COVID-19: Implementation of the state of emergency in Portugal
COVID-19: Implementation of the state of emergency in Portugal
Labor and Employment Law Alert Portugal
Following the declaration of state of emergency, decreed on November 6, 2020, the Decree No. 8/2020, of November 8, was published in the Official Gazette, regulating the implementation of the state of emergency declared by the President:
The prohibition of circulation on public roads between 23h00 and 05h00 on weekdays and during the next two weekends from 13h00 and 05h00.
This measure provides for some exceptions such as:
- Travel for professional or similar duties, as attested by a declaration;
- Issued by the employer or equivalent;
- Issued by the employer in the case of self-employed workers, sole proprietors or members of statutory bodies;
- Promise of honor in the case of agricultural, livestock and fisheries workers.
- Travel in the exercise of their functions or for the sake of such functions, without the need for a declaration issued by the employer or equivalent:
- Health professionals and other workers of health and social support institutions;
- Civil protection agents, security forces and services, military, militarized and civilian personnel of the Armed Forces and inspectors of the Food and Economic Security Authority;
- Holders of sovereign bodies, leaders of social partners and political parties represented in the Assembly of the Republic and persons carrying a legally issued laissez-passer;
- Ministers of worship, through accreditation by the competent organs of the respective church or religious community, under the terms of paragraph 2 of Article 15 of Law No. 16/2001, of 22 June, in its current wording;
- Staff in diplomatic missions, consular offices and international organizations located in Portugal, as long as they are related to the performance of official duties;
- Travel for health reasons, namely to purchase products in pharmacies or to obtain health care and transport of people to whom such care should be administered;
- Travel to grocery stores and supermarkets and other establishments selling food and hygiene products, for people and animals;
- Emergency shelter visits for victims of domestic violence or trafficking in human beings, as well as for children and young people at risk, by application of a measure decreed by a judicial authority or a Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People, in residential or family homes;
- Travel to care for vulnerable persons, the disabled, children, parents, the elderly or dependents;
- Travel for other compelling family reasons, including the fulfilment of shared parental responsibilities, as determined by agreement between the holders of such responsibilities or by the competent court;
- Travels by veterinarians, animal keepers for urgent medical and veterinary care, caretakers of colonies recognized by the municipalities, volunteers from zoophilic associations with dependent animals who need to go to animal shelters and animal rescue teams for urgent assistance;
- Necessary displacements to exercise freedom of the press;
- Short journeys for the purpose of enjoying moments outdoors, unaccompanied or in the company of members of the same household living together;
- Short walks for the purpose of walking pets;
- For other reasons of force majeure or urgent necessity, provided that they can be shown to be unavoidable and are duly justified;
- Return to personal homes for the purposes of the journeys referred to in the preceding paragraphs and the journeys and activities referred to in Article 28 of Council of Ministers Resolution No. 92-A/2020 of November 2.
Private vehicles may be used on public roads, including refueling at petrol stations, in the context of the situations referred to in the previous points.
The travels allowed in the preceding points must preferably be unattended and must comply with the recommendations and orders determined by the health authorities and the security forces and services, in particular those relating to the distances to be observed between persons.
The measure applies only to the 121 municipalities with a high risk of transmission from COVID-19, from Monday 9 to 23 November.
Body temperature measurements:
- The possibility of carrying out body temperature measurements by non-invasive means at the access to:
- Public services or institutions;
- Educational establishments;
- Commercial, cultural or sports facilities;
- Means of transportation;
- Residential structures; or
- Health establishments; or
- Prison facilities or educational centres.
In the event of refusal to measure the body temperature or in cases where the body temperature is 38º C or above, access to the above-mentioned places may be impeded. In the case of a worker with a temperature equal to or higher than 38º C, which makes it impossible for him/her to have access to the place of work, a justified absence shall be considered.
The measurement of body temperature does not prejudice the right to individual data protection, and the recording of body temperature associated with the identity of the person is expressly prohibited (unless expressly authorized by the person).
Finally, temperature measurements may be carried out by an employee in the service of the entity responsible for the place or establishment, no physical contact with the person concerned is permissible, always by means of equipment suitable for this purpose, which cannot contain any memory or keep records of the measurements made.
Possibility of requiring diagnostic tests for COVID-19
The possibility of requiring diagnostic tests for COVID-19 in the following situations:
- In healthcare facilities;
- In residential structures;
- In educational establishments;
- Entering and leaving national territory, by air or sea;
- In prison establishments;
- Other places, by determination of the DGS.
In cases where the results of the tests carried out make it impossible for an employee to have access to his place of work, the absence of the employee is considered justified.
Mobilization of human resources
- The mobilization of human resources to strengthen the screening capacity (e.g. epidemiological surveys, contact tracing, follow-up of persons under active surveillance):
- Employees in prophylactic isolation;
- Employees in risk groups;
- Teachers without a teaching component;
- Military personnel of the Armed Forces.
The assignment of employees to the functions mentioned in the previous points must take into account their training and functional content, and the mobilization and coordination of people is made operational by order of the members of the Government responsible for the areas of public administration, labour, social solidarity, health and the sector area to which the worker is assigned, when applicable.
During the period in which the mobilization of employees is maintained, and as long as working conditions are guaranteed that especially ensure the protection of their health, the exercise of functions in a different place and time from the usual ones (not applying to employees in prophylactic isolation) may be imposed.
General duty of cooperation
During the period of the state of emergency, citizens and other entities have the duty to cooperate, namely complying with orders or instructions from the bodies and agents responsible for safety, civil protection and public health in the prompt fulfillment of requests, which are justifiably made to them by the competent entities for the implementation of the measures of this decree.
Entry into force
This decree entered into force today, at 00:00 of November 9, 2020.