State of emergency explained

By Daisy Sampson, in News · 19-03-2020 19:07:00 · 17 Comments

Prime Minister António Costa has announced the measures in place for the state of emergency in Portugal which is to begin at midnight tonight and to last for 15 days across the entire country.

Speaking at a press conference in Lisbon and surrounded by the Council of Ministers the Prime Minister outlined the majority of the situation but highlighted that further debates would be taking place tomorrow (20 March), where the agenda will focus on social support for families and companies.

António Costa explained to the country the measures taken under the state of emergency, stating that "the primary concern was to ensure maximum restraint with minimum disruption to life."

People who are infected with the coronavirus are to stay in isolation, anyone infected who leaves isolation will be regarded as a committing a crime of disobedience.

People over the age of 70, or those who are have existing health problems that make them vulnerable were described by Costa as being at “particular risk” and should only leave the house in very exceptional circumstances: for securing essential goods, going to the health center, the bank, or taking small walks for health reasons.

There will be no special hours for people who need special protection. "People over the age of 70 are asked to limit leaving the home as much as possible. They have higher risks and special protection is essential. Families, neighbours and local authorities must ensure the greatest possible support for this population."

In all other cases people are being told to “only leave the house if necessary” either for work, assisting family members, to walk pets or to secure essential goods.

Wherever possible all work should be done remotely via phone or online to avoid all face to face communications.

The Prime Minister made it clear that the state of emergency should not result in the end of the economy and said that at present normal economic activity should be maintained whenever possible, with the exception to this only being in areas declared to be in a state of calamity, as in the case of Ovar in the north of Portugal.

Bakeries, supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations and others defined by law are to remain open. Restaurants and cafes must be closed and take-away services can be maintained. "It is important that the restaurants continue to function where possible with take aways, to support those who will have to work," said the Prime Minister.

“There is no rationing, nor is there any justification for it, and if proper civic behavior is maintained it is out of the question. The conditions are created for production and distribution to function normally", said António Costa.

Those who have to work must comply with the rules of the DGS: social distance, the hygiene that was defined in the context of the pandemic and conditions for the protection of workers.

During the state of emergency the security forces can use repressive means and must send home whoever breaches the isolation.

Currently, security forces will keep the Ministry of Internal Affairs informed of their assessment of how these measures will be implemented. The government may apply a new sanctioning framework. But Costa believes that it should not be necessary given the way the Portuguese have reacted.

No document will be needed to circulate, said António Costa. "People have already been behaving civically and have done what has been asked of them”, so there should be no need for sanctioning measures. "

António Costa also confirmed that a crisis cabinet has been created in the government, with the Prime Minister, the Ministers of State, Health, Infrastructure, MAI and Defense.

Regarding the Portuguese abroad. António Costa says that whenever possible and if there are a large number of Portuguese, there may be repatriation operations. "We have already secured the repatriation of 408 Portuguese and we are looking to respond to all cases."

The council of ministers will meet again tomorrow at 10.15am to discuss social and economic support for families, and sectors such as trade and restaurants. "The country has not suddenly become rich but we have to meet the needs of families."

Concluding the announcements, António Costa said that the government "took particular care in the framework of the measures, with a very gradualist attitude, to ensure adequate and proportional responses”. The security forces will have a repressive function, if necessary to stop activities and establishments, but on the other hand, they will also have the function of advising everyone about the situation.


has the fish got coronvisus has we have been told we cannot fish

By annemarie green from Alentejo on 15-04-2020 11:05

I am stranded in South Africa JHB my flight on TAAG to JHB-Porto was cancelled on the 18th March then managed to get a flight on Emirates JHB-Porto but the connecting flight from Dubai-Porto was cancelled. How will we know or who do we contact to get to Portugal. The Portuguese Consulate in JHB is closed?
Pleade if anyone can advise i would be most grateful.

Thank you
Margarida Martins

By Margarida Martins from Other on 20-03-2020 10:08

I love Portugal that’s why I make it my home for the winter. As a Canadian who is not halfway thru my stay, I have been summoned home. My return original flight way April 29 from Faro. Contacted the travel agent in Toronto to change the flight all had been previous been paid in full in club class with Air Transat. They changed my flight to Apri 1/2020, got a not they are cancelling that flight which I had to pay a cancellation fee of 350$. That flight was canceled and now I had to buy another seat for my husband and myself in economy for 1799$....leaving now from Lisbon. This means a hotel for the night before and return of the car rental, at a fee because I am not returning it to Faro.
The government has to do something with gouging from the agents.
This flight coming and growing has cost me more than 11000$. And how on top of everything I have to pay for my luggage that was previously included in the original fare..
I am 73 years old, and executive owner of a company, unfortunately our government has nothing prepare yet for compensation due to the fact they called all Canadian home. Thanks for listening to my blog I am totally frustrated . Stay healthy everyone

By Angela Harper from Algarve on 20-03-2020 10:01

Hi Julia Phillip I'm a wedding planner and my advise is the wedding should be postponed to a later date this year or next year then deposits travel along and your daughter won't lose any. If you cancel then yes you will lose all cause this is beyond our powers. Best of luck and stay safe xxx

By Dave from Algarve on 20-03-2020 09:07

My husband and I returned to beautiful Portugal for our fifth visit on February 24. Since Friday March 13th things have been on settling. We are due to fly back to Toronto on April 1st. April Fool's day. Sure hope we don't get fooled.

We are in a small apartment block away from the masses. We have a small local grocery store for all our needs including fresh vegetables and toilet paper.

By Gail from Algarve on 20-03-2020 08:45

My daughter is getting married in Portugal on 14th May! A lot of people are backing out anyway, but we have already spent a lot of money! Where will we stand on cancelling it and getting our money back?

By Julia Phillips from Other on 20-03-2020 06:42

@Kour khushpreet Do not travel right now. There is a pandemic!
Flights are very limited and restricted. Please stay safe, follow the OMS recommendations. Health ????

By Carolina Santos Ferreira from Lisbon on 20-03-2020 12:52

The lives of the people are closed, open your eyes. Lives finished. No freeedom left. FOOLS 4 all
Yes accept your dimise.
Pastel Nata is only a creamy center

By ze povinho from Other on 19-03-2020 11:23

Accurate design Frame for mass people living Portugal for safety every one seriously follow the instructions for self safety as well as country safe from this pandemic situation.
I am first aider, rescuer & a volunteer/ warden civil defence from Bangladesh but now I'm living ermidas sado Portugal,in this emergency period I like to envolved my self.
So give me a chance to beside Portugal.
Maqsudur Rahman
Ermidas sado Portugal

By Md maqsudur Rahman from Other on 19-03-2020 10:56

Stuck in South Africa with my wife and 92 year old mother and unable to travel due to her risk of acquiring the virus. Portugal resident.

By Joao Carlos Bastos from Other on 19-03-2020 10:11

We are Canadians and we are staying at Dom Pedro hotel in lagos and they are kicking us it on Monday, due to the government restrictions , but our flight doesn’t leave until Thursday March 26. We have been on hold with TAP airlines for hours trying to move up our flight but they just hang up on us. What can we do? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

By Teresa Blacklaw from Algarve on 19-03-2020 10:09

Will all DIY and Garden Centres be closed

By KEVIN BELL from Algarve on 19-03-2020 09:28

Can tourists still travel to the airport to fly home?

By Will Dixon from Algarve on 19-03-2020 09:10

You make no sense, stay in your county to avoid spread. The borders are closed!

By Ciera from Porto on 19-03-2020 08:59

Hello and good evening. I got a question. As the summer is not far and Moskitos will soon appear in the Algarve, is it possible to catch this corona virus of the mosquito???
Thanks for responding in advance
Best regards
Norbert Pechmann

By Norbert Pechmann from Algarve on 19-03-2020 08:33

Thank You very much for all this helpful informations
in this critical times

By Huber from Lisbon on 19-03-2020 07:58

Can I travel to Portugal from Hungary Portugal airports closed or not for the travellers

By Kour khushpreet from Other on 19-03-2020 07:30
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