" must be guaranteed.

Consumers must remain in the space “as long as is strictly necessary for the purchase of products”, with their consumption being prohibited inside establishments.

The provision of the service and the transport of products must respect the hygiene and sanitary rules defined by the Directorate-General for Health.

In “vending machines”, payment terminals, pass and ticket dispensers or rented vehicles, those responsible for the space or the operators must ensure “the periodic disinfection of such objects or surfaces”.

Priority service

Retail or service establishments that continue to operate must give priority to “persons subject to a special duty of protection”, as well as health professionals, members of the security, protection and rescue forces and services, armed forces personnel and the provision of social support services.

Free movement of goods

Movement restrictions, including in municipalities where a sanitary fence has been determined, do not affect the free movement of goods.


Public services

Citizen stores are closed, maintaining in-person service by making appointments in the branch network of the different services, as well as providing these services through digital media and contact centers with citizens and companies.

The Government can determine the functioning of public services considered essential.

The executive can also define “guidelines on the cases in which Public Administration workers may be required to exercise functions in a different place than usual, in a different entity or in different working conditions and hours”.

Exceptional regime of social support activities

During the state of emergency, social equipment that is able to come into operation and equipped with the necessary equipment can be used.

The Institute of Social Security will set the number of vacancies in the establishments, "privileging the reception of people with hospital discharge and other needs detected in the community".

Strengthening the Authority's means and powers for Working Conditions

Whenever a labour inspector checks for evidence of illegal dismissal, “notify the employer to rectify the situation”.

With the notification to the employer and until the situation of the worker is regularized or the judicial decision becomes final, the employment contract does not end, maintaining the right to retribution, as well as the obligations under social security.

Inspectors and senior technicians from inspection services may be required to temporarily reinforce the Authority for Working Conditions.

The Authority for Working Conditions is authorized to contract the purchase of external services to assist in the performance of its activity.

Religious events

The holding of religious celebrations and other worship events that involve an agglomeration of people is prohibited.

The holding of funerals is conditional on the adoption of organisational measures that guarantee “the absence of clusters of people and the control of safety distances”, namely the establishment of a maximum attendance limit, to be determined by the municipality, which manages the cemetery.

Personal protection

All activities that remain in operation must respect the recommendations of the health authorities, namely in terms of hygiene and the distances to be observed between people.

Public health guarantee

The Government can determine exceptional measures to link the services and establishments of the National Health Service with the private and social sector for the provision of health care.

The Government can issue orders and instructions to guarantee the supply of goods and the functioning of services in the production centers affected by the scarcity of products necessary to protect public health.

“Temporary requisition” can be made for industries, factories, workshops, fields or facilities of any kind, including health centers, services and private health establishments.

“Temporary requisition” can be made for all types of goods and services, including professionals, and mandatory benefits can be imposed on any entity, in cases where this is appropriate and indispensable for the protection of public health.


Exceptional suspension of termination of employment contracts

During the validity of the state of emergency, the possibility of terminating the employment contracts of health professionals linked to services and establishments integrated in the National Health Service is temporarily and exceptionally suspended.

Road and rail traffic

The Government may determine the closure of road and rail traffic, for reasons of public health, safety or fluidity of traffic or the restriction on the circulation of certain types of vehicles.

Sanitary fences

They are established by the Ministers of Internal Affairs and Health, following a proposal by the health authorities.


Transportation

Cleaning of passenger transport vehicles is mandatory, according to the recommendations established by the Ministry of Health.

The capacity is reduced to one third of the maximum number of seats available to “guarantee the adequate distance between transport users”.

Necessary measures will be taken to ensure TAP's participation in operations to support the return of national citizens to national territory, “either through the temporary maintenance of regular flights, or through operations dedicated to that objective”.

Agriculture

The Government will take the necessary and indispensable measures to guarantee normality in the “production, transport, distribution and supply of agricultural and livestock goods and services, and those essential to the agrifood chain”.

Civil requisition

Any goods or services from legal persons under public or private law that may be necessary to combat the covid-19 pandemic may be requested, namely health equipment, respiratory protection masks or ventilators, which are in stock or which come to produced by decision of health authorities or civil protection authorities.

Inspection

It is the responsibility of the security forces and services and the municipal police to monitor compliance with the measures, with the possibility of non-compliance leading to:

- The closure of establishments and the cessation of activities.

- Participation for the crime of disobedience of those who violate the obligation of confinement and driving to their respective homes (health authorities will communicate to the security forces and services the place of residence of citizens to whom the mandatory confinement measure is applied).

The security forces and services and the municipal police are also responsible for:

- Advice on the non-concentration of people on the public road and the dispersion of concentrations higher than five people (if they do not belong to the same household).

- The recommendation to all citizens to comply with the general duty of home isolation.

The parish councils are responsible for:

- Advice on the non-concentration of people on public roads.

- The recommendation to all citizens to comply with the general duty of home isolation.

- Signaling with the security forces and services of the municipal police of the establishments to be closed, in order to guarantee the cessation of the activities provided for in Annex I to this decree.

Disobedience and resistance to the orders of the competent authorities are sanctioned under the terms of the law and “the respective penalties are always increased by one third, in their minimum and maximum limits”



Comments:

Perhaps the government, i.e. local authorities should make provisions to ensure the availability of face masks.

By Jeffrey Howells from Algarve on 03-04-2020 06:22
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