"The Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Health will declare today, on Friday, the state of alert throughout the country, putting the means of civil protection and the security forces and services in readiness," said the Minister of the Presidency , Mariana Vieira da Silva.

Among the extraordinary and urgent measures to respond to the epidemiological situation of the new coronavirus that were approved by the Government is the organisation of public services, "namely the strengthening of digital services, the establishment of frequency limitations to ensure the possibility of maintaining a safe distance and the centralisation of information to citizens about the presence of services ".

It was also decided to accept, by the public authorities, "and for all legal purposes, the display of documents whose validity period expires during the period of validity of this decree-law or in the 15 days immediately preceding or following".

Restrictions on the operation of nightclubs and the like, a ban on disembarking passengers from cruise ships, except for residents in Portugal, the suspension of visits to homes throughout the national territory and the establishment of frequency limitations in shopping centers and supermarkets for ensuring the possibility of maintaining a safe distance were other measures approved.

In a statement to the country on Thursday night, António Costa announced that schools of all grades of education will suspend classroom activities starting on Monday due to the Covid-19 outbreak.