The minister was speaking at the end of a meeting of the Council of Ministers, to discuss measures of social and economic support for the population affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

The suspension of the expiry of the lease agreements was another of the social support measures announced by António Costa, in order to avoid adding “to the anxiety” .

"Within the framework of the Assembly of the Republic, a series of social support measures are being debated", added the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also announced that the payment of VAT and IRC has been postponed to the second half of the year, which would have to be paid in the coming months, to guarantee the activity of companies and jobs.

Another of the measures announced is a set of lines of credit accessible to companies, "on condition of job maintenance", the value of which has not been revealed.

A "fundamental measure to improve the liquidity of companies" is "to allow the payment of two thirds of social contributions and also the VAT and IRC deliveries that took place in the next three months to be postponed to the second semester," he said.

The objective is "to contribute to guarantee activity and jobs", he added.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, signed the Government decree that "establishes the terms of the exceptional measures to be implemented during the state of emergency" due to the covid-19 pandemic.