The State of National Emergency has been declared and shall commence at 00:00 (zero) hours of 27 March 2020 for a period of 15 (fifteen days), which may be extended.
Pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 81/2020, of 25 March, and regulation, new exceptional and extraordinary measures have been implemented in order to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus and guarantee the running of services and the provision of essential supplies.
Property Rights and Private Sector
The provision of any service, as well as the use of movable and immovable property, commercial and industrial establishments and healthcare units may be required. The compulsory opening, running, closing or alteration of activities and services, as well as the price of produced goods or services rendered may also be determined. Nonetheless, the following measures have already been enacted:
1- Closing of all private commercial establishments, except for:
- Food retail and wholesale;
- Restaurants providing take-away service;
- Petrol Stations; and
- Other essential services to the community, following favourable opinion of the competent sanitary authorities.
2- Closing of public services of the central and local administration of the State, whether operated by private of public entities, except for:
- Public and Private hospital units;
- Pharmacies and medication suppliers;
- Energy and water services;
- Waste collection and treatment services;
- Private security services;
The import of food, medication and other essential goods is subjected to an exceptional licensing regime. The procurement of urgent goods and services necessary for controlling and taking action against the pandemic is subjected to an exceptional regime of simplified public procurement.
Workers’ Rights and the Right to Strike
Should it be necessary, public authorities may determine that any workers that go into their place of work, begin performing their job in a different location, for a different entity and in different work conditions and schedules than those established in their contract.
The implementation of home-based work is mandatory, whenever allowed by the nature of the work in question. These workers shall retain the same rights, duties and obligations, namely their meal allowance.
The termination of employment relationships based on the absence of workers is prohibited.
The right to strike is also suspended, when the exercise of such right may compromise the running of essential infra-structures or healthcare units, as well as when it is exercised in essential sectors for the production and supply of basic goods and services.
Right to Residence and Right to Free Movement
Individuals are to remain at home and are not allowed to circulate in public spaces or private spaces equated to public spaces.
The circulation of vehicles on public roads or private roads equated to public roads is prohibited, unless such private vehicles are undertaking essential activities.
Individuals infected with COVID-19, SARS-Cov2 and all individuals under active surveillance of a health authority or other health professionals are subjected to compulsory quarantine at their place of residence, at a healthcare facility or similar facilities.
Right to International and Inter-provincial Movement
Entering and exiting national territory as well as all inter-provincial circulation in national territory by any means of transportation is prohibited. It is excluded from this limitation, the entry and exit of essential goods and services; the entry and exit of patients; and humanitarian aid.
Procedural Deadlines and Acts and Tax Regularisations
The regime of court holidays will be applied to all procedural acts and proceedings within Justice, Fiscal Courts and other courts of law, Arbitration Courts, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, alternative dispute resolution entities and tax enforcement bodies. Limitation periods concerning all types of procedures and proceedings are suspended.
All procedures within notaries and registries; administrative and fiscal deadlines in favour of the individuals; and sanctioning and disciplinary administrative procedures concerning misdemeanours as well as any acts within services of direct and indirect administration and other administrative entities are suspended.
Only urgent acts concerning cases in which fundamental rights are at stake, notably, acts and trials of detained defendants and procedural acts referring to urgent cases involving minors, are to performed in person.
The payment of taxes on the import of food and medication will be subject to an a posteriori regularisation regime.
Protection of Tenants and Bank Loans
The closing of facilities and establishments under these exceptional measures may not be invoked as a ground for the termination of lease contracts.
Eviction orders, special eviction proceedings, procedures for the surrender of leased properties, when the tenant is at a disadvantage for lack of housing, are suspended. The production of legal effects of terminations of housing and non-housing lease contracts by the landlord are suspended.
The foreclosure of property used for personal and permanent residence as well all other legal procedures resulting from the delay in fulfilling contractual obligations, that may not be carried out due to the State of Emergency, are also suspended.
Right of Assembly and Demonstration and Right to Religious Worship
Any form of social gathering of more than five people, that does not respect the safety distance of at least two meters, to prevent contamination, is prohibited.
Bars and similar establishments, clubs, gaming and gambling establishments, other establishments that host public performances, sports events, leisure events, fairs and exhibitions as well as monuments, museums and libraries are closed.
Any religious celebration and other worship activities that imply the gathering of people, as well as funeral ceremonies that gather more than 50 people are prohibited.
Energy and Water and Petroleum and Natural Resources
The ministerial departments responsible for the Energy and Water sectors, as well as the Petroleum and Natural Resources sectors, will determine the necessary measures to guarantee the water, electricity and gas urban cycle, as well as that of oil and natural gas byproducts.
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