The Government is set to decree, in a legislative document that regulates the new state of emergency, strict confinement to one’s municipality of residence during the Easter period. In practice, from Thursday (9th) to Monday (13th), Portuguese citizens and residents are prohibited from traveling beyond the municipality where they live, with some exceptions.
According to the decree that is being finalized by the Council of Ministers meeting at the Palácio da Ajuda, travel to work, to go to the hospital, or to comply with parenting agreements will be allowed. The main aim is to use the measure as a temporary deterrent to minimise the spread of COVID-19 over the Easter period, typically a time of family reunion.
Before going to the Belém Palace to present the details of the decree to the President of the Republic, the prime minister made statements to journalists. Moreover, later, around 8pm, a presidential declaration is planned for the country.
Journalists were assured by the PM that, in addition to this measure, another one was approved by the Council of Ministers related to workers’ rights. It is regarding the possibility of giving executive action to the Authority for Conditions of Work (ACT), meeting a request of this entity, as well as the nation’s main work unions.
Thus, instead of carrying out inspections to detect irregular situations, to then open lawsuits and take them to a labour court, the ACT is now able to immediately file a case against an offending company, following up on complaints, for example, from workers. This measure is also exceptional and temporary, in the hopes of protecting workers’ rights.