The State of Emergency is an exceptional regime expected in the Constitution. What does this mean? Some rights are suspended with the sole purpose of adopting the necessary measures for the protection of the public health in the context of the COVID-19.
Below you can find all the measures enacted by the Government that are mandatory as of Saturday (March 21st) morning:
Leaving your Home
Isolation is only mandatory for those who are ill with the Covid 19 or under active surveillance by the health authorities, either in a hospital or in their own homes. Whomever, amongst these people, does not respect the mandatory isolation order, incurs a crime of disobedience, the violation of the order will be reported to a public prosecutor and the person in question will be immediately taken to a place of isolation by the authorities.
At this point mandatory curfew is not enforced, however, everyone is advised to stay at home, as long as possible and the authorities will act pedagogically, to ensure that civilians are being careful.
Where to shop for essential goods
- Commercial establishments - As a rule, commercial establishments with public services will close, except for bakeries, grocery stores, supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies, kiosks, among others; establishments that perform or sell goods and services absolutely essential to people's daily lives, can and should remain open. Take Away and Delivery Services are encouraged.
- Shopping Centers – Have been instructed to close, except for the shops inside, that sell goods of "essential nature", above listed.
- Protection for those above 70 years of age – there is not to be a special time for the elderly to go to supermarkets and other establishments which remain open, but it is recommended that they don’t leave their homes, due to the high risk.
- Lojas do Cidadão will close but the service desks within public authorities will remain in operation. The majority of Public offices will move to the teleworking regime. Services that include public service such as Tax Authority, IMT and Social Security will remain closed, and the use of telephone or online service is recommended during this period. It will only be possible to use public services in person with prior appointment.
- Banks will remain in operation, but before going to a branch it is better to check the rules already established by the various institutions in Portugal, most of them are encouraging mobile and online contact.
The Government has launched a website with information about all the measures in Portugal, with a section for foreigners that you can find here.