Parliament approves third 15-day State of Emergency

  • Lusa
  • 16 April 2020

The MPs of the Portuguese Parliament approved the extension of the State of Emergency for another 15 days.

Portugal’s parliament approved on Thursday the presidential decree renews the State of Emergency until the end of  May 2nd, to allow Covid-19 containment measures.

The first declaration of a State of emergency a month ago, which was unprecedented in democracy, was approved by the parliament without any votes against, though there were some abstentions.

The renewal of the State of Emergency two weeks ago had one vote against.

The presidential decree, sent to parliament this morning, foresees the possibility of a “gradual, phased or alternate opening of services, companies or commercial establishments”.

This “gradual reactivation” could take place, according to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “with possible openings with working hours adapted, by sectors of activity, by the size of the company in terms of employment, the area of the commercial establishment or its geographical location, with adequate monitoring”.

Contrary to the previous article, the new decree admits restrictions to the “asymmetric” right of movement, applied “to people and age groups or places of residence”, and it is now up to the government to regulate its implementation.

The introduction of the presidential text also admits the celebration of Labour Day, although with limits.

The State of Emergency has been in force in Portugal since 00:00 on March 19th and has already been renewed once.

According to the Constitution, it cannot last more than 15 days, notwithstanding any renewals with the same time limit.

In order to decree this, the president must listen to the government and have the authorisation of parliament, which will meet this afternoon to debate and vote on this new extension of the state of emergency, through a resolution.

Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed almost 133 000 lives and infected more than two million people in 193 countries and territories.

In Portugal, 629 people died out of a total of 18,841 confirmed as infected, according to the assessment made today by the General Directorate of Health.

The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected at the end of December in Wuhan, a city in central China.