Coronavirus outbreak
Contingency and support measures

Considering the recent coronavirus outbreak, the Portuguese Government adopted several contingency measures to support and protect individuals and businesses. Please find below a brief outline of the most relevant measures.

For further information, please contact us at jcg@ccsllegal.com and msb@ccsllegal.com

Companies and Employees

Simplified Lay-Off Process

  • Simplified ‘lay-off’ procedure providing a financial support towards the maintenance of employment contracts, with or without training, in case of temporary reduction of the normal working period or suspension of the employment contract, ensuring social security 70% of the employees remuneration;
  • This measure is applied to companies with verification of i) 40% drop in the period of thirty days prior to the request from the competent social security services, with reference to the monthly average of the two months prior to that period, or compared to the same period in the previous year, or even for those who started the activity less 12 months, the average of that period; ii) cessation of the activity resulting from interruption of global supply chains, the suspension or cancellation of orders or to companies or establishments whose total or partial closure has been enacted by decision of the political or health authorities;
  • Companies in this situation may benefit from an additional temporary exemption from the social security contribution payments and an extraordinary financial incentive to support the normalization of the company’s activity, granted by IEFP, IP, corresponding to the value of RMMG (635 €) per worker;
  • Possibility of accumulate the support measure with IEFP vocational training, on which a grant of EUR 131.64 will be paid, half of which is allocated to the employee and the other half to the employer;
  • During the period of reduction or suspension, as well as within 60 days of its application, the employer cannot terminate employment contracts by means of collective dismissal or extinction of job post;
  • To access these measures, companies shall have their tax and contributory situation regularized. For this purpose, until April 30, 2020, debts incurred in March 2020 won’t be considered;
  • Possibility for lay off employees to engage in paid activity provided that in the areas of food production, social support, health, logistics and distribution;
  • In the context of extraordinary support for the maintenance of employment contracts, the calculation of retributive compensation considers the remuneration benefits normally declared for social security and usually received by the employee, relating to basic remuneration, monthly premiums and regular monthly allowances;
  • The inclusion of new employees during the period of extraordinary support for the maintenance of employment contracts, which are in addition to those identified in the initial application, is made through the delivery of a new attached file;
  • Payments of uncertain or variable nature, as  commissions are not considered in the calculation of the illiquid monthly remuneration in the simplified lay-off scheme;
  • Suspension of labour accident insurance in the event of suspension of the employment contract under the simplified lay-off scheme. In the event of a reduction in the normal working periods, the obligation to insurance is maintained;
  • Companies with establishments whose activities have been subject to the lifting of closure restrictions after the end of the state of emergency or of restrictions imposed by legislative or administrative determination continue, from that moment onwards, to be able to access the simplified lay off mechanism, provided that they resume the activity within eight days;
  • The extraordinary financial incentive to support the normalisation of the company’s activity is regulated by an ordinance of the member of the Government responsible for the area of work, namely as regards the procedures, conditions and terms of access;
  • For the purposes of non-compliance and restitution of the extraordinary support for the maintenance of an employment contract in a company in a situation of corporate crisis, paragraph e) of no. 1 of article 303 of the Labour Code is not applicable in the part concerning contract renewals;
  • Applications submitted upon declaration by the employer together with a certificate from the certified accountant, in which the starting date of the extraordinary support measure for the maintenance of employment contract in a situation of business crisis is subsequent to March 16, 2020, are accepted.

Measures to protect employees and job positions

A) Support for dependents

  • Justified absences to employees and self-employed workers, without any except regarding retribution,  motivated by undeterable assistance to children or other dependents under the age of 12, or, regardless of age, with disabilities or chronic illness, resulting from suspension of presential classes and non-school activities in school. The employee is entitled to receive exceptional monthly or proportional support corresponding to two thirds of his basic remuneration, paid in equal parts by the employer and social security. To this end, it will be considered the basic remuneration declared in March 2020 for February 2020 or, in the absence of basic remuneration declared in that month, the amount of the minimum monthly remuneration guaranteed. In situations where the employee has more than one employer, the ceiling is applied to the total basic remuneration paid by the various employers, with the support payable distributed proportionally, depending on the value of the basic remuneration declared by each employer;
  • Justified absences for family assistance, when there is a need to assist the spouse or person who lives in registered partnership or common economy with the employee, relative or similar in the straight upward line that is in charge of the employee and who frequent social facilities whose activity is suspended by an health authority;
  • Justified absences motivated by the provision of assistance or transportation, within the scope of the COVID-19 disease pandemic, by volunteer firefighters with an employment contract with a private or social sector employer, evidently called by the respective fire department;
    Justified absences do not result in the loss of any rights, except with regard to remuneration;
  • Exceptional financial support for employees who have to stay at home with their children up to 12 years of age in the amount of 66% of the basic remuneration. From April, this support is equivalent to 100% of the basic remuneration of the employees who have to accompany their sick or in prophylactic isolation children;
  • Exceptional financial support for self-employed workers who have to stay at home with their children up to 12 years old, amounting to 1/3 of the average remuneration;
  • Self-employed workers obliged to pay for at least 3 consecutive months for at least 12 months, who are unable to continue their activity, are entitled to an exceptional monthly or proportional support;
  • The value of the support corresponds to one third of the mensual contributory incidence base for the first quarter of 2020. The support has a minimum limit of 1 Indexing social support (IAS) and maximum of 2 1/2 IAS, and may not, in any case, exceed the amount of remuneration recorded as a basis of contributory incidence;
  • Entities benefiting from the support shall, for the purpose of proving the facts on which the application is based and its extensions, preserve the relevant information over a three-year period;
  • During the period of granting the support, there is no compensation with previous debts of the holders of the support or their employer;
  • Entitlement to child and grandchild care allowances in the event of prophylactic isolation without a guarantee period;
  • Increase in the daily amount of child support allowance for employees performing public functions as part of the convergent social protection scheme;
  • The daily amount of child care allowance is now equal to 100% of the reference remuneration.

B) Professional Training

  • Creation of an extraordinary vocational training support, in the amount of 50% of the employee’s salary up to the National Minimum Wage, plus the cost of training, for the situations of employees not employed in productive activities for considerable periods;
  • Guarantee of social protection for trainees and trainers during training activities, as well as for beneficiaries engaged in active employment policies who are unable to attend training activities;
  • The presential training activities developed or promoted by the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training, I. P., through the direct management vocational training centres, participated management vocational training centres or by training entities may be resumed as from 18 May 2020, in a gradual manner and with the necessary adaptations, provided that compliance with the guidelines of the Directorate General of Health is ensured, namely in terms of hygiene and physical distance. Without prejudice to the provisions, the entities therein provided shall give priority to the development of the formative activity at a distance and to projects of articulation between this activity and face-to-face formative activity, whenever the conditions allow it.

C) Measures to support employees in case of sickness 

  • Payment of 100% of the reference remuneration to employees and self-employed workers in the general social security system in prophylactic isolation for 14 days, motivated by situations of serious risk to public health determined by the health authorities;
  • Entitlement to sickness benefit without a waiting period.
D) Measures to support domestic service employees
Creation of a support for domestic service employees corresponding to two-thirds of the remuneration recorded in January 2020, being paid one third by Social Security, keeping employers the obligation to:
  • Payment of one third of the remuneration;
  • Declaration of working hours and normally declared remuneration for the employee, irrespective of the partial suspension of his actual payment;
  • Payment of the corresponding contributions.
  • In case of domestic servisse employees, the declaration of each employer attesting the non-provision of and the non-payment of the entire remuneration shall be preserved for three years.
E) Measures to support self-employed workers
Extraordinary support for the reduction of self-employed economic activity
  • Financial support to employees who are exclusively covered by self employed the scheme and who are not pensioners, subject to compliance with the obligation to contribute at least 3 months in a row or six months interpolated for at least 12 months:
  1. In a proven situation of total stopping of the activity performed or other activity of the same sector as a result of due to covid-19 pandemic; Or
  2. By a declaration together with na accounting certificate attesting that it is in a situation of abrupt  drop of at least 40 % of income in the period of thirty days preceding the application with the competent social security services, with reference to the monthly average of the two months preceding that period, or compared to the same period of the previous year or , also for those who started the activity less than 12 months ago, at the average of this period.
  • In order to attest the situation of income breakage, the concerned employees must submit a commitment of honour declaration or, in case of self employed workers in the organized account scheme a certificate from the accountant;
  • The support is one month, extendable, up to the limit of six months and is paid from the month following the submission of the application;
  • As long as the payment of the extraordinary support is maintained, the self-employed, when subject to this obligation, shall maintain the obligation of the quarterly declaration;
  • The amount of financial support is multiplied by its respective drop, expressed in percentage terms;
  • For the calculation of support, the remuneration considered corresponds to:

a) For self-employed workers, the average contributory impact base for the months in which there has been a record of remuneration in the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of application submission;

b) For managing partners, the basic remuneration declared in March 2020 for the month of February 2020 or, in the absence of basic remuneration declared in that month, the value of the indexing of social support.

  • The drop shall be declared and subject to further verification by social security services within one year counted from the support, on the basis of the information requested to the Tax Authority, giving rise to an eventual refund of the amounts wrongly received;
  • The support provided is granted, with the necessary adaptations, to the managers of private limited companies and members of statutory bodies of foundations, associations or cooperatives with functions equivalent to those, which are exclusively covered by the general social security system in that capacity and carry out that activity in a single entity that in the previous year had invoiced less than (euro) 80,000;
  • When the communication of the elements of the invoices through the E Invoice does not reflect the totality of the practiced operations subject to VAT, even if exempt, related to the transmission of goods and services, referring to the period in analysis, the measurement of the limits foreseen therein is made by declaration, with reference to the turnover, with the respective certification by a certified accountant, and subject to subsequent verification by the social security, within one year from the attribution of the support, based on information requested to the Tax and Customs Authority, giving rise to the eventual restitution of the unduly received amounts;
  • The support provided shall have as its minimum limit a value corresponding to 50 % of the IAS value and may be extended on the basis of any of the conditions laid down;
  • The support granted is conditional on the activity being continued within eight days if it has been suspended or terminated;
  • The self-employed workers covered by the above-mentioned financial support measures are entitled to deferment of the payment of contributions due in the months in which the extraordinary financial support is being paid. 

Extraordinary measure to encourage professional activity

  • The self-employed worker is entitled to a one-month financial support, extendable monthly up to a maximum of three months, based on the average of the invoices reported for tax purposes between March 1, 2019 and February 29, 2020, with a maximum limit of half of the value of the IAS and a minimum corresponding to the lowest base value of the minimum contribution;
  • The application for granting the support determines, from the month following the cessation of the support, the effects of the placement in the scheme for self-employed workers or the cessation of the exemption;
  • The value of the average invoice that determines the calculation of the support is transmitted by the Tax and Customs Authority to Social Security;
  • Attribution of the support is subject to the effects of the classification in the social security regime of the independent workers and implies the maintenance of the exercise of activity for a minimum period of 24 months after the cessation of the payment of the benefit;
  • The support is due from the date of application and is granted for a maximum period of two months;
  • The amount of the benefit to be granted is half the amount of the IAS;
  • The amount of the benefit to be granted corresponds to half of the amount of the IAS;
  • The attribution of the benefit obliges the employee to declare the beginning or resumption of independent activity with the tax administration, the effects of the corresponding framing in the social security system of independent workers and the maintenance of the exercise of activity for a minimum period of 24 months after the cessation of the payment of the benefit;
  • The declaration of cessation of activity before the end of the period identified in the previous paragraph determines the refund of the amounts of the benefits paid.

F) Unemployment Protection Measures

  • The following employees are entitled to initial unemployment benefit provided that have:

a) 90 days of paid employment, with the corresponding wage record, in a 12-month period immediately preceding the date of unemployment;

b) 60 days of paid employment, with the corresponding wage record, in a 12-month period immediately prior to the date of unemployment, in cases where the unemployment occurred due to the expiry of the fixed-term employment contract or the termination of the employment contract at the initiative of the employer during the trial period.

Simplifying access to social insertion income

  • The allocation of the social insertion income benefit is not dependent on the conclusion of the insertion contract;
  • At the end of the period of validity of the law that determined the simplification process, the entity managing the benefit shall make an officious verification of the composition and income of the household beneficiaries for the purposes of renewal or termination and, as a result, shall review the value of the benefit or terminate its attribution;
  • Social income support for integration and unemployment protection is required until 30 June 2020 and cannot be combined with other social benefits.

G) Other measures

  • Approval and display of the holiday map until April 15 may take place up to 10 days after the end of the state of emergency;
  • Extension of fixed-term contracts (with teaching and non-teaching staff at service of the Ministry of Education public schools) with termination on August 31 2020;
  • Suspension of the requirement regarding the non-existence of debts for applicant entities or promoters to the IEFP, I. P. training program. To this end, debts incurred by the applicant or promoters, from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 will not be considered;
  • Strengthening of the means and powers of the Authority for Working Conditions, namely by contracting external services to assist in the execution of its activity;
  • Possibility of a labour inspector, when verifies the existence of signs of unlawful dismissal, to draw up a report and notify the employer to regularize the situation. With the notification to the employer and until the employee’s situation is regularised or the judicial decision has been finalised, as the case may be, the employment contract in question will not be terminated, and all the rights of the parties will remain, namely the right to remuneration, as well as the inherent obligations towards the general social security system.
  • Regarding this matter, the labour courts shall have jurisdiction to provide a judicial decision;
  • The deadline for the payment of contributions and levies due in March 2020 is, exceptionally, extended until 31 March 2020. Without prejudice to this provision, employers who have not paid one third of the contributions due in the first month of adhesion to the measure, March or April as applicable, and who immediately proceed to the payment of this amount plus interest on arrears shall retain the right to deferment of the payment of contributions;
  • Possibility for the collective executive bodies of public professional associations that exercise management and management powers to decree the suspension or reduction of their members’ membership fees, without the need for resolution by the respective representative assemblies;
  • Until September 30, 2020, the hiring of workers is authorized for the establishment of fixed-term employment relationships, for a period of four months in the entities of the Ministry of Health, and its renewals are made for equal periods;
  • Telework regime may be determined unilaterally by the employer or by employee’s request, without the need of agreement by the parties, provided that it is compatible with the functions performed;
  • In the current context of COVID-19 disease, and exclusively for reasons of protection of one’s own health and of others, body temperature measurements may be taken to employees for the purposes of access and permanence in the workplace;
  • The provisions do not affect the right to individual data protection, and it is expressly prohibited to record the body temperature associated with the identity of the person, unless expressly authorized by the person;
  • If the normal body temperatures are higher than normal body, that person’s access to the workplace may be prevented.

H) Measures to support start-ups

New measures relating to Portuguese start-ups, in order for these entities to overcome the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and to continue their normal activity after this exceptional period (representing an overall support of more than EUR 25 million and an average of EUR 10,000 euros per start-up):

  • Start-up RH Covid19 measure, under which financial support will be granted through an incentive equivalent to one minimum wage per employee, up to a maximum of 10 employees per start-up;
  • Extension for 3 months of the previous scholarship benefit already awarded, in the amount of EUR 2,075 per entrepreneur job;
  • The “Incubation Voucher – Covid-19”, applicable to recent start-ups (incorporated less than 5 years ago), through the hiring of incubation services based on a non-refundable incentive of EUR 1,500;
  • Convertible loans in amounts between EUR 50,000 and EUR 100,000 per start-up, to be converted after 12 months at a discount rate that avoids dilution of shareholders;
  • Portugal Ventures issuing a call for investments in start-ups, with tickets starting at EUR 50,000 (this initiative being funded through the Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD), Portugal Ventures and Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda); and
  • Two support measures already in force and applicable to start-ups were revised, as follows: (i) within the 200M Fund, co-investment with private investors in Portuguese start-ups and scaleups, with a minimum amount of public funds of EUR 500,000 and a maximum of EUR 5 million, and (ii) within the co-investment fund for social innovation, the co-investment with private investors in companies with innovative projects with a social impact, with a minimum amount of public funds of EUR 50,000 and a maximum of EUR 2.5 million.

Note: During the state of emergency, social security services, Working Conditions Authority, Directorate General for Employment and Labour Relations , Institute for Employment and Vocational Training, Commission for Equality at Work and Employment and the National Institute for Rehabilitation remain open on presential regime .

Tax Measures

Deferral of tax obligations

A)  Deadline extension for compliance with tax obligations

  • Deferral of the special payment on account (“PEC”) deadline from March 31 to June 30;
  • Deferral of the deadline to submit the corporate income tax return and pay the related tax until July 31;
  • Deferral of the first payment on account deadline from July 31 to August 31.

B) Flexibilization of payments to the Tax Authority

  • Possibility of paying taxes in instalments;
  • Companies and self-employed persons with turnover in 2018 up to 10 M or starting activity from 01/01/19, may fractionate the VAT, IRS and IRC due (even as withholding tax), for the 2nd quarter, without the need for guarantee, under the law terms or in 3 or 6 monthly instalments without interest;
  • With regard to the payments made in 3 or 6 monthly instalments without interest, the first installment is due on the date of compliance with the payment obligation and the remainder on the same date in the following months;
  • Applications for payments made in 3 or 6 interest-free monthly instalments shall be submitted electronically by the end of the voluntary payment period;
  • This scheme also applies to taxable persons who have restarted activity on or after 1 January 2019, when they have not obtained turnover in 2018;
  • Other companies and self-employed persons may require the same flexibility in the payment of these tax obligations in the second quarter provided that they have been subjected to a decrease in their turnover of at least 20% in the 3-month average in which there is an obligation to pay the tax compared to the same period of the previous year.
    Furthermore, whenever the communication of invoice elements through the E-Invoice does not reflect all transactions carried out subject to VAT, even if exempt, relating to the transmission of goods and services for the periods under review, the measurement of the billing breach shall be made with reference to turnover, with its certification by the auditor or accountant;
  • Payment of the total VAT or in three instalments. In case this is covered by the quarterly scheme, the next obligation is due on 15 May being paid 1/3 in due time, 1/3 in June and 1/3 in July, with exemption from interest;
  • Possibility of paying VAT in six instalments – 1/6 in due time and 1/6 in each subsequent months. In this case there will already be an interest payment from the fourth month;
  • The same regime will be applied in relation to withholding tax at the source of IRS, concerning law firms employees;
  • Recognition of the right to full or partial exemption in respect to local authorities or inter-municipal entities taxes. In the event of exceptional situation relating to the pandemic, the need for approval of a regulation by the municipal assembly is waived, and in such cases the exemption, in whole or in part, may last longer than the end of the current calendar year. Exemptions must be communicated within 48 hours of their practice.

C) Flexibilization of payments to the Social Security 

  • Postponement of the deadline for payment of social security contributions by companies. This postponement is applied to employers from the private and social sectors with:
a) Less than 50 employees;
b) Total number of employees between 50 and 249, provided that they show a drop of at least 20 % of the invoicing reported through the E-Invoice in March, April and May 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year or, for whom it has started the activity less than 12 months, to the average of the period of activity elapsed;
c) Total of 250 or more employees, provided that they show a drop of at least 20 % of the invoicing reported through the E-Invoice in March, April and May 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year or, for whom they have started the activity less than 12 months, at the average of the elapsed period of activity, and fall within one of the following forecasts:
i) it is a particular institution of social solidarity or equivalent;
ii) the activity of those employers falls within the sectors closed by imposition of the state of emergency decree or in the aviation and tourism sectors in relation to the establishment or undertaking actually closed;
iii) The activity of those employers has been suspended, by legislative or administrative determination, in relation to the closed establishment or companies;
  • Extraordinary support for the reduction of self-employed economic activity and deferred payment of contributions;
  • Reduction of social contributions and payment in instalments;
  • With regard to social security contributions due between March and May 2020, the Government approved a:

i ) 1/3 of payment on the due date;
ii ) The remaining 2/3 are paid in equal and successive installments in the months of July, August and September 2020 or in the months from July to December 2020, without interest.

  • The requirements of the installment plan related to billing are demonstrated by the employer during the month of July 2020, together with declaration by the certified accountant;
  • The same regime applies to contributions due by self-employed workers.

D) Other measures

  • Automatic extension of unemployment benefits and solidarity supplement for the elderly or insertion social income that are already in payment, applicable to benefits whose concession or renewal period has ended in March or ends in April, May and June 2020 inclusive. The extension of the period for the granting of unemployment benefits does not amount to the allocation of other unemployment benefits or for the purposes of recording remuneration for equivalence to the entry of contributions;
  • Suspension of tax enforcement procedures;

Loans and Funding

 Measures relating to credit lines and other financial incentives

A) Credit Lines

  • EUR 200 M credit line to support companies’ cash flows;
  • Creation by “Turismo de Portugal” of a Treasury Support line for Microenterprises. This line will have an allocation of 60 M and relates to companies or individual entrepreneurs with less than 10 job posts and whose annual turnover or annual total balance sheet does not exceed 2 M;
  • Creation of a credit line up to EUR 20 000 000 for the fishing and aquaculture sectors, which is intended to provide financial means for the acquisition of production factors, for a working or treasury fund, in particular for the settlement of taxes, payment of wages and renegotiation of debts with suppliers, credit institutions or other entities empowered by law to grant credit;
  • Natural or legal persons who meet the following conditions may apply to the reffered credit line:
  1. Are legally and regulatorily empowered to carry out fishing and aquaculture activities, processing and marketing industry of fishery products, or are recognised producer organisations;
  2. Are in effective activity;
  3. Have their registered office in national territory;
  4. Have their contributory situation regularized before the tax administration and social security;
  5. Are not a company in economic difficulties.
  • The total amount of aid to be allocated may not exceed (euro) 120 000 gross per beneficiary. When the individual amount of aid is found to exceed the stipulated limit, aid value per beneficiary shall be adjusted, by reducing in proportion to the excess recorded and reducing, accordingly, the individual amount of credit to be granted;
  • The credit is granted in the form of a repayable loan by credit institutions or other entities empowered by law to grant credit that conclude protocol with the Institute of Financing of Agriculture and Fisheries, I. P. (IFAP, I. P.), in which a maximum nominal interest rate is established;
  • Loans are formalized by written contract, in terms to be defined by IFAP, I.P., concluded between credit institutions or other entities authorized by law to grant credit;
  • Loans are granted for a maximum period of six years from the date of conclusion of the contract and depreciable annually in instalments of equal amount, with the first repayment due one year after the expected date of the first use of credit;
  • Loans accrue interest at the contractual rate, calculated day by day on outstanding capital. Interest are paid annually;
  • In each interest counting period, and throughout the duration of the loan, the following interest rate bonuses are allocated, differentiated according to the company’s turnover:
  1. Turnover up to EUR 500 000: up to 100 % bonus;
  2. Turnover exceeding EUR 500 000: up to 90 % bonus.
  • Creation of credit lines by the State and supported by the bank sector, totalling 3000 M, that will cover the following sectors:

Restaurant sector and similar: 600 M of credit, of which 270 M is earmarked for micro-enterprises and SME;

Tourism sector, namely travel agencies, animation, event organisation and the similar: 280 M of credit, of which 75 M is for micro-enterprises and SME;

Other companies in the tourism sector (including, tourist resorts and tourist accommodation): 900 M of credit, of which 300 M is for micro-enterprises and SME;

Industry sector (textile, clothing, footwear, extractive industry and the wood sector): 1300 M of credit, of which 400 M is directed to micro-enterprises and SME.

These credit lines will have a grace period of payments until the end of 2020 and can be amortized within 4 years.

ADAPTAR Program

  • With an allocation of 100 million euros, Adaptar Program aims to support companies in the costs of purchasing personal protective equipment for employees, hygiene equipment, disinfection contracts or expenses with space organization.

Scope and Eligibility

  • Projects inserted in all economic activities are eligible, with the following exceptions:

a) Fishing and aquaculture sector;

b) Primary agricultural production and forestry sector;

c) Processing and marketing of agricultural products and processing and marketing  sectors of forestry products;

d) Projects relating to the following activities: financial and insurance, defence, lotteries and other gambling.

Requirements

  • The following criteria are required with regard to micro-enterprises of any kind:

a) To be legally constituted on 1 March 2020;

b) Have an organised account;

c) Meet the necessary conditions to obtain the status of microenterprise;

d) To have the tax and social security situation regularized.

Project Eligibility

  • The eligibility criteria for projects are the following:

a) Aiming to make an investment of an eligible expenditure value of not less than (euro) 500 and not more than (euro) 5000, for the adaptation of the company’s activity to the context of COVID-19 disease, guaranteeing the employees and clients safety, and the relationship with suppliers, complying with the established standards and recommendations of the competent authorities;

b) Have a maximum execution duration of six months from the date of notification of the favorable decision, with a deadline of 31 December 2020;

c) To comply with the legal and regulatory provisions applicable to them.

Expenses and Application

  • In the case of micro-enterprises (up to 10 employees), Adaptar contemplates an 80% non-refundable support for expenses between 500 and 5,000 euros, being eligible since March 18;
  • Access to the programme will be through a simplified application scheme, based on a expenditure budget by large heading, where confirmation of the compulsory administrative requirements is made automatically by the application management system or by a declaration by the promoter;
  • The decision on the application will be taken within 10 working days.

PME’s

  • Adaptar is also applicable to small and medium-sized enterprises (PMEs), with projects between 5,000 and 40,000 euros, with 50% non-refundable funding, under Portugal 2020 program, through the Compete and the regional operational programes.

Scope and Eligibility

  • The eligibility criteria for small and medium-sized enterprises are as follows:

a) To be legally constituted until March, 1st 2020;

b) To have an organised account in accordance with the applicable legislation;

c) To have its tax and social security situation regularized;

d) To have its situation regularized with regard to replacements, within the scope of financing from the European Structural and Investment Funds (FEEI);

e) To have the PME certificate issued by IAPMEI;

f) Not be a company in difficulties;

g) To declare that it is not a company subject to an outstanding recovery order following a previous Commission decision declaring an aid illegal and incompatible with the internal market.

Project Eligibility

  • The eligibility criteria for PME projects are as follows:

a) To aim at making an investment of an eligible expenditure value of not less than (euro) 5000 and not more than (euro) 40 000, for the qualification of processes, organisations, products and services of SMEs, namely the adaptation of their establishments, work organisation methods and relationships with clients and suppliers to the new conditions in the context of the COVID-19, ensuring compliance with the established standards and recommendations of the competent authorities;

b) The investment is not in force at the date of application;

c) To have a maximum execution duration of six months, from the date of notification of the favorable decision, with a deadline of 31 December 2020;

d) To comply with the legal and regulatory provisions applicable to them.

Expenses and Application

  • In both situations, after the validation of the term of acceptance of the application, an automatic advance of an amount equivalent to 50% of the approved incentive will be processed;
  • The eligible expenses for Adaptar support include the purchase of masks, gloves or visors, the purchase and installation of automatic payment devices, hiring of disinfection services of the premises, for a maximum period of six months, or also the expenses with the intervention of certified accountants or statutory auditors, in the validation of the expenses of the payment requests.
  • In the case of PME’s, the decision on the application will be taken within 20 working days and the application is the same applicable to microenterprises.

B) Moratorium Approvals

  • Approval of a 6-month moratorium, until September 30, 2020, which provides for the prohibition of revocation regarding contracted credit lines, the extension or suspension of credits until the end of this period, in order to ensure the continuity of financing to families (credit for own and permanent housing) and companies (reinforcement of liquidity and treasury) and to prevent non-compliances;
  • Moratoriums are applied to families who are i) in a situation of prophylactic isolation or illness or have to assist children or grandchildren (due to the closure of schools); ii) have been placed in reduction of the normal working period or in suspension of the employment contract (lay-off), due to the business crisis; iii) in a situation of unemployment registered at the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP); iv) employees eligible for extraordinary support to reduce the economic activity of the self-employed; v) employees of entities whose establishment or activity has been object of a determined closure during the period of state of emergency;
  • Moratoriums are applied to companies that i) have their headquarters and exercise their economic activity in Portugal; ii) are classified as micro, small or medium-sized companies; iii) are not, on March 18, 2020, in arrears or non-payment of cash benefits for more than 90 days with banks and are not in a situation of insolvency, or suspension or assignment of payments, or on that date are already in execution by any of the institutions; iv) have no debts to the tax authorities and Social Security;
  • Extension by three months of the maximum period for the beneficiaries of the Rural Development Program (PDR 2020) to  implement and complete projects whose deadline for to invest occurs between March 1 and June 15, 2020. In this sense, payments were authorized under the “PDR 2020” program, without observing the maximum number of payment requests. Beneficiaries with actions cancelled due to the new coronavirus are eligible for the reimbursement of expenses. Under this programme, site visits for administrative control prior to the decision of applications are waived in the case of applications with a total estimated investment of less than (euro) 500 000, even if they include expenditure defined through standard unit cost tables, and the analysis of eligibility of operations shall be carried out using alternative means, in particular the sharer information system (SIP) and updated orthophotomaps;
  • Beneficiaries that have had their productive and/or commercial activity seriously affected as a result of the epidemiological situation of the new Coronavirus – COVID 19 may conclude the investment projects contracted under the PDR 2020, regardless of the degree of execution they are in, after recognition of the situation of “force majeure”, to be granted upon request;
  • For assessment and recognition of the situation to be framed, beneficiaries must submit an application for application of the concept of “force majeure” to the Institute for Financing Agriculture and Fisheries, I. P. (IFAP), by May 31, 2020, demonstrating the causal link between the impossibility of continuing the execution of investment projects and the COVID-19 situation;
  • Temporary authorization of late payment of rents (housing and non-housing). This scheme allows the Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation (IHRU) to grant loans for payment of income to tenants who have suffered income breaks;
  • Possibility of loan from the municipal councils without need for authorization by the municipal assembly. The loan must be communicated electronically within 48 hours of its practice.

C) Taxes and Payments

  • Elimination of minimum fees charged to merchants for payment by POS – ‘Point of sale’, so that everyone can accept payments in electronic means without the need to establish a minimum value;
  • Suspension of commissions on payment transactions;
  • Suspension of the collection fees due for the use and performance of payment transactions through digital platforms of payment, in particular homebanking or applications with a card-based payment instrument, for persons who are in a situation of prophylactic isolation or illness or who provide assistance to children or grandchildren, as well as for persons who are eligible for extraordinary support to reduce the economic activity of self-employed workers or are entities whose establishment or activity has been the subject of a determined closure during the state of emergency period;
  • Payment service providers are prohibited from providing in their prices the charging of new fixed or variable commissions related to the acceptance of card payment transactions carried out in automatic payment terminals;
  • Beneficiaries of card payments that provide automatic payment terminals cannot refuse or limit the acceptance of cards for payment of any goods or services, regardless of the value of the operation, during the period in which the suspension provided for in the previous article is in force;
  • Setting a maximum limit for card payments with contactless technology, which should be around EUR 30,00;
  • Possibility of reimbursement of savings and retirement plans (PPR) during the state of emergency. The amount of the PPR refunded must correspond to the value of the unit of participation at the date of the refund application.

D) Other business support measures

  • ECB launches a 750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) of private and public sector securities to counter the serious economic risks due to the coronavirus outbreak;
  • Payment of pending invoices by public entities.

E) Incentives under PT2020 program

  • Payment of incentives within 30 days;
  • Extension of the repayment period for credits granted under QREN and PT2020;
  • Eligibility of expenses incurred with cancelled international events.

F) Financing for the acquisition of acrylic protective barriers

  • In 2020, the acquisition of acrylic barriers to protection, for face-to-face service stations in the Citizen’s Spaces and Citizen’s Shops, whose management is the responsibility of the local authorities, can be financed through the appropriation entered in the State’s general expenses budget. Financing foreseen in the budget amounts is to up to 90 % of the total cost of the acrylic barrier, with a limit of (euro) 54.00 per unit, with only the barriers that comply with the model defined by the Agency for Administrative Modernisation, I.P. being eligible. (AMA, I.P.);
  • The financing procedure is simplified as follows:

a) Local authorities apply to the Directorate-General for Local Authorities (DGAL) for the financing provided for, in accordance with the form made available on the respective DGAL portal;

b) DGAL will validate with the AMA, I. P., the number of acrylic barriers identified taking into account the existing service stations in each Citizen’s Space or Citizen’s Shop;

c) Local authority sends proof of purchase to the DGAL

d) Contribution is transferred by DGAL according to the expenditure incurred.

Deadlines and Contracts

Impact of Covid-19 on deadlines and contracts

A) Rental Contracts 

  • Suspension until 30, September, 2020 of the production of effects on termination of lease agreements (housing and non-housing) by the landlord and foreclosures on real estate that are intended for own and permanent housing;
  • Suspension of legal eviction actions for delivery of leased property, in situations where the leased house destined for permanent dwelling is threatened, by virtue of the action;
  • Suspension of rental contracts (housing and non-housing) expiry, unless the lessee does not oppose to the termination;
  • Suspension of the production of effects of revocation and opposition to renewal carried out by the landlord;
  • The closure of premises and establishments under a legal provision or administrative measure adopted in the context of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 disease may not be invoked as grounds for termination, of non-residential rental contracts or other forms of contract for the exploitation of property, or as grounds for an obligation to vacate the premises in which they are installed.

Exceptional regime of late rent payment

Housing Lease

The new set of measures will apply to rental contracts for housing purposes when one of the following situations occurs:

  1. A drop of more than 20% of the lessee’s household income compared to the income of the previous month or the same period of the previous year; and the level of effort of the lessee’s household, calculated as a percentage of all members’ income of that household, intended for rental payment, of at least 35%; or
  2. Landlords with a drop of more than 20% of income compared to the income of the previous month or the same period of the previous year; and that percentage of the income break is caused by the lack of payment of rents by the tenants under the provisions of the law.

Therefore, Landlords will only be allowed to terminate lease on the grounds of non-payment of the rents due in the months in which the state of emergency is in force and in the first month thereafter, if the lessee does not make the payment of the outstanding rents within 12 months from the end of that period. Rents can be paid in monthly instalments not less than one twelfth of the total amount, paid together with the monthly rent.

On the other hand, it is possible to request a free interest loan to the Institute of Housing and Urban Renewal (IHRU, I.P), under the following terms:

  1. Lessees and guarantors of students not earning work income, who have proven to have a drop of 20% of income and are unable to pay the rent of their permanent residence or, in the case of students, their educational residence, if it is located at a distance of more than 50 km from the permanent residence;
  2. Landlords that suffer a drop of more than 20% of income compared to the income of the previous month or the same period of the previous year; and that percentage of the income break is caused by the non-payment of rents by the tenants under the provisions of the diploma.

Lessee’s loan aims to support the difference between the amount of the monthly rent and the amount resulting from the application to the household’s income of a maximum effort rate of 35 %, in order to allow the payment of the due rent. The remaining disposable income of the household cannot be lower than the indexing of social support (IAS – EUR 438.81).

For landlords, the loan will compensate the amount of the monthly rent, due and unpaid, whenever the remaining disposable income of the household falls, for this reason, below the IAS (EUR 438.81).

It shall be noted that, in order to be able to use the regime set forth in the diploma, the lessees must inform the landlord in writing at least five days before the due date of the first rent, adding, for this purpose, the evidence of the situation of income decrease. However, for rents that have expired on the 1st of April, the deadline for notification is 20 days after the date of entry into force of the law (7th of April).

Non-Housing Lease

For the leases for non-housing purposes the new measures will be applied as follows:

  1. Establishments open to the public for retail activities and for the provision of services that have been closed or that have had their activities suspended under administrative or legal orders by virtue of the state of emergency in Portugal;
  2. Restaurant and similar establishments, including cases where they operate exclusively for take-away or home delivery.

In this case, the lessee of the affected establishments may defer payment of rents due in the months in which the state of emergency takes place and in the first subsequent month for the 12 months after the end of that period. The payment of the outstanding rents shall be made in monthly instalments in the amount of not less than one twelfth of the total amount. These instalments must be paid together with the rent of the month concerned.

The failure to pay rents in the months in which the state of emergency is in force and in the first subsequent month cannot be invoked as grounds for termination or other form of termination of lease contracts, nor be grounds for eviction.

Finally, it should be noted that any of these situations will lead to the payment of a compensation for the delay in payment, which currently corresponds to 20% of the amount of due rent.

Additionally, these measures will also apply to other contractual forms respecting the exploitation of real state for non housing purposes.

In this regard, Ordinance No. 91/2020 of April 14 defined the terms in which the income drop is demonstrated for the purpose of applying this exceptional regime, in the following terms:

It is considered a drop of 20 % or more of income in the following cases:

  1. Housing lessee, who constitutes his permanent residence, when the percentage share of the total monthly income of the household members is intended for payment of a monthly rent exceeding 35 %;
  2. Students with a housing lease located more than 50 km from the permanent residence, for attendance of educational establishment, when the percentage share of the total monthly income of the household members is intended for payment of a monthly rent exceeding 35 %;
  3. Housing lease guarantor of a student who does not earn income from work, when the percentage part of the total monthly income of the guarantor’s household members destined to pay the monthly income of the student’s housing exceeds 35 %; Or
  4. Landlords, when the drop in the monthly income of the members of their household is due to the non-payment of rents by their tenants and the remaining income of that household falls below the value of the IAS – EUR 438,81.

It is presumed to constitute permanent residence of the lessee and the student the property corresponding to their tax address.

The income drop referred to corresponds to a decrease in income by more than 20 %:

  1. In the case of lessees, guarantors and students, by comparing the sum of household members’ income in the month in which the determining cause of the change in income occurs with the income earned by the same household members in the previous month or in the same period of the previous year;
  2. In the case of landlords, by comparing the sum of income of the members of their household in the month in which the rents due by their lessees are not paid in the same period of the previous year.

The following are considered relevant for proving the drop:

  1. In the case of income from dependent work, their gross monthly value – proven by means of receipts or employer’s statement;
  2. In the case of CIRS category B income or professional income, the value before VAT – proven by invoices or receipts;
  3. In the case of pension income, its gross monthly value;
  4. In the case of property income, the value of the rents received;
  5. Monthly amount of social benefits received on a regular basis;
  6. Monthly amount of housing support received on a regular basis;
  7. Amounts of other income received on a regular or periodic basis.

Points 3 to 7 may be proven by documents issued by the respective paying entities or other documents reporting the receipt of that values.

Whenever the proof of income referred to is not possible, the income may be attested by a self-declaration, on a commitment of honour basis or by the certified accountant in case of self-employed workers in an organised accounting scheme.

The proof of income subject to the statements referred to must be submitted within a maximum of 30 days after the date of communication to the landlord or the application submitted to the Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation, I. P. (IHRU, I. P.).

Public Entities

Under the law, public entities with leased properties (by any other form object of use agreements) may reduce rents to tenants who have proven to have suffered a decrease in their income of more than 20 % compared to the income of the previous month or the same period of the previous year, when the payment of the rent results in a level of effort of more than 35 % in relation to the income.

B) Insurance Contracts

  • Possibility of agreement on the payment of the premium at a later date than the beginning of the risk coverage, waiver of automatic termination or non-extension in the event of non-payment, premium instalments, extension of the validity of the insurance contract, temporary suspension of premium payment and temporary reduction in the amount of the premium according to the risk reduction;
  • In the absence of agreement and in the case of non-payment of the premium or instalment on the due date, the contract shall be automatically extended for a period of 60 days from the due date of the premium or instalment. The insurer must inform the policyholder at least 10 working days before the due date of the premium, and the latter may oppose maintaining the coverage until the due date. The termination of the insurance contract due to non-payment of the premium, part or fraction of it, until the end of the 60-day period shall not relieve the insured of the obligation to pay the premium corresponding to the period in which the contract was in force;
  • The policyholders who develop activities that are suspended or whose establishments or facilities are still closed due to exceptional and temporary measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or those whose activities have been substantially reduced due to the direct or indirect impact of these measures, may request the reflection of these circumstances in the insurance premium covering the risks of the activity, as well as request the fractioning of the payment of the premiums related to the current annuity, without additional costs.  When the premium has been fully paid at the beginning of the annuity, the amount of the premium reduction shall be deducted from the amount of the premium due for the subsequent annuity or, in the case of an insurance contract that does not extend, cancelled within 10 working days prior to its termination, unless otherwise agreed by the parties;
  • A substantial reduction in business shall be deemed to exist when the insurance holder is in a state of business crisis, including when he or she experiences an abrupt and sharp drop of at least 40 % in billing;
  • Contractual changes are reduced to writing in additional minutes, or on a particular condition, to be sent by the insurer to the policy holder within 10 working days of the date of the agreement or of the exercise of the right by the policy holder, being the Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority (ASF) responsible for the supervision and control.

C) Legal and non-legal Deadlines

Suspended deadlines

  • Application of the judicial leave regime until the cessation of the exceptional situation of prevention, containment, mitigation and treatment of epidemiological infection by SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease;
  • Suspension of all deadlines for the practice of procedural acts;
  • Suspension of limitation and expiry deadlines for all types of procedures;
  • Suspension of the deadline for filing the debtor for insolvency;
  • Suspension of acts to be carried out in the context of executive proceedings, including sales, tendering of creditors, judicial deliveries of real estate, attachment proceedings and preparatory acts;
  • Notwithstanding the applicable suspensions, proceedings may occur and the practice of non-urgent presential and non presential acts may occur when all parties are able to ensure their practice through the technological platforms that enable them to be carried out electronically or through appropriate means of distance communication, such as teleconferencing, video calling or other equivalent;
  • A final judicial decision may be applied regarding acts that further steps won’t be necessary;
  • Production of effects suspension relating to practice of procedural acts by public entities in the context of tax court processes until January 26, 2021;
  • Production of effects suspension relating to consultation of administrative and tax proceedings by the parties and by those who show a fair interest, until January 26, 2021;
  • Production of effects suspension relating to pleading forms capable of determining the reduction of the justice rate  applicable to administrative proceedings in the part relating to the submission of procedural documents using optional forms of pleadings, including in pending cases, until 13 October 2020;
  • All deadlines related to procedures, acts and contracts under the Local Government Internship Program are suspended.
Deadlines in progress
  • Deadlines relating to the practice of acts carried out exclusively electronically within the framework of the tasks of the National Institute of Industrial Property, I.P, shall not be suspended;
  • The pre-contractual litigation deadlines provided for in the Code of Procedure in the Administrative Courts are not suspended.
Urgent proceeedings
  • Urgent proceedings continue, without suspension or interruption of deadlines. Concerning acts or proceedings, the following must be observed:
  1. In proceedings requiring physical presence of the parties, their representatives or other subjects, the practice of any procedural acts shall be carried out by means of distance communication, such as teleconferencing, video calling or other equivalent;
  2. When it is not possible to carry out the proceedings requiring the physical presence of the parties and life, physical integrity, mental health, freedom or immediate subsistence of the interveners are at stake, the diligence may be carried out in person provided that it does not involve the presence of a number of persons greater than that provided for by the recommendations of the health authorities and in accordance with the guidelines set by the competent higher councils;
  3. When it is not possible or appropriate to ensure the practice of acts or the performance of proceedings in accordance with the preceding paragraphs, suspension shall also apply to those procedures.

Application of the urgent proceedings system to other cases:

  1. Procedures for the defense of rights, freedoms and guarantees injured or threatened by any unconstitutional or illegal measures;
  2. Urgent services provided for under the law on international judicial cooperation in criminal matters, mental health law, law on the protection of children and young people in danger and the legal regime of entry, stay, exit and removal of foreigners from the national territory;
  3. Proceedings, acts and measures which prove necessary to prevent irreparable harm, in particular cases relating to minors at risk or educational guardianship proceedings of an urgent nature and the diligence and trials of imprisoned defendants.

The same regime is applicable, with the necessary adaptations, to the deadlines for the practice of acts in:

  • Counterordenational, sanctioning and disciplinary proceedings, which run terms in direct, indirect, regional and municipal administration services, and other administrative entities, including independent administrative entities;
  • Administrative and tax procedures with regard to the practice of acts by private subjects;
  • Acts in urgent proceedings that run terms in the Justices of the Peace, can be practiced by means of distance communication, such as e-mail, telephone, teleconference or video call.

Registries and Documents

  • Applications for civil registration, vehicles, commercial and building that cannot be made online through the IRN website, I.P., may be sent to the e-mail address of the respective registration service, or by another electronic mean. The provisions shall also apply to the filing of a hierarchical appeal of decisions refusing to practice registration acts in accordance with the terms required;
  • It is now accepted the sending by scan of original documents on paper, by those who have competence for certification of photocopies assigned by law, and also by managers, administrators and secretaries of commercial or civil by affixing a qualified digital signature with the citizen card or digital mobile key using the Professional Certification System (SCAP);
  • Acts regarding registration of companies, increase and reduction of capital and the appointment of managers are of an urgent nature;
  • After the decision authorising registration or granting of Portuguese nationality, the verbal declaration of birth attributing the nationality, or the verbal declaration of birth in application for acquisition of Portuguese nationality whenever the seat per registration is necessary, is replaced by a declaration sent by e-mail;
  • The death of any individual occurred in Portuguese territory must be declared by e-mail to be sent to the e-mail address of any civil registry office. If there are no non-conformities, the death certificate is issued by the competent authorities;
  • The supply of deficiencies related to registration requests made online and all processes associated with the issuance of professional certification system by managers, directors and secretaries of companies is exempt from emoluments;
  • All acts requested from INPI, must be presented exclusively through the online services available on NPI’s website. Notification of any administrative acts or steps promoted by the INPI in the context of procedures conducted by the latter, may be carried out by e-mail, using, where applicable, the addresses that the interested parties have communicated at earlier stages of the procedures;
  • Identification documents as well as licences and permits are accepted until 30 October 2020;
  • Scanned copies and photocopies of acts and contracts shall be recognised as the evidential value of the respective originals, unless the person to whom they are presented requests the display of that original;
  • The signature of the scanned copies of the acts and contracts by hand or by qualified electronic signature does not affect their validity, even if different forms of signature coexist in the same act or contract.

D) Other deadlines

  • Postponement for one year of payment of benefits relating to repayable subsidies which deadline is until 30 September 2020. All companies are subject to the postponement and it will not imply the payment of interest charges or other penalty for companies that benefit from it;
  • Possibility of sending the approval of accounts by 30 June by entities whose accounts depend on a collegiate body;
  • Postponement of general meetings for commercial societies, associations or cooperatives until June 30 and possibility of submission of approval of accounts until July 15, 2020;
  • Measures provided for in the Municipal Adjustment Programs (PAM) that allow off-limits debt provided for in the Local Finance Law in combating Covid-19.
  • Electronic certification scheme for PME’s and amendment of the deadline for submission of the application, under which the company submits to IAPMEI, I.P., the electronic certification form with the final data of the following financial year, up to 30 working days after the legally provided deadline for submission of the annual accounting and tax declaration, and these data confirm the content of the declaration submitted;
  • Suspension of the signature collection on the delivery of registered mail, which is replaced by verbal identification and collection of the citizen card number, or any other legal means of identification, until the exceptional situation of pandemic is terminated;
  • Suspension of the deadline of use for medium and long-term loans established at a maximum of two years;
  • E-mail communications made by Justices of the Peace, Registry curators, INPI’s employees among others, are made through the e-mail address made available by the entities. The referred entities have to confirm the receipt of emails addressed to them;
  • In the context of acts and communications that take place in tax court proceedings, between the tax administration services, the local peripheral service and the tax enforcement agency and the tax courts, access to the computer system to support the activities of the administrative and tax courts is carried out by the representatives of the entities identified at https://pro.tribunais.org.pt, in accordance with the procedures and instructions contained therein:
  1. The referral of the administrative process to the court, by the local peripheral service, when this is ordered by the judge under the terms of Article 110(5) of the Tax Procedure and Proceedings Code;
  2. The following acts of the tax enforcement body:
  3. Communication, to the tax court of 1st instance where the opposition is pending, of the payment of the enforced debt under the terms of paragraph 7 of article 203 of the Tax Procedure and Proceedings Code;
  4. Referral of the tax execution proceedings to the tax court, when an opposition is filed, pursuant to article 208(1) of the Code of Tax Procedure and Procedure.
  • By means of a protocol to be signed with the Institute of Financial Management and Justice Equipment, I.P., public entities may carry out the communications foreseen in this article through an interoperability service between the computer system supporting the activities of administrative and tax courts and the respective information system;
  • Public entities within the scope of tax lawsuits may consult the cases in which they carry out the acts envisaged, through the computer system supporting the activities of the administrative and tax courts, at https://pro.tribunais.org.pt, or, in the other cases envisaged, through the interoperability service provided for in the protocol”;
  • Sales that take place during the months of May and June 2020 are not included in the maximum sales limit of 124 days per year. The economic operator wishing to sell in sales during the months of May and June 2020 is exempted from issuing, during this period, the declaration addressed to the Food and Economic Security Authority.
E) Other contracts
  • In the case of contracts which expressly provide for the right of the contractor or private partner to be compensated for any breach of use or where the occurrence of a pandemic constitutes grounds for a claim to restore financial equilibrium, such compensation or restoration may only be effected by extending the period of performance of the services or the duration of the contract and shall not give rise, irrespective of legal provision or contractual stipulation, to a price revision or the assumption by the contractor or public partner of a duty to provide the counterparty;
  • No compensation shall be given for damage resulting from acts regularly performed by the State or another public entity, in the exercise of powers conferred by public health and civil protection legislation, or in the framework of the state of emergency, for the purpose of preventing and combating the COVID-19 pandemic, which is for this purpose a cause of force majeure.

Other relevant measures

Measures to support population 

A) Teaching establishments

For school activities, the following was foreseen:

  • Presential classes start May 18, 2020 for students of the 11th and 12th years of schooling and of the 2nd and 3rd years of the double certification courses of secondary education, as well as for students of the specialized artistic courses not offering double certification, in the subjects that have a national compulsory final exam, remaining the other subjects in a non presential regime;
  • In addition, teaching and training activities may be presential in the subjects of a practical nature and in work context training when, they require the use of specific spaces, instruments and equipment, that cannot take place through distance learning or simulated practice and in compliance with the guidelines of the Health Authorities, namely in terms of hygiene and physical distance;
  • Under the regime of presential school activities, school hours were reorganised, observing the following:

i) the time lag between school hours and working hours, preferably using the period between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m;

ii) The organization of classes in different periods or days, minimizing the contact between different groups or their intersection and concentration, as well as the number of trips to school per student;

iii) The splitting of classes whenever the number of pupils makes it unfeasible to comply with the rules of physical distance, using teachers with available time in their teaching component;

iv) The reduction of up to 50 % of the teaching load of the subjects taught in person, whenever the measures adopted do not ensure compliance with the physical distance of the students, organising moments of autonomous work in the remaining times;

  • The school spaces were also reorganised, namely through:

i) Whenever possible, teaching in large spaces, such as auditoriums or other spaces;

ii) Whenever possible, the assignment of a single room or space per class;

iii) setting standards for meals;

  • Basic education will remain until the end of the school year in the non presential regime, using digital methodologies that will be reinforced with the support of pedagogical television content;
  • The 10th year of schooling remains until the end of the school year in the non presential regime;
  • The following exams are cancelled:
  • measurement tests, from the 2nd, 5th and 8th grades;
  • Final exams of basic education at the end of the 9th grade;
  • School-level tests, carried out as final exams of primary education;
  • National final exams, when performed by internal pupils, for the purpose of passing subjects and completing secondary education.
  • Students will only take national final exams in the subjects they elect as entrance exams for the purposes of a national competition for access to University;
  • For the completion of the primary and secondary education cycles, the classifications of each subject are based on the whole school year, including the work carried out throughout the 3rd period;
  • Student’s absence to presential activities is considered justified if it is determined by the respective guardian;
  • Schools must reorganize the spaces, classes and schedules of teachers and students, in order to ensure hygiene standards and adequate social distancing.

School application

  • School application is preferably submitted by Internet;
  • In pre-school education and in the 1st cycle of primary education, application period for 2020/2021 school year is fixed between 4 May and 30 June 2020;
  • Applications received by June 30, 2020 are considered immediately after that date for serialization purposes, and the others are subject to serialization at a later time;
  • In primary and secondary education application periods are fixed by the school principal and may not exceed:
  1. The 5th working day following the definition of the school situation of pupils wishing to change their educational pathway;
  2. 30 July 2020 for students wishing to continue their educational journey;
  3. December 31, 2020 for students wishing to enrol recurrent education.
  • Once the period fixed until 30 July 2020 has expired, applications may be accepted in duly justified exceptional situations in:
  1. The following eight working days;
  2. After the period set out in the preceding paragraph, until December 31, 2020, upon existence of a vacancy in the classes.

Application to national final exams

  • Pending the suspension of classroom school activities, the application process to national final exams are subject to the following rules:
  1. Students or their guardians shall send to the school by e-mail a registration form (EMEC model);
  2. Schools have to confirm the registration and the reception of the identified documents, verify the conformity of the enrolment in relation to the student’s school situation and communicate it by e-mail;
  3. In situations where the use of electronic resources is not possible, registration may be made by means of a form.
  • School principals can choose other ways of applications that they deem more appropriate and effective;
  • Teaching establishment network promoted the reception of children or other dependents in the care of health professionals, social action services, security and relief forces and services, including volunteer firefighters, and armed forces, employees in essential public services, whose mobilisation for service or readiness hinders them from assisting them;
  • Provision of food support to pupils benefiting from levels A and B of the school social action and, whenever necessary, support measures for students from specialised units that have been integrated into learning support centres and whose stay in school is considered indispensable.

B) Cultural, artistic and game activities

  • Rescheduling of shows canceled due to the pandemic, within a maximum period of one year after the date originally planned. Rescheduling of the show may, if necessary, involve the replacement of tickets already sold;
  • If scheduling is not possible, the show will be canceled and will give rise to a refund of the price of tickets already sold, within 60 working days after the cancellation announcement;
  • Partial or total limitations of access to online gambling platforms, until the end of the period related to the state of emergency.

C) Medical measures

  • The use of masks or visors is mandatory for access or permanence in commercial and service spaces and establishments, in services and buildings serving the public and in educational establishments and day care centers by teaching and non-teaching staff and students over 10 years old, as well as in public transport for passengers.
  • For the purpose of preventing the contagion of the new Coronavirus, medical devices for human use and personal protective equipment must comply with legally health and safety requirements;
  • Flexibility of measures related to the electronic prescription of medicines;
  • Possibility of developing projects aimed to protect health users and social responses professionals, with one or more of the following objectives:
    a) Acquisition of goods or services for the performance of diagnostic and screening tests for SARS-CoV-2 infections, including immunity tests, as well as any consumables used for this purpose;
    b) Storage, packaging and delivery of sampling in public or private entities with laboratory capacity for this purpose;
    c) Acquisition and distribution of personal protective equipment;
    d) Acquisition of services and leasing of goods for accommodation of users and professionals of social responses;
    e) Acquisition of logistics goods and services, including transport, with the aim of mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on social responses, including for monitoring, evaluation and monitoring of users and professionals, transport of users and professionals, collection of crops and special waste;
    f) Support for the hiring and temporary training of human resources, including urgent and deferrable care providers for users of social responses, as well as psychological and mental health support for professionals and users;
  • Creation of a Covid-19 Productive Innovation measure to support all companies wishing to establish, strengthen or reverse their production capacities for goods and services, focusing on products aimed at combating the pandemic. It also covers the construction and modernisation of testing and testing facilities for relevant products in the context of combating the pandemic. Companies from all over the country may apply and all economic activities aimed at the production of relevant goods and services to deal with Covid-19 are eligible. Support rate is 80% in the lost fund, which is added na incentive of  15% to projects whose implementation takes place within two months, bringing the level of support to 95%. The purpose of this increase is to encourage beneficiary entities to make their products available with maximum speed. Applications will be submitted from 20 April until 29 May, through a simplified electronic form, which will be made available at Balcão 2020;
  • Creation of an Incentive System for Research and Development Activities (R&D) and Investment in Testing and Optimization Infrastructure (upscaling) that aims to support R&D activities in the context of combating the pandemic. Companies based in national territory and non-business entities of the R&D system may apply. The support rate is 80% in the lost fund, which adds an incentive of 15% if the project is transnational. In the case of so-called fundamental research activities, the support is 100% of the value of the costs eligible for the lost fund. Applications will be submitted from 20 April until 29 May, through a simplified electronic form, which will be made available at Balcão 2020;
  • Percentage of profit in the wholesale and retail marketing of medical devices and personal protective equipment, as well as ethyl alcohol and alcoholic-based skin disinfectant gel, shall be limited to a maximum of 15 %;
  • Possibility for the Government to determine the necessary exception measures regarding market containment and limitation, setting maximum prices for liquefied petroleum gas, limiting profit margins for medical devices, personal protective equipment and ethyl alcohol and skin disinfectant solutions, monitoring stocks and quantities produced and exemption from payment of fees for economic operators acting in emergency situations.

D) Foreigners

  • Regularization of foreigners with pending applications in the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF);
  • Extension of the re-establishment of border control of people until 00:00 on 15th June 2020;
  • Extension of the ban on flights from 00:00 on 18 May 2020 and in force until 00:00 on 15 June;
  • Interdiction of air traffic to and from Portugal from all flights to and from countries outside the European Union, except for:
  1. countries associated with the Schengen area (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland);
  2. countries of portuguese official language; brazil, however, will only be admitted flights from and to São Paulo and to and from Rio de Janeiro;
  3. United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela, Canada and South Africa, given the presence of important Portuguese communities.
  • Repatriation flights of nationals and with a residence permit are still allowed;
  • In the context of the pandemic, the it was adopted the Recommendation (EU) 2020/648 of 13 May, providing the possibility for vouchers to be issued to passengers or travellers by carriers or organisations as an alternative to cash reimbursement, and subject to the voluntary acceptance of the passenger or traveller, in the following circumstances:

a) In the event of cancellation by the carrier or organiser from 1 March 2020 for reasons linked to the COVID-19 pandemic;

b) in the event of amendments to the contract or termination taking place from 1 March 2020 for reasons linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Vouchers must have a minimum validity period of 12 months;
  • When vouchers are valid for more than 12 months, passengers and travellers shall have the right to request a cash refund no later than 12 months after the voucher has been issued. This same right should assist them at any subsequent time, subject to the applicable legal provisions on time limitation;
  • Carriers and organisations may consider reimbursement of vouchers at an earlier time than 12 months after the voucher in question has been issued if the passenger or traveller so requests;
  • Passengers and travellers should be able to use the vouchers as a means of payment for any new booking made before their expiry date, even if the payment or the service takes place after that date;
  • Vouchers for transport services should be transferable to another passenger at no additional cost;
  • Package travel vouchers should also be transferable to another traveller at no additional cost if the providers of the services included in the travel agree to the transfer at no additional cost;
  • In order to make vouchers more attractive, organisations and carriers may consider issuing vouchers of a higher value than the amount of any payments made for the package holidays or transport service initially booked, for example through an additional lump sum or additional service elements;
  • Vouchers should indicate their period of validity and specify all rights attached to them. They must be issued on a durable medium, such as electronic mail or paper.

E) Essential services

  • Adoption of measures to simplify and suspend obligations of communication or electronic companies, regarding, for example, compliance with deadlines and assurance of quality parameters, in order to ensure an uninterrupted service  to the population;
  • During the state of emergency and in the following month, the provision of the following essential services cannot be suspended:
    1. water supply service;
    2. Electricity supply service;
    3. natural gas supply service;
    4. electronic communications services.
  • The suspension of electronic communications applies when motivated by unemployment, drop of 20% or more of income, or covid-19 infection;
  • During this period, consumers who are unemployed or with a drop of 20% of income or more compared to the previous month’s income may unilaterally terminate their telecommunications contracts, without compensation to the supplier;
  • In case of debts regarding the services referred, a payment plan shall be drawn up. The payment plan is defined by agreement between the vendor and the consumer and shall take place in the second month after the state of emergency.

F) Penalties

  • Pardon of the prison sentences for prisoners convicted by final decision of two years or less;
  • Pardon the remaining periods of imprisonment for prisoners convicted by final decision of more than two years if the time remaining for full compliance is equal to or less than two years, and the prisoner has served at least half of the sentence;
  • In the event of conviction in successive sentences without legal cumulation, the pardon shall be addressed only to the remainder of the sum of those sentences, if the time remaining for full compliance is equal to or less than two years;
  • The partial pardon of prison sentences up to two years, or the last two years of prison sentences, does not apply to those who have committed crimes such as murder, violations, domestic violence or abuse of minors, nor to crimes committed by political office holders, members of security forces or Armed Forces, by magistrates or other persons with special responsibility functions;
  • The general director of reintegration and prison services or by delegation of these, may grant leave of absence to the convicted for a period of 45 days, with possibility of renewal. If the administrative leave under these terms has been successfully granted, the placement on probation may be brought forward by the court of execution of the sentences for a maximum period of six months.
G) Measures to support social institutions
  • Increase by 3.5% in the payment of social security financial contribution under cooperation agreements concluded in all social responses whose activity has been suspended;
  • Whenever the Residential Structure for Elderly Persons is in a situation of second degree dependence, the value of the expected financial contribution is increased by:
  1. An additional monthly contribution of 113.22 (euro) per elderly person in situations of second-degree dependency; And
  2. A monthly supplementary contribution of 53.39 (euro) per user/month when the frequency of the elderly person in a situation of second degree dependency is 75 % or more;
  • In situations of day care centers incorporating children with disabilities, per room, in addition to the financial contribution that corresponds to twice the amount fixed in the cooperation agreement, up to the limit of the number of users covered, there is a supplementary contribution of 101.91 (euro) per child/month for the year 2020;
  • Support for humanitarian fire-fighting associations through the possibility of bringing forward twelfths of the permanent funding due to them and the provision of a specific line of funding for the payment of salaries;
  • Reduction of VAT on protective masks and disinfectant gel to 6%, a proposal that had been made by Rui Rio and accepted by the Government;
    Extension to national and EU operators of the exemption from VAT on the supply to hospitals and charitable organisations of various health equipment, including personal protective equipment, in line with the decision already taken by the European Commission and followed by Portugal on the situations of importation of these goods.

H) Measures to support agriculture sector

  • For the purposes of financing, management and monitoring of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), COVID-19 pandemic situation can be recognised as a “force majeure case”, resulting in the impossibility of complying with obligations laid down in the support schemes. In these situations, the administrative penalties established, in particular at the level of reductions or exclusions of support, will not apply because the non-compliance is not intentional or negligent;
  • Situations of non-compliance, in fallow subplots, of obligations relating to the abstention of grazing in the period from 1 February to 31 July 2020 are considered “force majeure”, and the affected beneficiaries are not penalised in the amount of the Greening payment and the communication of the “force majeure” occurrence is waived;
  • Non-compliance on holdings with parcels producing cereals, as well as those relating to obligations to the practice of crop diversification are also considered as “force majeure”, however, in such cases, the affected beneficiaries shall assess on a case-by-case basis the verification of a causal link and report the occurrence of the “force majeure case”;
  • It was also foreseen that, in view of the restrictions on movement imposed by virtue of the State of Emergency, control and certification bodies will be exempted from carrying out presential control actions and the communication by these bodies of the ‘force majeure’ event is exempted.

I) Tourism 

  • Travel packages organised by travel and tourism agencies, scheduled between 13 March 2020 and 30 September 2020, which are cancelled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease pandemic, confer, exceptionally and temporarily, the right to travellers to opt:

a) By issue a voucher of equal value to the payment made by the traveler and valid until December 31, 2021. The voucher is issued to the bearer and is transmissible by mere tradition. If it is used for the same trip, even if on a different date, the insurance that was contracted at the time of acquisition of the travel service remains in force and if it is not used until December 31, 2021, the traveler is entitled to reimbursement within 14 days. Or
b) By rescheduling the trip until December 31, 2021. If the rescheduling is not made until December 31, 2021, the traveler is entitled to reimbursement, to be made within 14 days.

  • These measures are also applicable to the case of finalist or similar trips;
  • The non-compliance attributable to travel and tourism agencies allows travelers to activate the travel and tourism guarantee fund;
  • Until 30 September 2020, travellers who are unemployed may request a reimbursement of the entire amount spent, to be made within 14 days;
  • Reservation of accommodation services in tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments located in Portugal, with or without complementary services, carried out directly by the guest in the resort or establishment or through online platforms, for the period from 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020, that are not carried out or that are cancelled due to a fact related to the declaration of a state of emergency decreed in the country of origin or in Portugal or, also, to the closure of borders attributable to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease pandemic, in the modality of non-reimbursement of the amounts paid, confer, exceptionally and temporarily, to the guests the right to opt:

a) By issue a voucher of equal value to the payment made by the guest and valid until December 31, 2021;

b) By rescheduling the reservation of the accommodation service until December 31, 2021, by agreement between the guest and the tourist resort or local accommodation establishment.

The voucher referred in paragraph a) of the previous number:

a) It is issued in the guest’s name and is transmissible by mere tradition;

b) It can be used by whoever presents it also as a principle of payment for services of higher value, according to the availability of the resort or establishment and the conditions applicable on the new dates intended. If the rescheduling is not made until December 31, 2021, due to lack of agreement between the tourist resort or local accommodation establishment and the guest, he has the right to be refunded on the amount paid at the time of cancellation of the reservation, to be made within 14 days.

c) In case it is not used until 31 December 2021, the guest has the right to the reimbursement, to be made within 14 days.

  • Rescheduling can only be done directly with the tourist resort and local accommodation establishment. The provisions do not apply to refundable reservations, in which case the rules on cancellation of tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments shall apply;
  • Until 30 September 2020, guests who are unemployed may request reimbursement of the entire amount spent, to be made within 14 days;
  • Reservation of accommodation services in tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments located in Portugal, for the period from 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020, carried out by Portuguese or international travel and tourism agencies or entertainment operators operating in Portugal, that are not carried out or that are cancelled due to a fact related to the declaration of a state of emergency decreed in the country of origin or in Portugal or to the closure of borders attributable to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease pandemic, in the form of non-reimbursement of the amounts paid, grant, exceptionally and temporarily, to these operators the right to credit of the unused amount;
  • Credit must be used for the settlement of costs with any other booking of services with the same tourist resort or local accommodation establishment, on a date defined by the travel and tourism agency or the tourist entertainment operator, subject to availability of accommodation services, until December 31, 2021;
  • If the tourist resort or local accommodation establishment is not available for multiple dates requested by the travel and tourism agency or the tour operator until December 31, 2021, the travel and tourism agency or the tour operator may request the return of the credit to be made within 14 days;
  • If the travel and tourism agency or the tour operator is not able to make a new reservation for an accommodation service at a tourist resort or local accommodation establishment located in Portugal by 31 December 2021, the deposit amount must be returned within 14 days after this date.

J) Sport

  • Extension of the public utility status of sports federations until December 31, 2021, ensuring ownership of the status until the year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the year in which its renewal may be requested;
  • Extension of the mandates of the sport’s federation bodies, professional leagues or territorial associations of clubs until the year 2021 to ensure the organisational stability of the sports federations and continuity in the conduct, where appropriate, of their Olympic projects;
  • Amendments to the regulations of sports federations, allowing them to take effect in current sporting seasons, so as to enable the federations to adopt measures in response to the public health emergency caused by Covid-19 disease;
  • Comparison of distance training with face-to-face training (sports coaches, technical directors and exercise coaches), ensuring a match between the hours of training required to obtain continuous training credit units, in order to cope with the difficulties of conducting face-to-face training actions;
    Suspension of the renewal of registration of high performance sports agents (sportspersons, coaches and referees), ensuring the continuity of the support to these agents as long as there are no international competitions that allow them to obtain the sports results that justify such renewal;
    Suspension of the renewal of medical-sports examinations (sportspersons, coaches and referees), in view of the restrictions arising from the Covid-19 disease pandemic.

K) Measures to prevent risks of corruption and related offences

  • The Council for the Prevention of Corruption has recommended to all public bodies and entities, regardless of their nature, to intervene in the management or control of monies and other public values, as follows:

1 – Ensure the necessary control to guarantee the absence of conflicts of interest, the transparency of public procurement procedures and the integrity in the execution of public contracts, especially in the areas of health and infrastructure.

2 – To strengthen the means and instruments necessary to ensure transparency, impartiality and integrity in the allocation of public aid and social benefits, with possible use of digital information platforms or transparency portals.

3 – To ensure the creation of monitoring and evaluation tools concomitant with the implementation of public aid, in accordance with the principle of efficiency and effectiveness in the application of public money.

4 – To exercise an effective control over the operations of public intervention in the Business Sector and other beneficiary Private Entities, considering, in particular, the warning signs of risk of irregularities, in order to safeguard the legality, the correct application of the resources and their allocation to the foreseen purposes.

L) Courts

  • The declaration issued by a health authority in favor of a procedural subject, party, its representatives or agents, that attests the necessity of a period of isolation from them due to possible risk of contagion of COVID-19 is considered, for all intents and purposes, grounds for the allegation of fair impediment to the practice of procedural acts that must be practiced in person in the scope of proceedings, procedures, acts and diligences that run their terms in judicial, administrative and fiscal courts, arbitration courts, courts of peace, alternative dispute resolution entities, notary public offices, registry offices, services and administrative entities;
  • The referred declaration also constitutes grounds for not appearing in any procedural or procedural steps, as well as its postponement, within the scope of the proceedings and procedures referred to in the preceding paragraph;
  • In case of closure of facilities where procedural acts must be performed within the scope of proceedings and procedures, or of suspension of attendance at those facilities by decision of a public authority based on the risk of contagion of COVID-19, the time limit for performing the procedural or procedural act in question shall be considered suspended from the day of the closure or suspension of attendance;
  • The suspension ceases with the declaration by the public authority of the reopening of the installations;
  • The signature of the other judges who, besides the rapporteur, have intervened in a collective court, may be replaced by a written declaration of the rapporteur attesting the vote of conformity of the judges who have not signed.

M) Other measures

  • Approval of  public procurement and authorization of expenditure exceptional regime;
  • Extension of the vehicle periodic inspection period by five months from the date of registration for vehicles required for inspection between 13 March and 31 May 2020.
  • Trips scheduled until September 31 and cancellations due to the pandemic will be replacable by vouchers of the same value until December 31, 2021.  Thus, a voucher is awarded until December 31, 2021 and, on that date, it can be reimbursable”;
  • Automatic extension of the period for receiving domestic violence victims until 15 July 2020;
  • It is determined that within 72 hours probationary proceedings shall be carried out to evaluate the victim’s background in relation to the assessment of the risk of further acts of violence against the victim and other persons related to the victim, by the prosecutor or the OPC, as well as in cases where the accused is detained;
  • Civil jurisdiction is given to the criminal courts to issue urgent provisional decisions for the protection of domestic violence victima, such as the provisional regulation of the exercise of parental responsibilities, the provisional use of the family home and the custody of pets. These measures shall be communicated to the Public Prosecutor of the competent court;
  • The scope of the Database on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence is broadened, in the context of the process of improving, harmonising and updating official data on violence against women and domestic violence under way, in particular by adapting and harmonising collection mechanisms and information systems.
  • The simplified direct setting regime for the execution of contracts whose object is the acquisition of equipment, goods and services necessary for the prevention, containment, mitigation and treatment of infection by SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease, or related to them, may be adopted exceptionally, to the extent strictly necessary and for reasons of compelling urgency, duly substantiated, and independently of the contractual price and up to the limit of the budgetary scope, namely:
  1. Personal protective equipment;
  2. Goods necessary for the testing of COVID-19;
  3. Equipment and material for intensive care units;
  4. Medicines, including medicinal gases;
  5. Other medical devices;
  6. Logistics and transport services, including air transportation, related to the acquisition, against payment or free of charge, of the goods mentioned in the previous paragraphs, as well as their distribution to entities under the supervision of the Government member responsible for the health area or to other public or public interest entities for which they are destined.
  • The circumstances invoked to justify extreme urgency may in no case be attributable to the contracting authority;
  • Contracts made under the simplified direct setting regime shall be communicated by the contracting authorities to the members of the Government responsible for finance and health and shall be advertised on the public procurement portal, including the grounds for adopting this procedure;
  • Up to 60 days after the period of validity of the decree-law, the entities shall prepare a joint report, which is published on SPMS’s website, E. P. E., on all contracts grounds and circumstantiality, namely by justifying the impossibility or serious inconvenience of having recourse to another type of procedure.

State of Emergency

State of Emergency in Portugal

A) Validity and concept

  • Given the current situation related to the new coronavirus pandemic, Portuguese State declared an emergency, with effects and possibility of extension for equal period, from 00:00, March 19 and cessation at 23:59 on April 2, 2020;
  • The reffered period was now extended for more 15 days, from April 18, 2020 until May 2, 2020, with possibility of extension;
  • This declaration may entail the partial suspension of the exercise of rights, freedoms and guarantees. However, such declaration shall always respect the proportionality principle and its duration must be limited to the intended purposes;
  • It shall be noted that constitutional rights cannot be violated, and values and principles compatible with equality and non-discrimination must always be safeguarded. As well as for fundamental rights such as the right to life, physical or personality integrity, citizenship, among others.

B) Suspended rights

  • Hence, the decree regulating the state of emergency will enter into force at 00:00 on March 22 and provides a content of rights, freedoms and guarantees whose exercise will be suspended, in the following terms:
  • The decree shall apply to the entire territory Portuguese.
Mandatory isolation, protection and home-stay duties
  • Mandatory isolation has been ordered for persons infected with Covid-19 or Sars-Cov2 and for those who are in prophylactic isolation. The violation may be considered as crime of disobedience;
  • A special duty of protection has been decreed in respect of persons in the risk groups, in particular persons over 70 years of age or with respiratory, cardiac diseases. It was also recommended that people in this group do not leave home, except in rare situations such as for the acquisition of essential goods – food, medicines;
  • Restrictions arising from the special duty of protection shall not apply to health professionals and other health or social support employees, as well as civil security and military protection agents and politicians;
  • A general duty of home-stay has been decreed in relation to the rest of the population. People shall avoid leaving the house beyond what is strictly necessary and only if it is indispensable (such as job search or response to job supply, health reasons, helping domestic violence victims, assistance to vulnerable people, travel of short duration for enjoyment of outdoor activities, participation in procedural acts, among others);
  • Participation in activities relating to official Labor Day celebrations has been authorised by observing the recommendations of health authorities, in particular with regard to social distancing;
  • “Sanitary barrier” in the geographical area of the municipality of Ovar was banished, being prohibited the movement and permanence of people on public roads, including travel to or from the said municipality, except for the necessary and urgent situations;
  • Telework remains compulsory for those who are able to perform functions in these terms.

Employees 

  • Possibility of determination by the competent public authorities that any employees of public, private or social sectors, regardless of the type of link, if necessary, start to perform functions in a different place, entity, with new working conditions and schedules, in particular in the case of employees in the health, civil protection, security and defence sectors and other activities necessary for the treatment of patients, support for vulnerable populations, elderly people, people with disabilities, children and young people at risk, residential structures, home or street support, prevention and combating the spread of the vírus;
  • The exercise of the right to strike is suspended to the extent that it could jeopardise the functioning of critical infrastructure, health care units and essential public services, as well as in economic sectors vital to the production, supply of essential goods and services to the population.

Transport and circulation

  • The use of transports has been limited to one third of the maximum number of seats available. People are allowed to drive their own transports on public roads to carry out the permitted activities, but always limited to the strictly necessary;
  • The closure of road and rail traffic has been ordered for public health, safety and traffic flow reasons. It was also restricted the circulation of some types of vehicles;
  • Border controls on persons and property may be established by the competent public authorities, in liaison with the European authorities and in strict compliance with the Treaties of the European Union.
Establishments rules
  • Establishments for recreational leisure, entertainment, cultural, artistic, sports,  open space activities, games and betting spaces, among others, were closed;
  • Suspension of trade / retail activities and provision of services, except those intended to provide essential goods, including health, minimarkets, supermarkets, fruit shops, butchers, among others. Establishments with home-delivery or take-away services may remain open;
  • E-commerce activities in which services are provided at distance and without contact with the public are maintained;
  • The maximum occupancy rule of 0.04 persons per square meter of area was decreed to wholesale establishments and markets that remain open;
  • Retail activities located along the highways and within airports and in hospitals are not suspended;
  • By Government’s order, it may be allowed to open facilities and establishments forced to close by decree-law. Trade and retail activities that prove to be dispensable or undesirable in combating spread of the virus may be limited or suspended;
  • Mandatory adoption of safety and hygiene measures was imposed in establishments that maintain the activity;
  • Priority care has been decreed for persons on whom a special duty of protection is imposed, as well as for health professionals, members of security, protection and relief forces;
  • It was envisaged the possibility of a “gradual, phased or alternating opening of services and establishments.

Lease agreements

  • Prohibition of eviction or termination of non-housing rental agreements, due to the closure of facilities and establishments.

Religious Activities, school regime and clusters

  • Suspension of religious activities and other worship events involving a cluster;
  • Companies that carry out funeral activity maintain their activity and carry out funeral services of the dead by covid-19;
  • Funeral ceremonies shall be limited to the adoption of measures to prevent clusters. The limitation is ruled by the respective local authorities;
  • Prohibition or limitation of presential classes, imposition of distance learning by telematic means (using the internet or television). Postponement or extension of school periods, adjustment of evaluation methods and suspension or rescheduling of exms or the opening of the school year, as well as possibility of adjustments to the model of access to higher education;
  • The necessary restrictions may be imposed to reduce the risk of contagion to prevent and combat the epidemic, including the limitation or prohibition of meetings or demonstrations that, by the number of people involved, enhance the transmission of the new coronavirus.

Employment contracts

  • The powers of the Working Conditions Authority have been strengthened in the event of evidence of unlawful dismissal. It was decreed that, in case of suspect unlawful dismissal, the employment contract and he associated rights mantain until the employee’s situation is regularized or until the transit of the judicial decision;
  • Temporary and exceptional suspension of termination of the health professionals linked to the National Health Service employment contracts;
  • Temporary and exceptional suspension of the termination of contracts for the provision of health services, either on the initiative of the services and establishments integrated in the National Health Service, or at the initiative of the service provider;
  • Suspension of the counting of the actual service time for the purposes of the calculation of the maximum duration of contracts, with regard to military contracts.
Agricultural and maritime sectors
  • Possibility of carrying out production, transport and distribution in the agricultural and maritime sectors.
Acts and notifications
  • Licences, authorisations or other administrative acts shall remain in force, irrespective of the time limit;
  • Suspension of notification formalities for implementing regulations and administrative acts, making them effective by mere electronical notification to the addressee.

Inspection and general cooperation duty

  • It is up to the security forces and services and the municipal police to monitor compliance with the standards in force due to the national state of emergency. It is imposed to all citizens a general duty of cooperation in the compliance with such orders and instructions.
Judicial offices and the respective public prosecution services, during the state of emergency
  • During the state of emergency judicial offices and the respective services of the Public Prosecutor’s Office ensure the attendance;
  • During the state of emergency, face-to-face assistance shall be ensured following a pre-scheduled request, justified by a citizen, and which has been favourably assessed by the person in charge of the office, according to the impossibility of carrying it out by telephone and online and the respective urgency, without prejudice to the specific guidelines existing in the services in matters that require the assessment and/or face-to-face assistance to be carried out by a magistrate;
  • The service that is not covered by the previous paragraph is provided exclusively by telephone and online;
  • Presence of court clerks to ensure face-to-face service is carried out on a rotating basis, determined by the head of the secretariat, or by whoever replaces him, without prejudice, whenever possible, to the identification of employees at risk, due to their age or special health conditions;
  • In all acts involving physical presence, safety and hygiene rules foreseen are applied, with the necessary adaptations, as well as the other hygiene and sanitary rules defined by the Directorate General of Health, namely those related to the distance between workplaces and, in any situation, between employees;
  • Priority care, also applicable to these public services, shall be ensured, with the necessary adaptations.

State of Calamity in Portugal

Note: Limitation to circulation between 1 and 3 May 2020

  • Citizens may not move outside the municipality of usual residence during the period between 00:00 on 1 May 2020 and 23:59 on 3 May 2020, except for reasons of health or other extreme urgency.
State of Calamity
Confinement and Collection duties
  • State of Calamity will come into force on Sunday, May 3, and will be in force for 15 days, subject to renewal;
  • Compulsory Confinement for patients with Covid-19 and Sars Cov 2 and for citizens in prophylactic isolation has been maintained;
  • Civic duty of home collection was maintained, with the population having to leave only to acquire essential goods, for health reasons, to go to work, to practice outdoor sports, to assist vulnerable people among others.

Suspension of activities and establishments and its rules

  • Activities involving clusters such as amusement parks, circuses, pavilions, swimming pools among others remain closed;
  • Suspension of activities in retail and service establishments with a sales or service area of more than 200 square metres, as well as those in commercial complexes, unless they have the same or a smaller area and an independent entrance from the outside. Exceptions are applied to establishments who were already providing essential goods and services and also to, establishments for the sale of books and musical supports, as well as establishments which intend to maintain their activity solely for the purpose of delivering goods to domicile or making them available at the door of the establishment or at the ware, in which case access to the inside of the establishment is prohibited by the public;
  • Telework regime remains mandatory, regardless of the employment relationship, whenever the functions in question allow it;
  • Restaurants remain in operation online and take away;
  • Owners of the operation of wholesale food distribution establishments are allowed to sell their products directly to the public, cumulatively exercising the activity of retail trade, subject to compliance with hygiene and safety rules;
  • In places where commercial service activities are carried out, whether wholesale or retail establishments, or large commercial surfaces, commercial complexes, markets, auctions or service establishments, rules of occupation, permanence and social distancing, as well as rules of hygiene and safety, such as disinfection of the space, must be observed;
  • The opening hours of retail or service establishments may be adjusted and may not be opened before 10 a.m;
  • Retail establishments or service establishments which maintain their activity shall give priority to health professionals, members of the security, safety and rescue forces and services, personnel of the armed forces and social support services;
  • Outdoor sports are allowed as long as the social distance is never less than 2 meters;
  • Public services will open on presential regime by appointment on May 4, 2020 and the Citizen’s Shop remain closed;
  • The use of masks or visors is mandatory for access to or stay in commercial and service spaces and establishments, in services and buildings opened o the public and in educational establishments and day care centers by teaching and non-teaching staff and students over six years of age. The use of these visors in the collective transport of passengers is mandatory, and non-compliance constitutes an administrative offence, punished with a fine of at least (euro) 120 and at most (euro) 350;
  • Possibility of carrying out body temperature measurements to employees for the purpose of access and permanence in the workplace. If the body temperature is higher than normal, access to the premises may be forbidden;
  • Patients at risk, namely hypertensive people, diabetics, cardiovascular patients, patients with chronic respiratory disease, cancer patients and patients with renal insufficiency, may justify their absence from work by means of a medical declaration, as long as they cannot carry out their activity in telework or through other forms of activity;
  • Operations to increase the storage capacity of urban and hospital waste management operators are exempt from licensing;
  • Until 30th June 2020, the municipalities guarantee the performance of all the fuel management works, and shall replace the owners and other forest producers in default;
  • When the deadline for permits for cutting or grubbing up oak and holm oak trees, in stands or isolated areas, hunting charters and hunting grounds has expired during the period of the declaration of a state of emergency, that deadline shall be extended to 30 September 2020;
  • When the end of the period of authorisation for cutting or grubbing up of cork oak and holm oak trees, in stands or isolated, hunting charts and hunting areas has occurred in the period of the declaration of a state of emergency, that period shall be extended to 30 September 2020;
  • When the deadlines provided for in the process of establishing forest intervention areas have expired during the period for declaring a state of emergency, these deadlines shall be extended to 30 September 2020;
    Suspension of the deadlines for municipal plans until 180 days after the end of the state of emergency;
  • The exceptional regime of exemption from service is applicable to the volunteers of the Portuguese Red Cross who are proven to be called to provide assistance or transportation in the scope of the epidemic situation of COVID-19;
  • Until December 31, 2020, the provision of effective service by military personnel in the reserve situation is authorized;
  • Extension of the maximum period of actual military service under contract until 31 December 2020;
  • Suspension of obligations relating to the complaints book in physical form;
  • The Government responsible for the area of Public Administration, with the faculty of delegation, may, by order, determine the definition of guidelines:

a) On telework, namely on the situations that impose the presence of Public Administration employees in their workplaces, as well as on the compatibility of the functions with telework;

b) On the constitution and maintenance of mobility situations;

c) On cases in which the employees of the Public Administration may be required to exercise functions in a place other than their usual place of work, in a different entity or under different working conditions and hours;

d) Related to the articulation with local authorities in relation to local public services, in particular the Citizen’s Spaces, and the regime of work provision in local administration.

Funerals and other celebrations

  • Celebrations and other events involving more than 10 people are not allowed;
  • The holding of funerals is subject to the adoption of organisational measures to ensure the absence of crowds and the control of safety distances, namely the establishment of a maximum limit of attendance, to be determined by the local authority exercising the management powers of the respective cemetery;
  • Companies that carry out funeral activities must maintain their activity and perform the funeral services of the dead diagnosed with COVID-19.

Transports

  • The public or private entities responsible for collective passenger transport shall ensure, cumulatively:

a) Maximum capacity of 2/3 of their capacity for land, river and sea transport;
The adequacy of the maximum number of passengers carried in air transport, imposing a limit value in accordance with the recommendations on maximum capacity, to be defined by an ordinance of the Government member responsible for the area of air transport;

b) The daily cleaning, weekly disinfection and monthly hygiene of vehicles, facilities and equipment used by passengers and other users, in accordance with the recommendations of the health authorities;

  • The allowed passenger capacity per aircraft is reduced to two thirds of the normally expected capacity;

Except in the following cases:

a) Flights specifically intended to repatriate citizens, whether under the European civil protection mechanism or non-scheduled flights contracted by the Portuguese State or by other States;

b) Commercial flights of national or foreign air carriers, insofar as they are used for repatriation actions or that justifiably serve this purpose;

c) Flights of aircraft with a maximum available capacity of 19 seats, in non-scheduled commercial air transport operations and in compliance with the applicable legislation;

d) Non-scheduled commercial flights contracted by companies, to transport workers at their service, with a contract of employment or services to be rendered in a foreign country, with whom Portugal keeps the flights open.

In these cases the exemption operates provided that:

a) No passenger presents symptoms;

b) The country of destination, in accordance with the rules in force internationally notified to the aeronautical authorities, does not condition the arrival flights to the respect of capacity restrictions of the aircraft, and therefore there are no known reasons for possible refusal of flights or repatriation of passengers carried in aircraft without capacity restrictions;

c) the workers hold a residence permit as immigrant workers in the country of destination;

d) the return of any of them to Portugal is only foreseen after at least two months;

e) workers accept on departure the health rules imposed on arrival in the country of destination, including quarantine.

  • Passengers carried by the excepted flights are not exempted from visual and temperature screening by infrared thermal cameras or any other means being applied at national airports, as well as from possible secondary screening in the event of fever on arrival;
  • If any passenger carried by the excepted flights shows any symptom during the flight, the crew shall immediately proceed according to the contingency plan and notify the airport of arrival for segregated routing.
  • In taxi and electronic platform transport, the front seats shall be used only by the driver and the maximum occupancy of the vehicles by passengers shall not exceed 2/3 of the other seats.

 

+ Companies and Employees

Companies and Employees

Simplified Lay-Off Process

  • Simplified ‘lay-off’ procedure providing a financial support towards the maintenance of employment contracts, with or without training, in case of temporary reduction of the normal working period or suspension of the employment contract, ensuring social security 70% of the employees remuneration;
  • This measure is applied to companies with verification of i) 40% drop in the period of thirty days prior to the request from the competent social security services, with reference to the monthly average of the two months prior to that period, or compared to the same period in the previous year, or even for those who started the activity less 12 months, the average of that period; ii) cessation of the activity resulting from interruption of global supply chains, the suspension or cancellation of orders or to companies or establishments whose total or partial closure has been enacted by decision of the political or health authorities;
  • Companies in this situation may benefit from an additional temporary exemption from the social security contribution payments and an extraordinary financial incentive to support the normalization of the company’s activity, granted by IEFP, IP, corresponding to the value of RMMG (635 €) per worker;
  • Possibility of accumulate the support measure with IEFP vocational training, on which a grant of EUR 131.64 will be paid, half of which is allocated to the employee and the other half to the employer;
  • During the period of reduction or suspension, as well as within 60 days of its application, the employer cannot terminate employment contracts by means of collective dismissal or extinction of job post;
  • To access these measures, companies shall have their tax and contributory situation regularized. For this purpose, until April 30, 2020, debts incurred in March 2020 won’t be considered;
  • Possibility for lay off employees to engage in paid activity provided that in the areas of food production, social support, health, logistics and distribution;
  • In the context of extraordinary support for the maintenance of employment contracts, the calculation of retributive compensation considers the remuneration benefits normally declared for social security and usually received by the employee, relating to basic remuneration, monthly premiums and regular monthly allowances;
  • The inclusion of new employees during the period of extraordinary support for the maintenance of employment contracts, which are in addition to those identified in the initial application, is made through the delivery of a new attached file;
  • Payments of uncertain or variable nature, as  commissions are not considered in the calculation of the illiquid monthly remuneration in the simplified lay-off scheme;
  • Suspension of labour accident insurance in the event of suspension of the employment contract under the simplified lay-off scheme. In the event of a reduction in the normal working periods, the obligation to insurance is maintained;
  • Companies with establishments whose activities have been subject to the lifting of closure restrictions after the end of the state of emergency or of restrictions imposed by legislative or administrative determination continue, from that moment onwards, to be able to access the simplified lay off mechanism, provided that they resume the activity within eight days;
  • The extraordinary financial incentive to support the normalisation of the company’s activity is regulated by an ordinance of the member of the Government responsible for the area of work, namely as regards the procedures, conditions and terms of access;
  • For the purposes of non-compliance and restitution of the extraordinary support for the maintenance of an employment contract in a company in a situation of corporate crisis, paragraph e) of no. 1 of article 303 of the Labour Code is not applicable in the part concerning contract renewals;
  • Applications submitted upon declaration by the employer together with a certificate from the certified accountant, in which the starting date of the extraordinary support measure for the maintenance of employment contract in a situation of business crisis is subsequent to March 16, 2020, are accepted.

Measures to protect employees and job positions

A) Support for dependents

  • Justified absences to employees and self-employed workers, without any except regarding retribution,  motivated by undeterable assistance to children or other dependents under the age of 12, or, regardless of age, with disabilities or chronic illness, resulting from suspension of presential classes and non-school activities in school. The employee is entitled to receive exceptional monthly or proportional support corresponding to two thirds of his basic remuneration, paid in equal parts by the employer and social security. To this end, it will be considered the basic remuneration declared in March 2020 for February 2020 or, in the absence of basic remuneration declared in that month, the amount of the minimum monthly remuneration guaranteed. In situations where the employee has more than one employer, the ceiling is applied to the total basic remuneration paid by the various employers, with the support payable distributed proportionally, depending on the value of the basic remuneration declared by each employer;
  • Justified absences for family assistance, when there is a need to assist the spouse or person who lives in registered partnership or common economy with the employee, relative or similar in the straight upward line that is in charge of the employee and who frequent social facilities whose activity is suspended by an health authority;
  • Justified absences motivated by the provision of assistance or transportation, within the scope of the COVID-19 disease pandemic, by volunteer firefighters with an employment contract with a private or social sector employer, evidently called by the respective fire department;
    Justified absences do not result in the loss of any rights, except with regard to remuneration;
  • Exceptional financial support for employees who have to stay at home with their children up to 12 years of age in the amount of 66% of the basic remuneration. From April, this support is equivalent to 100% of the basic remuneration of the employees who have to accompany their sick or in prophylactic isolation children;
  • Exceptional financial support for self-employed workers who have to stay at home with their children up to 12 years old, amounting to 1/3 of the average remuneration;
  • Self-employed workers obliged to pay for at least 3 consecutive months for at least 12 months, who are unable to continue their activity, are entitled to an exceptional monthly or proportional support;
  • The value of the support corresponds to one third of the mensual contributory incidence base for the first quarter of 2020. The support has a minimum limit of 1 Indexing social support (IAS) and maximum of 2 1/2 IAS, and may not, in any case, exceed the amount of remuneration recorded as a basis of contributory incidence;
  • Entities benefiting from the support shall, for the purpose of proving the facts on which the application is based and its extensions, preserve the relevant information over a three-year period;
  • During the period of granting the support, there is no compensation with previous debts of the holders of the support or their employer;
  • Entitlement to child and grandchild care allowances in the event of prophylactic isolation without a guarantee period;
  • Increase in the daily amount of child support allowance for employees performing public functions as part of the convergent social protection scheme;
  • The daily amount of child care allowance is now equal to 100% of the reference remuneration.

B) Professional Training

  • Creation of an extraordinary vocational training support, in the amount of 50% of the employee’s salary up to the National Minimum Wage, plus the cost of training, for the situations of employees not employed in productive activities for considerable periods;
  • Guarantee of social protection for trainees and trainers during training activities, as well as for beneficiaries engaged in active employment policies who are unable to attend training activities;
  • The presential training activities developed or promoted by the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training, I. P., through the direct management vocational training centres, participated management vocational training centres or by training entities may be resumed as from 18 May 2020, in a gradual manner and with the necessary adaptations, provided that compliance with the guidelines of the Directorate General of Health is ensured, namely in terms of hygiene and physical distance. Without prejudice to the provisions, the entities therein provided shall give priority to the development of the formative activity at a distance and to projects of articulation between this activity and face-to-face formative activity, whenever the conditions allow it.

C) Measures to support employees in case of sickness 

  • Payment of 100% of the reference remuneration to employees and self-employed workers in the general social security system in prophylactic isolation for 14 days, motivated by situations of serious risk to public health determined by the health authorities;
  • Entitlement to sickness benefit without a waiting period.
D) Measures to support domestic service employees
Creation of a support for domestic service employees corresponding to two-thirds of the remuneration recorded in January 2020, being paid one third by Social Security, keeping employers the obligation to:
  • Payment of one third of the remuneration;
  • Declaration of working hours and normally declared remuneration for the employee, irrespective of the partial suspension of his actual payment;
  • Payment of the corresponding contributions.
  • In case of domestic servisse employees, the declaration of each employer attesting the non-provision of and the non-payment of the entire remuneration shall be preserved for three years.
E) Measures to support self-employed workers
Extraordinary support for the reduction of self-employed economic activity
  • Financial support to employees who are exclusively covered by self employed the scheme and who are not pensioners, subject to compliance with the obligation to contribute at least 3 months in a row or six months interpolated for at least 12 months:
  1. In a proven situation of total stopping of the activity performed or other activity of the same sector as a result of due to covid-19 pandemic; Or
  2. By a declaration together with na accounting certificate attesting that it is in a situation of abrupt  drop of at least 40 % of income in the period of thirty days preceding the application with the competent social security services, with reference to the monthly average of the two months preceding that period, or compared to the same period of the previous year or , also for those who started the activity less than 12 months ago, at the average of this period.
  • In order to attest the situation of income breakage, the concerned employees must submit a commitment of honour declaration or, in case of self employed workers in the organized account scheme a certificate from the accountant;
  • The support is one month, extendable, up to the limit of six months and is paid from the month following the submission of the application;
  • As long as the payment of the extraordinary support is maintained, the self-employed, when subject to this obligation, shall maintain the obligation of the quarterly declaration;
  • The amount of financial support is multiplied by its respective drop, expressed in percentage terms;
  • For the calculation of support, the remuneration considered corresponds to:

a) For self-employed workers, the average contributory impact base for the months in which there has been a record of remuneration in the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of application submission;

b) For managing partners, the basic remuneration declared in March 2020 for the month of February 2020 or, in the absence of basic remuneration declared in that month, the value of the indexing of social support.

  • The drop shall be declared and subject to further verification by social security services within one year counted from the support, on the basis of the information requested to the Tax Authority, giving rise to an eventual refund of the amounts wrongly received;
  • The support provided is granted, with the necessary adaptations, to the managers of private limited companies and members of statutory bodies of foundations, associations or cooperatives with functions equivalent to those, which are exclusively covered by the general social security system in that capacity and carry out that activity in a single entity that in the previous year had invoiced less than (euro) 80,000;
  • When the communication of the elements of the invoices through the E Invoice does not reflect the totality of the practiced operations subject to VAT, even if exempt, related to the transmission of goods and services, referring to the period in analysis, the measurement of the limits foreseen therein is made by declaration, with reference to the turnover, with the respective certification by a certified accountant, and subject to subsequent verification by the social security, within one year from the attribution of the support, based on information requested to the Tax and Customs Authority, giving rise to the eventual restitution of the unduly received amounts;
  • The support provided shall have as its minimum limit a value corresponding to 50 % of the IAS value and may be extended on the basis of any of the conditions laid down;
  • The support granted is conditional on the activity being continued within eight days if it has been suspended or terminated;
  • The self-employed workers covered by the above-mentioned financial support measures are entitled to deferment of the payment of contributions due in the months in which the extraordinary financial support is being paid. 

Extraordinary measure to encourage professional activity

  • The self-employed worker is entitled to a one-month financial support, extendable monthly up to a maximum of three months, based on the average of the invoices reported for tax purposes between March 1, 2019 and February 29, 2020, with a maximum limit of half of the value of the IAS and a minimum corresponding to the lowest base value of the minimum contribution;
  • The application for granting the support determines, from the month following the cessation of the support, the effects of the placement in the scheme for self-employed workers or the cessation of the exemption;
  • The value of the average invoice that determines the calculation of the support is transmitted by the Tax and Customs Authority to Social Security;
  • Attribution of the support is subject to the effects of the classification in the social security regime of the independent workers and implies the maintenance of the exercise of activity for a minimum period of 24 months after the cessation of the payment of the benefit;
  • The support is due from the date of application and is granted for a maximum period of two months;
  • The amount of the benefit to be granted is half the amount of the IAS;
  • The amount of the benefit to be granted corresponds to half of the amount of the IAS;
  • The attribution of the benefit obliges the employee to declare the beginning or resumption of independent activity with the tax administration, the effects of the corresponding framing in the social security system of independent workers and the maintenance of the exercise of activity for a minimum period of 24 months after the cessation of the payment of the benefit;
  • The declaration of cessation of activity before the end of the period identified in the previous paragraph determines the refund of the amounts of the benefits paid.

F) Unemployment Protection Measures

  • The following employees are entitled to initial unemployment benefit provided that have:

a) 90 days of paid employment, with the corresponding wage record, in a 12-month period immediately preceding the date of unemployment;

b) 60 days of paid employment, with the corresponding wage record, in a 12-month period immediately prior to the date of unemployment, in cases where the unemployment occurred due to the expiry of the fixed-term employment contract or the termination of the employment contract at the initiative of the employer during the trial period.

Simplifying access to social insertion income

  • The allocation of the social insertion income benefit is not dependent on the conclusion of the insertion contract;
  • At the end of the period of validity of the law that determined the simplification process, the entity managing the benefit shall make an officious verification of the composition and income of the household beneficiaries for the purposes of renewal or termination and, as a result, shall review the value of the benefit or terminate its attribution;
  • Social income support for integration and unemployment protection is required until 30 June 2020 and cannot be combined with other social benefits.

G) Other measures

  • Approval and display of the holiday map until April 15 may take place up to 10 days after the end of the state of emergency;
  • Extension of fixed-term contracts (with teaching and non-teaching staff at service of the Ministry of Education public schools) with termination on August 31 2020;
  • Suspension of the requirement regarding the non-existence of debts for applicant entities or promoters to the IEFP, I. P. training program. To this end, debts incurred by the applicant or promoters, from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 will not be considered;
  • Strengthening of the means and powers of the Authority for Working Conditions, namely by contracting external services to assist in the execution of its activity;
  • Possibility of a labour inspector, when verifies the existence of signs of unlawful dismissal, to draw up a report and notify the employer to regularize the situation. With the notification to the employer and until the employee’s situation is regularised or the judicial decision has been finalised, as the case may be, the employment contract in question will not be terminated, and all the rights of the parties will remain, namely the right to remuneration, as well as the inherent obligations towards the general social security system.
  • Regarding this matter, the labour courts shall have jurisdiction to provide a judicial decision;
  • The deadline for the payment of contributions and levies due in March 2020 is, exceptionally, extended until 31 March 2020. Without prejudice to this provision, employers who have not paid one third of the contributions due in the first month of adhesion to the measure, March or April as applicable, and who immediately proceed to the payment of this amount plus interest on arrears shall retain the right to deferment of the payment of contributions;
  • Possibility for the collective executive bodies of public professional associations that exercise management and management powers to decree the suspension or reduction of their members’ membership fees, without the need for resolution by the respective representative assemblies;
  • Until September 30, 2020, the hiring of workers is authorized for the establishment of fixed-term employment relationships, for a period of four months in the entities of the Ministry of Health, and its renewals are made for equal periods;
  • Telework regime may be determined unilaterally by the employer or by employee’s request, without the need of agreement by the parties, provided that it is compatible with the functions performed;
  • In the current context of COVID-19 disease, and exclusively for reasons of protection of one’s own health and of others, body temperature measurements may be taken to employees for the purposes of access and permanence in the workplace;
  • The provisions do not affect the right to individual data protection, and it is expressly prohibited to record the body temperature associated with the identity of the person, unless expressly authorized by the person;
  • If the normal body temperatures are higher than normal body, that person’s access to the workplace may be prevented.

H) Measures to support start-ups

New measures relating to Portuguese start-ups, in order for these entities to overcome the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and to continue their normal activity after this exceptional period (representing an overall support of more than EUR 25 million and an average of EUR 10,000 euros per start-up):

  • Start-up RH Covid19 measure, under which financial support will be granted through an incentive equivalent to one minimum wage per employee, up to a maximum of 10 employees per start-up;
  • Extension for 3 months of the previous scholarship benefit already awarded, in the amount of EUR 2,075 per entrepreneur job;
  • The “Incubation Voucher – Covid-19”, applicable to recent start-ups (incorporated less than 5 years ago), through the hiring of incubation services based on a non-refundable incentive of EUR 1,500;
  • Convertible loans in amounts between EUR 50,000 and EUR 100,000 per start-up, to be converted after 12 months at a discount rate that avoids dilution of shareholders;
  • Portugal Ventures issuing a call for investments in start-ups, with tickets starting at EUR 50,000 (this initiative being funded through the Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD), Portugal Ventures and Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda); and
  • Two support measures already in force and applicable to start-ups were revised, as follows: (i) within the 200M Fund, co-investment with private investors in Portuguese start-ups and scaleups, with a minimum amount of public funds of EUR 500,000 and a maximum of EUR 5 million, and (ii) within the co-investment fund for social innovation, the co-investment with private investors in companies with innovative projects with a social impact, with a minimum amount of public funds of EUR 50,000 and a maximum of EUR 2.5 million.

Note: During the state of emergency, social security services, Working Conditions Authority, Directorate General for Employment and Labour Relations , Institute for Employment and Vocational Training, Commission for Equality at Work and Employment and the National Institute for Rehabilitation remain open on presential regime .

+ Tax Measures

Tax Measures

Deferral of tax obligations

A)  Deadline extension for compliance with tax obligations

  • Deferral of the special payment on account (“PEC”) deadline from March 31 to June 30;
  • Deferral of the deadline to submit the corporate income tax return and pay the related tax until July 31;
  • Deferral of the first payment on account deadline from July 31 to August 31.

B) Flexibilization of payments to the Tax Authority

  • Possibility of paying taxes in instalments;
  • Companies and self-employed persons with turnover in 2018 up to 10 M or starting activity from 01/01/19, may fractionate the VAT, IRS and IRC due (even as withholding tax), for the 2nd quarter, without the need for guarantee, under the law terms or in 3 or 6 monthly instalments without interest;
  • With regard to the payments made in 3 or 6 monthly instalments without interest, the first installment is due on the date of compliance with the payment obligation and the remainder on the same date in the following months;
  • Applications for payments made in 3 or 6 interest-free monthly instalments shall be submitted electronically by the end of the voluntary payment period;
  • This scheme also applies to taxable persons who have restarted activity on or after 1 January 2019, when they have not obtained turnover in 2018;
  • Other companies and self-employed persons may require the same flexibility in the payment of these tax obligations in the second quarter provided that they have been subjected to a decrease in their turnover of at least 20% in the 3-month average in which there is an obligation to pay the tax compared to the same period of the previous year.
    Furthermore, whenever the communication of invoice elements through the E-Invoice does not reflect all transactions carried out subject to VAT, even if exempt, relating to the transmission of goods and services for the periods under review, the measurement of the billing breach shall be made with reference to turnover, with its certification by the auditor or accountant;
  • Payment of the total VAT or in three instalments. In case this is covered by the quarterly scheme, the next obligation is due on 15 May being paid 1/3 in due time, 1/3 in June and 1/3 in July, with exemption from interest;
  • Possibility of paying VAT in six instalments – 1/6 in due time and 1/6 in each subsequent months. In this case there will already be an interest payment from the fourth month;
  • The same regime will be applied in relation to withholding tax at the source of IRS, concerning law firms employees;
  • Recognition of the right to full or partial exemption in respect to local authorities or inter-municipal entities taxes. In the event of exceptional situation relating to the pandemic, the need for approval of a regulation by the municipal assembly is waived, and in such cases the exemption, in whole or in part, may last longer than the end of the current calendar year. Exemptions must be communicated within 48 hours of their practice.

C) Flexibilization of payments to the Social Security 

  • Postponement of the deadline for payment of social security contributions by companies. This postponement is applied to employers from the private and social sectors with:
a) Less than 50 employees;
b) Total number of employees between 50 and 249, provided that they show a drop of at least 20 % of the invoicing reported through the E-Invoice in March, April and May 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year or, for whom it has started the activity less than 12 months, to the average of the period of activity elapsed;
c) Total of 250 or more employees, provided that they show a drop of at least 20 % of the invoicing reported through the E-Invoice in March, April and May 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year or, for whom they have started the activity less than 12 months, at the average of the elapsed period of activity, and fall within one of the following forecasts:
i) it is a particular institution of social solidarity or equivalent;
ii) the activity of those employers falls within the sectors closed by imposition of the state of emergency decree or in the aviation and tourism sectors in relation to the establishment or undertaking actually closed;
iii) The activity of those employers has been suspended, by legislative or administrative determination, in relation to the closed establishment or companies;
  • Extraordinary support for the reduction of self-employed economic activity and deferred payment of contributions;
  • Reduction of social contributions and payment in instalments;
  • With regard to social security contributions due between March and May 2020, the Government approved a:

i ) 1/3 of payment on the due date;
ii ) The remaining 2/3 are paid in equal and successive installments in the months of July, August and September 2020 or in the months from July to December 2020, without interest.

  • The requirements of the installment plan related to billing are demonstrated by the employer during the month of July 2020, together with declaration by the certified accountant;
  • The same regime applies to contributions due by self-employed workers.

D) Other measures

  • Automatic extension of unemployment benefits and solidarity supplement for the elderly or insertion social income that are already in payment, applicable to benefits whose concession or renewal period has ended in March or ends in April, May and June 2020 inclusive. The extension of the period for the granting of unemployment benefits does not amount to the allocation of other unemployment benefits or for the purposes of recording remuneration for equivalence to the entry of contributions;
  • Suspension of tax enforcement procedures;
+ Loans and Funding

Loans and Funding

 Measures relating to credit lines and other financial incentives

A) Credit Lines

  • EUR 200 M credit line to support companies’ cash flows;
  • Creation by “Turismo de Portugal” of a Treasury Support line for Microenterprises. This line will have an allocation of 60 M and relates to companies or individual entrepreneurs with less than 10 job posts and whose annual turnover or annual total balance sheet does not exceed 2 M;
  • Creation of a credit line up to EUR 20 000 000 for the fishing and aquaculture sectors, which is intended to provide financial means for the acquisition of production factors, for a working or treasury fund, in particular for the settlement of taxes, payment of wages and renegotiation of debts with suppliers, credit institutions or other entities empowered by law to grant credit;
  • Natural or legal persons who meet the following conditions may apply to the reffered credit line:
  1. Are legally and regulatorily empowered to carry out fishing and aquaculture activities, processing and marketing industry of fishery products, or are recognised producer organisations;
  2. Are in effective activity;
  3. Have their registered office in national territory;
  4. Have their contributory situation regularized before the tax administration and social security;
  5. Are not a company in economic difficulties.
  • The total amount of aid to be allocated may not exceed (euro) 120 000 gross per beneficiary. When the individual amount of aid is found to exceed the stipulated limit, aid value per beneficiary shall be adjusted, by reducing in proportion to the excess recorded and reducing, accordingly, the individual amount of credit to be granted;
  • The credit is granted in the form of a repayable loan by credit institutions or other entities empowered by law to grant credit that conclude protocol with the Institute of Financing of Agriculture and Fisheries, I. P. (IFAP, I. P.), in which a maximum nominal interest rate is established;
  • Loans are formalized by written contract, in terms to be defined by IFAP, I.P., concluded between credit institutions or other entities authorized by law to grant credit;
  • Loans are granted for a maximum period of six years from the date of conclusion of the contract and depreciable annually in instalments of equal amount, with the first repayment due one year after the expected date of the first use of credit;
  • Loans accrue interest at the contractual rate, calculated day by day on outstanding capital. Interest are paid annually;
  • In each interest counting period, and throughout the duration of the loan, the following interest rate bonuses are allocated, differentiated according to the company’s turnover:
  1. Turnover up to EUR 500 000: up to 100 % bonus;
  2. Turnover exceeding EUR 500 000: up to 90 % bonus.
  • Creation of credit lines by the State and supported by the bank sector, totalling 3000 M, that will cover the following sectors:

Restaurant sector and similar: 600 M of credit, of which 270 M is earmarked for micro-enterprises and SME;

Tourism sector, namely travel agencies, animation, event organisation and the similar: 280 M of credit, of which 75 M is for micro-enterprises and SME;

Other companies in the tourism sector (including, tourist resorts and tourist accommodation): 900 M of credit, of which 300 M is for micro-enterprises and SME;

Industry sector (textile, clothing, footwear, extractive industry and the wood sector): 1300 M of credit, of which 400 M is directed to micro-enterprises and SME.

These credit lines will have a grace period of payments until the end of 2020 and can be amortized within 4 years.

ADAPTAR Program

  • With an allocation of 100 million euros, Adaptar Program aims to support companies in the costs of purchasing personal protective equipment for employees, hygiene equipment, disinfection contracts or expenses with space organization.

Scope and Eligibility

  • Projects inserted in all economic activities are eligible, with the following exceptions:

a) Fishing and aquaculture sector;

b) Primary agricultural production and forestry sector;

c) Processing and marketing of agricultural products and processing and marketing  sectors of forestry products;

d) Projects relating to the following activities: financial and insurance, defence, lotteries and other gambling.

Requirements

  • The following criteria are required with regard to micro-enterprises of any kind:

a) To be legally constituted on 1 March 2020;

b) Have an organised account;

c) Meet the necessary conditions to obtain the status of microenterprise;

d) To have the tax and social security situation regularized.

Project Eligibility

  • The eligibility criteria for projects are the following:

a) Aiming to make an investment of an eligible expenditure value of not less than (euro) 500 and not more than (euro) 5000, for the adaptation of the company’s activity to the context of COVID-19 disease, guaranteeing the employees and clients safety, and the relationship with suppliers, complying with the established standards and recommendations of the competent authorities;

b) Have a maximum execution duration of six months from the date of notification of the favorable decision, with a deadline of 31 December 2020;

c) To comply with the legal and regulatory provisions applicable to them.

Expenses and Application

  • In the case of micro-enterprises (up to 10 employees), Adaptar contemplates an 80% non-refundable support for expenses between 500 and 5,000 euros, being eligible since March 18;
  • Access to the programme will be through a simplified application scheme, based on a expenditure budget by large heading, where confirmation of the compulsory administrative requirements is made automatically by the application management system or by a declaration by the promoter;
  • The decision on the application will be taken within 10 working days.

PME’s

  • Adaptar is also applicable to small and medium-sized enterprises (PMEs), with projects between 5,000 and 40,000 euros, with 50% non-refundable funding, under Portugal 2020 program, through the Compete and the regional operational programes.

Scope and Eligibility

  • The eligibility criteria for small and medium-sized enterprises are as follows:

a) To be legally constituted until March, 1st 2020;

b) To have an organised account in accordance with the applicable legislation;

c) To have its tax and social security situation regularized;

d) To have its situation regularized with regard to replacements, within the scope of financing from the European Structural and Investment Funds (FEEI);

e) To have the PME certificate issued by IAPMEI;

f) Not be a company in difficulties;

g) To declare that it is not a company subject to an outstanding recovery order following a previous Commission decision declaring an aid illegal and incompatible with the internal market.

Project Eligibility

  • The eligibility criteria for PME projects are as follows:

a) To aim at making an investment of an eligible expenditure value of not less than (euro) 5000 and not more than (euro) 40 000, for the qualification of processes, organisations, products and services of SMEs, namely the adaptation of their establishments, work organisation methods and relationships with clients and suppliers to the new conditions in the context of the COVID-19, ensuring compliance with the established standards and recommendations of the competent authorities;

b) The investment is not in force at the date of application;

c) To have a maximum execution duration of six months, from the date of notification of the favorable decision, with a deadline of 31 December 2020;

d) To comply with the legal and regulatory provisions applicable to them.

Expenses and Application

  • In both situations, after the validation of the term of acceptance of the application, an automatic advance of an amount equivalent to 50% of the approved incentive will be processed;
  • The eligible expenses for Adaptar support include the purchase of masks, gloves or visors, the purchase and installation of automatic payment devices, hiring of disinfection services of the premises, for a maximum period of six months, or also the expenses with the intervention of certified accountants or statutory auditors, in the validation of the expenses of the payment requests.
  • In the case of PME’s, the decision on the application will be taken within 20 working days and the application is the same applicable to microenterprises.

B) Moratorium Approvals

  • Approval of a 6-month moratorium, until September 30, 2020, which provides for the prohibition of revocation regarding contracted credit lines, the extension or suspension of credits until the end of this period, in order to ensure the continuity of financing to families (credit for own and permanent housing) and companies (reinforcement of liquidity and treasury) and to prevent non-compliances;
  • Moratoriums are applied to families who are i) in a situation of prophylactic isolation or illness or have to assist children or grandchildren (due to the closure of schools); ii) have been placed in reduction of the normal working period or in suspension of the employment contract (lay-off), due to the business crisis; iii) in a situation of unemployment registered at the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP); iv) employees eligible for extraordinary support to reduce the economic activity of the self-employed; v) employees of entities whose establishment or activity has been object of a determined closure during the period of state of emergency;
  • Moratoriums are applied to companies that i) have their headquarters and exercise their economic activity in Portugal; ii) are classified as micro, small or medium-sized companies; iii) are not, on March 18, 2020, in arrears or non-payment of cash benefits for more than 90 days with banks and are not in a situation of insolvency, or suspension or assignment of payments, or on that date are already in execution by any of the institutions; iv) have no debts to the tax authorities and Social Security;
  • Extension by three months of the maximum period for the beneficiaries of the Rural Development Program (PDR 2020) to  implement and complete projects whose deadline for to invest occurs between March 1 and June 15, 2020. In this sense, payments were authorized under the “PDR 2020” program, without observing the maximum number of payment requests. Beneficiaries with actions cancelled due to the new coronavirus are eligible for the reimbursement of expenses. Under this programme, site visits for administrative control prior to the decision of applications are waived in the case of applications with a total estimated investment of less than (euro) 500 000, even if they include expenditure defined through standard unit cost tables, and the analysis of eligibility of operations shall be carried out using alternative means, in particular the sharer information system (SIP) and updated orthophotomaps;
  • Beneficiaries that have had their productive and/or commercial activity seriously affected as a result of the epidemiological situation of the new Coronavirus – COVID 19 may conclude the investment projects contracted under the PDR 2020, regardless of the degree of execution they are in, after recognition of the situation of “force majeure”, to be granted upon request;
  • For assessment and recognition of the situation to be framed, beneficiaries must submit an application for application of the concept of “force majeure” to the Institute for Financing Agriculture and Fisheries, I. P. (IFAP), by May 31, 2020, demonstrating the causal link between the impossibility of continuing the execution of investment projects and the COVID-19 situation;
  • Temporary authorization of late payment of rents (housing and non-housing). This scheme allows the Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation (IHRU) to grant loans for payment of income to tenants who have suffered income breaks;
  • Possibility of loan from the municipal councils without need for authorization by the municipal assembly. The loan must be communicated electronically within 48 hours of its practice.

C) Taxes and Payments

  • Elimination of minimum fees charged to merchants for payment by POS – ‘Point of sale’, so that everyone can accept payments in electronic means without the need to establish a minimum value;
  • Suspension of commissions on payment transactions;
  • Suspension of the collection fees due for the use and performance of payment transactions through digital platforms of payment, in particular homebanking or applications with a card-based payment instrument, for persons who are in a situation of prophylactic isolation or illness or who provide assistance to children or grandchildren, as well as for persons who are eligible for extraordinary support to reduce the economic activity of self-employed workers or are entities whose establishment or activity has been the subject of a determined closure during the state of emergency period;
  • Payment service providers are prohibited from providing in their prices the charging of new fixed or variable commissions related to the acceptance of card payment transactions carried out in automatic payment terminals;
  • Beneficiaries of card payments that provide automatic payment terminals cannot refuse or limit the acceptance of cards for payment of any goods or services, regardless of the value of the operation, during the period in which the suspension provided for in the previous article is in force;
  • Setting a maximum limit for card payments with contactless technology, which should be around EUR 30,00;
  • Possibility of reimbursement of savings and retirement plans (PPR) during the state of emergency. The amount of the PPR refunded must correspond to the value of the unit of participation at the date of the refund application.

D) Other business support measures

  • ECB launches a 750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) of private and public sector securities to counter the serious economic risks due to the coronavirus outbreak;
  • Payment of pending invoices by public entities.

E) Incentives under PT2020 program

  • Payment of incentives within 30 days;
  • Extension of the repayment period for credits granted under QREN and PT2020;
  • Eligibility of expenses incurred with cancelled international events.

F) Financing for the acquisition of acrylic protective barriers

  • In 2020, the acquisition of acrylic barriers to protection, for face-to-face service stations in the Citizen’s Spaces and Citizen’s Shops, whose management is the responsibility of the local authorities, can be financed through the appropriation entered in the State’s general expenses budget. Financing foreseen in the budget amounts is to up to 90 % of the total cost of the acrylic barrier, with a limit of (euro) 54.00 per unit, with only the barriers that comply with the model defined by the Agency for Administrative Modernisation, I.P. being eligible. (AMA, I.P.);
  • The financing procedure is simplified as follows:

a) Local authorities apply to the Directorate-General for Local Authorities (DGAL) for the financing provided for, in accordance with the form made available on the respective DGAL portal;

b) DGAL will validate with the AMA, I. P., the number of acrylic barriers identified taking into account the existing service stations in each Citizen’s Space or Citizen’s Shop;

c) Local authority sends proof of purchase to the DGAL

d) Contribution is transferred by DGAL according to the expenditure incurred.

+ Deadlines and Contracts

Deadlines and Contracts

Impact of Covid-19 on deadlines and contracts

A) Rental Contracts 

  • Suspension until 30, September, 2020 of the production of effects on termination of lease agreements (housing and non-housing) by the landlord and foreclosures on real estate that are intended for own and permanent housing;
  • Suspension of legal eviction actions for delivery of leased property, in situations where the leased house destined for permanent dwelling is threatened, by virtue of the action;
  • Suspension of rental contracts (housing and non-housing) expiry, unless the lessee does not oppose to the termination;
  • Suspension of the production of effects of revocation and opposition to renewal carried out by the landlord;
  • The closure of premises and establishments under a legal provision or administrative measure adopted in the context of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 disease may not be invoked as grounds for termination, of non-residential rental contracts or other forms of contract for the exploitation of property, or as grounds for an obligation to vacate the premises in which they are installed.

Exceptional regime of late rent payment

Housing Lease

The new set of measures will apply to rental contracts for housing purposes when one of the following situations occurs:

  1. A drop of more than 20% of the lessee’s household income compared to the income of the previous month or the same period of the previous year; and the level of effort of the lessee’s household, calculated as a percentage of all members’ income of that household, intended for rental payment, of at least 35%; or
  2. Landlords with a drop of more than 20% of income compared to the income of the previous month or the same period of the previous year; and that percentage of the income break is caused by the lack of payment of rents by the tenants under the provisions of the law.

Therefore, Landlords will only be allowed to terminate lease on the grounds of non-payment of the rents due in the months in which the state of emergency is in force and in the first month thereafter, if the lessee does not make the payment of the outstanding rents within 12 months from the end of that period. Rents can be paid in monthly instalments not less than one twelfth of the total amount, paid together with the monthly rent.

On the other hand, it is possible to request a free interest loan to the Institute of Housing and Urban Renewal (IHRU, I.P), under the following terms:

  1. Lessees and guarantors of students not earning work income, who have proven to have a drop of 20% of income and are unable to pay the rent of their permanent residence or, in the case of students, their educational residence, if it is located at a distance of more than 50 km from the permanent residence;
  2. Landlords that suffer a drop of more than 20% of income compared to the income of the previous month or the same period of the previous year; and that percentage of the income break is caused by the non-payment of rents by the tenants under the provisions of the diploma.

Lessee’s loan aims to support the difference between the amount of the monthly rent and the amount resulting from the application to the household’s income of a maximum effort rate of 35 %, in order to allow the payment of the due rent. The remaining disposable income of the household cannot be lower than the indexing of social support (IAS – EUR 438.81).

For landlords, the loan will compensate the amount of the monthly rent, due and unpaid, whenever the remaining disposable income of the household falls, for this reason, below the IAS (EUR 438.81).

It shall be noted that, in order to be able to use the regime set forth in the diploma, the lessees must inform the landlord in writing at least five days before the due date of the first rent, adding, for this purpose, the evidence of the situation of income decrease. However, for rents that have expired on the 1st of April, the deadline for notification is 20 days after the date of entry into force of the law (7th of April).

Non-Housing Lease

For the leases for non-housing purposes the new measures will be applied as follows:

  1. Establishments open to the public for retail activities and for the provision of services that have been closed or that have had their activities suspended under administrative or legal orders by virtue of the state of emergency in Portugal;
  2. Restaurant and similar establishments, including cases where they operate exclusively for take-away or home delivery.

In this case, the lessee of the affected establishments may defer payment of rents due in the months in which the state of emergency takes place and in the first subsequent month for the 12 months after the end of that period. The payment of the outstanding rents shall be made in monthly instalments in the amount of not less than one twelfth of the total amount. These instalments must be paid together with the rent of the month concerned.

The failure to pay rents in the months in which the state of emergency is in force and in the first subsequent month cannot be invoked as grounds for termination or other form of termination of lease contracts, nor be grounds for eviction.

Finally, it should be noted that any of these situations will lead to the payment of a compensation for the delay in payment, which currently corresponds to 20% of the amount of due rent.

Additionally, these measures will also apply to other contractual forms respecting the exploitation of real state for non housing purposes.

In this regard, Ordinance No. 91/2020 of April 14 defined the terms in which the income drop is demonstrated for the purpose of applying this exceptional regime, in the following terms:

It is considered a drop of 20 % or more of income in the following cases:

  1. Housing lessee, who constitutes his permanent residence, when the percentage share of the total monthly income of the household members is intended for payment of a monthly rent exceeding 35 %;
  2. Students with a housing lease located more than 50 km from the permanent residence, for attendance of educational establishment, when the percentage share of the total monthly income of the household members is intended for payment of a monthly rent exceeding 35 %;
  3. Housing lease guarantor of a student who does not earn income from work, when the percentage part of the total monthly income of the guarantor’s household members destined to pay the monthly income of the student’s housing exceeds 35 %; Or
  4. Landlords, when the drop in the monthly income of the members of their household is due to the non-payment of rents by their tenants and the remaining income of that household falls below the value of the IAS – EUR 438,81.

It is presumed to constitute permanent residence of the lessee and the student the property corresponding to their tax address.

The income drop referred to corresponds to a decrease in income by more than 20 %:

  1. In the case of lessees, guarantors and students, by comparing the sum of household members’ income in the month in which the determining cause of the change in income occurs with the income earned by the same household members in the previous month or in the same period of the previous year;
  2. In the case of landlords, by comparing the sum of income of the members of their household in the month in which the rents due by their lessees are not paid in the same period of the previous year.

The following are considered relevant for proving the drop:

  1. In the case of income from dependent work, their gross monthly value – proven by means of receipts or employer’s statement;
  2. In the case of CIRS category B income or professional income, the value before VAT – proven by invoices or receipts;
  3. In the case of pension income, its gross monthly value;
  4. In the case of property income, the value of the rents received;
  5. Monthly amount of social benefits received on a regular basis;
  6. Monthly amount of housing support received on a regular basis;
  7. Amounts of other income received on a regular or periodic basis.

Points 3 to 7 may be proven by documents issued by the respective paying entities or other documents reporting the receipt of that values.

Whenever the proof of income referred to is not possible, the income may be attested by a self-declaration, on a commitment of honour basis or by the certified accountant in case of self-employed workers in an organised accounting scheme.

The proof of income subject to the statements referred to must be submitted within a maximum of 30 days after the date of communication to the landlord or the application submitted to the Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation, I. P. (IHRU, I. P.).

Public Entities

Under the law, public entities with leased properties (by any other form object of use agreements) may reduce rents to tenants who have proven to have suffered a decrease in their income of more than 20 % compared to the income of the previous month or the same period of the previous year, when the payment of the rent results in a level of effort of more than 35 % in relation to the income.

B) Insurance Contracts

  • Possibility of agreement on the payment of the premium at a later date than the beginning of the risk coverage, waiver of automatic termination or non-extension in the event of non-payment, premium instalments, extension of the validity of the insurance contract, temporary suspension of premium payment and temporary reduction in the amount of the premium according to the risk reduction;
  • In the absence of agreement and in the case of non-payment of the premium or instalment on the due date, the contract shall be automatically extended for a period of 60 days from the due date of the premium or instalment. The insurer must inform the policyholder at least 10 working days before the due date of the premium, and the latter may oppose maintaining the coverage until the due date. The termination of the insurance contract due to non-payment of the premium, part or fraction of it, until the end of the 60-day period shall not relieve the insured of the obligation to pay the premium corresponding to the period in which the contract was in force;
  • The policyholders who develop activities that are suspended or whose establishments or facilities are still closed due to exceptional and temporary measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or those whose activities have been substantially reduced due to the direct or indirect impact of these measures, may request the reflection of these circumstances in the insurance premium covering the risks of the activity, as well as request the fractioning of the payment of the premiums related to the current annuity, without additional costs.  When the premium has been fully paid at the beginning of the annuity, the amount of the premium reduction shall be deducted from the amount of the premium due for the subsequent annuity or, in the case of an insurance contract that does not extend, cancelled within 10 working days prior to its termination, unless otherwise agreed by the parties;
  • A substantial reduction in business shall be deemed to exist when the insurance holder is in a state of business crisis, including when he or she experiences an abrupt and sharp drop of at least 40 % in billing;
  • Contractual changes are reduced to writing in additional minutes, or on a particular condition, to be sent by the insurer to the policy holder within 10 working days of the date of the agreement or of the exercise of the right by the policy holder, being the Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority (ASF) responsible for the supervision and control.

C) Legal and non-legal Deadlines

Suspended deadlines

  • Application of the judicial leave regime until the cessation of the exceptional situation of prevention, containment, mitigation and treatment of epidemiological infection by SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease;
  • Suspension of all deadlines for the practice of procedural acts;
  • Suspension of limitation and expiry deadlines for all types of procedures;
  • Suspension of the deadline for filing the debtor for insolvency;
  • Suspension of acts to be carried out in the context of executive proceedings, including sales, tendering of creditors, judicial deliveries of real estate, attachment proceedings and preparatory acts;
  • Notwithstanding the applicable suspensions, proceedings may occur and the practice of non-urgent presential and non presential acts may occur when all parties are able to ensure their practice through the technological platforms that enable them to be carried out electronically or through appropriate means of distance communication, such as teleconferencing, video calling or other equivalent;
  • A final judicial decision may be applied regarding acts that further steps won’t be necessary;
  • Production of effects suspension relating to practice of procedural acts by public entities in the context of tax court processes until January 26, 2021;
  • Production of effects suspension relating to consultation of administrative and tax proceedings by the parties and by those who show a fair interest, until January 26, 2021;
  • Production of effects suspension relating to pleading forms capable of determining the reduction of the justice rate  applicable to administrative proceedings in the part relating to the submission of procedural documents using optional forms of pleadings, including in pending cases, until 13 October 2020;
  • All deadlines related to procedures, acts and contracts under the Local Government Internship Program are suspended.
Deadlines in progress
  • Deadlines relating to the practice of acts carried out exclusively electronically within the framework of the tasks of the National Institute of Industrial Property, I.P, shall not be suspended;
  • The pre-contractual litigation deadlines provided for in the Code of Procedure in the Administrative Courts are not suspended.
Urgent proceeedings
  • Urgent proceedings continue, without suspension or interruption of deadlines. Concerning acts or proceedings, the following must be observed:
  1. In proceedings requiring physical presence of the parties, their representatives or other subjects, the practice of any procedural acts shall be carried out by means of distance communication, such as teleconferencing, video calling or other equivalent;
  2. When it is not possible to carry out the proceedings requiring the physical presence of the parties and life, physical integrity, mental health, freedom or immediate subsistence of the interveners are at stake, the diligence may be carried out in person provided that it does not involve the presence of a number of persons greater than that provided for by the recommendations of the health authorities and in accordance with the guidelines set by the competent higher councils;
  3. When it is not possible or appropriate to ensure the practice of acts or the performance of proceedings in accordance with the preceding paragraphs, suspension shall also apply to those procedures.

Application of the urgent proceedings system to other cases:

  1. Procedures for the defense of rights, freedoms and guarantees injured or threatened by any unconstitutional or illegal measures;
  2. Urgent services provided for under the law on international judicial cooperation in criminal matters, mental health law, law on the protection of children and young people in danger and the legal regime of entry, stay, exit and removal of foreigners from the national territory;
  3. Proceedings, acts and measures which prove necessary to prevent irreparable harm, in particular cases relating to minors at risk or educational guardianship proceedings of an urgent nature and the diligence and trials of imprisoned defendants.

The same regime is applicable, with the necessary adaptations, to the deadlines for the practice of acts in:

  • Counterordenational, sanctioning and disciplinary proceedings, which run terms in direct, indirect, regional and municipal administration services, and other administrative entities, including independent administrative entities;
  • Administrative and tax procedures with regard to the practice of acts by private subjects;
  • Acts in urgent proceedings that run terms in the Justices of the Peace, can be practiced by means of distance communication, such as e-mail, telephone, teleconference or video call.

Registries and Documents

  • Applications for civil registration, vehicles, commercial and building that cannot be made online through the IRN website, I.P., may be sent to the e-mail address of the respective registration service, or by another electronic mean. The provisions shall also apply to the filing of a hierarchical appeal of decisions refusing to practice registration acts in accordance with the terms required;
  • It is now accepted the sending by scan of original documents on paper, by those who have competence for certification of photocopies assigned by law, and also by managers, administrators and secretaries of commercial or civil by affixing a qualified digital signature with the citizen card or digital mobile key using the Professional Certification System (SCAP);
  • Acts regarding registration of companies, increase and reduction of capital and the appointment of managers are of an urgent nature;
  • After the decision authorising registration or granting of Portuguese nationality, the verbal declaration of birth attributing the nationality, or the verbal declaration of birth in application for acquisition of Portuguese nationality whenever the seat per registration is necessary, is replaced by a declaration sent by e-mail;
  • The death of any individual occurred in Portuguese territory must be declared by e-mail to be sent to the e-mail address of any civil registry office. If there are no non-conformities, the death certificate is issued by the competent authorities;
  • The supply of deficiencies related to registration requests made online and all processes associated with the issuance of professional certification system by managers, directors and secretaries of companies is exempt from emoluments;
  • All acts requested from INPI, must be presented exclusively through the online services available on NPI’s website. Notification of any administrative acts or steps promoted by the INPI in the context of procedures conducted by the latter, may be carried out by e-mail, using, where applicable, the addresses that the interested parties have communicated at earlier stages of the procedures;
  • Identification documents as well as licences and permits are accepted until 30 October 2020;
  • Scanned copies and photocopies of acts and contracts shall be recognised as the evidential value of the respective originals, unless the person to whom they are presented requests the display of that original;
  • The signature of the scanned copies of the acts and contracts by hand or by qualified electronic signature does not affect their validity, even if different forms of signature coexist in the same act or contract.

D) Other deadlines

  • Postponement for one year of payment of benefits relating to repayable subsidies which deadline is until 30 September 2020. All companies are subject to the postponement and it will not imply the payment of interest charges or other penalty for companies that benefit from it;
  • Possibility of sending the approval of accounts by 30 June by entities whose accounts depend on a collegiate body;
  • Postponement of general meetings for commercial societies, associations or cooperatives until June 30 and possibility of submission of approval of accounts until July 15, 2020;
  • Measures provided for in the Municipal Adjustment Programs (PAM) that allow off-limits debt provided for in the Local Finance Law in combating Covid-19.
  • Electronic certification scheme for PME’s and amendment of the deadline for submission of the application, under which the company submits to IAPMEI, I.P., the electronic certification form with the final data of the following financial year, up to 30 working days after the legally provided deadline for submission of the annual accounting and tax declaration, and these data confirm the content of the declaration submitted;
  • Suspension of the signature collection on the delivery of registered mail, which is replaced by verbal identification and collection of the citizen card number, or any other legal means of identification, until the exceptional situation of pandemic is terminated;
  • Suspension of the deadline of use for medium and long-term loans established at a maximum of two years;
  • E-mail communications made by Justices of the Peace, Registry curators, INPI’s employees among others, are made through the e-mail address made available by the entities. The referred entities have to confirm the receipt of emails addressed to them;
  • In the context of acts and communications that take place in tax court proceedings, between the tax administration services, the local peripheral service and the tax enforcement agency and the tax courts, access to the computer system to support the activities of the administrative and tax courts is carried out by the representatives of the entities identified at https://pro.tribunais.org.pt, in accordance with the procedures and instructions contained therein:
  1. The referral of the administrative process to the court, by the local peripheral service, when this is ordered by the judge under the terms of Article 110(5) of the Tax Procedure and Proceedings Code;
  2. The following acts of the tax enforcement body:
  3. Communication, to the tax court of 1st instance where the opposition is pending, of the payment of the enforced debt under the terms of paragraph 7 of article 203 of the Tax Procedure and Proceedings Code;
  4. Referral of the tax execution proceedings to the tax court, when an opposition is filed, pursuant to article 208(1) of the Code of Tax Procedure and Procedure.
  • By means of a protocol to be signed with the Institute of Financial Management and Justice Equipment, I.P., public entities may carry out the communications foreseen in this article through an interoperability service between the computer system supporting the activities of administrative and tax courts and the respective information system;
  • Public entities within the scope of tax lawsuits may consult the cases in which they carry out the acts envisaged, through the computer system supporting the activities of the administrative and tax courts, at https://pro.tribunais.org.pt, or, in the other cases envisaged, through the interoperability service provided for in the protocol”;
  • Sales that take place during the months of May and June 2020 are not included in the maximum sales limit of 124 days per year. The economic operator wishing to sell in sales during the months of May and June 2020 is exempted from issuing, during this period, the declaration addressed to the Food and Economic Security Authority.
E) Other contracts
  • In the case of contracts which expressly provide for the right of the contractor or private partner to be compensated for any breach of use or where the occurrence of a pandemic constitutes grounds for a claim to restore financial equilibrium, such compensation or restoration may only be effected by extending the period of performance of the services or the duration of the contract and shall not give rise, irrespective of legal provision or contractual stipulation, to a price revision or the assumption by the contractor or public partner of a duty to provide the counterparty;
  • No compensation shall be given for damage resulting from acts regularly performed by the State or another public entity, in the exercise of powers conferred by public health and civil protection legislation, or in the framework of the state of emergency, for the purpose of preventing and combating the COVID-19 pandemic, which is for this purpose a cause of force majeure.
+ Other relevant measures

Other relevant measures

Measures to support population 

A) Teaching establishments

For school activities, the following was foreseen:

  • Presential classes start May 18, 2020 for students of the 11th and 12th years of schooling and of the 2nd and 3rd years of the double certification courses of secondary education, as well as for students of the specialized artistic courses not offering double certification, in the subjects that have a national compulsory final exam, remaining the other subjects in a non presential regime;
  • In addition, teaching and training activities may be presential in the subjects of a practical nature and in work context training when, they require the use of specific spaces, instruments and equipment, that cannot take place through distance learning or simulated practice and in compliance with the guidelines of the Health Authorities, namely in terms of hygiene and physical distance;
  • Under the regime of presential school activities, school hours were reorganised, observing the following:

i) the time lag between school hours and working hours, preferably using the period between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m;

ii) The organization of classes in different periods or days, minimizing the contact between different groups or their intersection and concentration, as well as the number of trips to school per student;

iii) The splitting of classes whenever the number of pupils makes it unfeasible to comply with the rules of physical distance, using teachers with available time in their teaching component;

iv) The reduction of up to 50 % of the teaching load of the subjects taught in person, whenever the measures adopted do not ensure compliance with the physical distance of the students, organising moments of autonomous work in the remaining times;

  • The school spaces were also reorganised, namely through:

i) Whenever possible, teaching in large spaces, such as auditoriums or other spaces;

ii) Whenever possible, the assignment of a single room or space per class;

iii) setting standards for meals;

  • Basic education will remain until the end of the school year in the non presential regime, using digital methodologies that will be reinforced with the support of pedagogical television content;
  • The 10th year of schooling remains until the end of the school year in the non presential regime;
  • The following exams are cancelled:
  • measurement tests, from the 2nd, 5th and 8th grades;
  • Final exams of basic education at the end of the 9th grade;
  • School-level tests, carried out as final exams of primary education;
  • National final exams, when performed by internal pupils, for the purpose of passing subjects and completing secondary education.
  • Students will only take national final exams in the subjects they elect as entrance exams for the purposes of a national competition for access to University;
  • For the completion of the primary and secondary education cycles, the classifications of each subject are based on the whole school year, including the work carried out throughout the 3rd period;
  • Student’s absence to presential activities is considered justified if it is determined by the respective guardian;
  • Schools must reorganize the spaces, classes and schedules of teachers and students, in order to ensure hygiene standards and adequate social distancing.

School application

  • School application is preferably submitted by Internet;
  • In pre-school education and in the 1st cycle of primary education, application period for 2020/2021 school year is fixed between 4 May and 30 June 2020;
  • Applications received by June 30, 2020 are considered immediately after that date for serialization purposes, and the others are subject to serialization at a later time;
  • In primary and secondary education application periods are fixed by the school principal and may not exceed:
  1. The 5th working day following the definition of the school situation of pupils wishing to change their educational pathway;
  2. 30 July 2020 for students wishing to continue their educational journey;
  3. December 31, 2020 for students wishing to enrol recurrent education.
  • Once the period fixed until 30 July 2020 has expired, applications may be accepted in duly justified exceptional situations in:
  1. The following eight working days;
  2. After the period set out in the preceding paragraph, until December 31, 2020, upon existence of a vacancy in the classes.

Application to national final exams

  • Pending the suspension of classroom school activities, the application process to national final exams are subject to the following rules:
  1. Students or their guardians shall send to the school by e-mail a registration form (EMEC model);
  2. Schools have to confirm the registration and the reception of the identified documents, verify the conformity of the enrolment in relation to the student’s school situation and communicate it by e-mail;
  3. In situations where the use of electronic resources is not possible, registration may be made by means of a form.
  • School principals can choose other ways of applications that they deem more appropriate and effective;
  • Teaching establishment network promoted the reception of children or other dependents in the care of health professionals, social action services, security and relief forces and services, including volunteer firefighters, and armed forces, employees in essential public services, whose mobilisation for service or readiness hinders them from assisting them;
  • Provision of food support to pupils benefiting from levels A and B of the school social action and, whenever necessary, support measures for students from specialised units that have been integrated into learning support centres and whose stay in school is considered indispensable.

B) Cultural, artistic and game activities

  • Rescheduling of shows canceled due to the pandemic, within a maximum period of one year after the date originally planned. Rescheduling of the show may, if necessary, involve the replacement of tickets already sold;
  • If scheduling is not possible, the show will be canceled and will give rise to a refund of the price of tickets already sold, within 60 working days after the cancellation announcement;
  • Partial or total limitations of access to online gambling platforms, until the end of the period related to the state of emergency.

C) Medical measures

  • The use of masks or visors is mandatory for access or permanence in commercial and service spaces and establishments, in services and buildings serving the public and in educational establishments and day care centers by teaching and non-teaching staff and students over 10 years old, as well as in public transport for passengers.
  • For the purpose of preventing the contagion of the new Coronavirus, medical devices for human use and personal protective equipment must comply with legally health and safety requirements;
  • Flexibility of measures related to the electronic prescription of medicines;
  • Possibility of developing projects aimed to protect health users and social responses professionals, with one or more of the following objectives:
    a) Acquisition of goods or services for the performance of diagnostic and screening tests for SARS-CoV-2 infections, including immunity tests, as well as any consumables used for this purpose;
    b) Storage, packaging and delivery of sampling in public or private entities with laboratory capacity for this purpose;
    c) Acquisition and distribution of personal protective equipment;
    d) Acquisition of services and leasing of goods for accommodation of users and professionals of social responses;
    e) Acquisition of logistics goods and services, including transport, with the aim of mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on social responses, including for monitoring, evaluation and monitoring of users and professionals, transport of users and professionals, collection of crops and special waste;
    f) Support for the hiring and temporary training of human resources, including urgent and deferrable care providers for users of social responses, as well as psychological and mental health support for professionals and users;
  • Creation of a Covid-19 Productive Innovation measure to support all companies wishing to establish, strengthen or reverse their production capacities for goods and services, focusing on products aimed at combating the pandemic. It also covers the construction and modernisation of testing and testing facilities for relevant products in the context of combating the pandemic. Companies from all over the country may apply and all economic activities aimed at the production of relevant goods and services to deal with Covid-19 are eligible. Support rate is 80% in the lost fund, which is added na incentive of  15% to projects whose implementation takes place within two months, bringing the level of support to 95%. The purpose of this increase is to encourage beneficiary entities to make their products available with maximum speed. Applications will be submitted from 20 April until 29 May, through a simplified electronic form, which will be made available at Balcão 2020;
  • Creation of an Incentive System for Research and Development Activities (R&D) and Investment in Testing and Optimization Infrastructure (upscaling) that aims to support R&D activities in the context of combating the pandemic. Companies based in national territory and non-business entities of the R&D system may apply. The support rate is 80% in the lost fund, which adds an incentive of 15% if the project is transnational. In the case of so-called fundamental research activities, the support is 100% of the value of the costs eligible for the lost fund. Applications will be submitted from 20 April until 29 May, through a simplified electronic form, which will be made available at Balcão 2020;
  • Percentage of profit in the wholesale and retail marketing of medical devices and personal protective equipment, as well as ethyl alcohol and alcoholic-based skin disinfectant gel, shall be limited to a maximum of 15 %;
  • Possibility for the Government to determine the necessary exception measures regarding market containment and limitation, setting maximum prices for liquefied petroleum gas, limiting profit margins for medical devices, personal protective equipment and ethyl alcohol and skin disinfectant solutions, monitoring stocks and quantities produced and exemption from payment of fees for economic operators acting in emergency situations.

D) Foreigners

  • Regularization of foreigners with pending applications in the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF);
  • Extension of the re-establishment of border control of people until 00:00 on 15th June 2020;
  • Extension of the ban on flights from 00:00 on 18 May 2020 and in force until 00:00 on 15 June;
  • Interdiction of air traffic to and from Portugal from all flights to and from countries outside the European Union, except for:
  1. countries associated with the Schengen area (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland);
  2. countries of portuguese official language; brazil, however, will only be admitted flights from and to São Paulo and to and from Rio de Janeiro;
  3. United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela, Canada and South Africa, given the presence of important Portuguese communities.
  • Repatriation flights of nationals and with a residence permit are still allowed;
  • In the context of the pandemic, the it was adopted the Recommendation (EU) 2020/648 of 13 May, providing the possibility for vouchers to be issued to passengers or travellers by carriers or organisations as an alternative to cash reimbursement, and subject to the voluntary acceptance of the passenger or traveller, in the following circumstances:

a) In the event of cancellation by the carrier or organiser from 1 March 2020 for reasons linked to the COVID-19 pandemic;

b) in the event of amendments to the contract or termination taking place from 1 March 2020 for reasons linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Vouchers must have a minimum validity period of 12 months;
  • When vouchers are valid for more than 12 months, passengers and travellers shall have the right to request a cash refund no later than 12 months after the voucher has been issued. This same right should assist them at any subsequent time, subject to the applicable legal provisions on time limitation;
  • Carriers and organisations may consider reimbursement of vouchers at an earlier time than 12 months after the voucher in question has been issued if the passenger or traveller so requests;
  • Passengers and travellers should be able to use the vouchers as a means of payment for any new booking made before their expiry date, even if the payment or the service takes place after that date;
  • Vouchers for transport services should be transferable to another passenger at no additional cost;
  • Package travel vouchers should also be transferable to another traveller at no additional cost if the providers of the services included in the travel agree to the transfer at no additional cost;
  • In order to make vouchers more attractive, organisations and carriers may consider issuing vouchers of a higher value than the amount of any payments made for the package holidays or transport service initially booked, for example through an additional lump sum or additional service elements;
  • Vouchers should indicate their period of validity and specify all rights attached to them. They must be issued on a durable medium, such as electronic mail or paper.

E) Essential services

  • Adoption of measures to simplify and suspend obligations of communication or electronic companies, regarding, for example, compliance with deadlines and assurance of quality parameters, in order to ensure an uninterrupted service  to the population;
  • During the state of emergency and in the following month, the provision of the following essential services cannot be suspended:
    1. water supply service;
    2. Electricity supply service;
    3. natural gas supply service;
    4. electronic communications services.
  • The suspension of electronic communications applies when motivated by unemployment, drop of 20% or more of income, or covid-19 infection;
  • During this period, consumers who are unemployed or with a drop of 20% of income or more compared to the previous month’s income may unilaterally terminate their telecommunications contracts, without compensation to the supplier;
  • In case of debts regarding the services referred, a payment plan shall be drawn up. The payment plan is defined by agreement between the vendor and the consumer and shall take place in the second month after the state of emergency.

F) Penalties

  • Pardon of the prison sentences for prisoners convicted by final decision of two years or less;
  • Pardon the remaining periods of imprisonment for prisoners convicted by final decision of more than two years if the time remaining for full compliance is equal to or less than two years, and the prisoner has served at least half of the sentence;
  • In the event of conviction in successive sentences without legal cumulation, the pardon shall be addressed only to the remainder of the sum of those sentences, if the time remaining for full compliance is equal to or less than two years;
  • The partial pardon of prison sentences up to two years, or the last two years of prison sentences, does not apply to those who have committed crimes such as murder, violations, domestic violence or abuse of minors, nor to crimes committed by political office holders, members of security forces or Armed Forces, by magistrates or other persons with special responsibility functions;
  • The general director of reintegration and prison services or by delegation of these, may grant leave of absence to the convicted for a period of 45 days, with possibility of renewal. If the administrative leave under these terms has been successfully granted, the placement on probation may be brought forward by the court of execution of the sentences for a maximum period of six months.
G) Measures to support social institutions
  • Increase by 3.5% in the payment of social security financial contribution under cooperation agreements concluded in all social responses whose activity has been suspended;
  • Whenever the Residential Structure for Elderly Persons is in a situation of second degree dependence, the value of the expected financial contribution is increased by:
  1. An additional monthly contribution of 113.22 (euro) per elderly person in situations of second-degree dependency; And
  2. A monthly supplementary contribution of 53.39 (euro) per user/month when the frequency of the elderly person in a situation of second degree dependency is 75 % or more;
  • In situations of day care centers incorporating children with disabilities, per room, in addition to the financial contribution that corresponds to twice the amount fixed in the cooperation agreement, up to the limit of the number of users covered, there is a supplementary contribution of 101.91 (euro) per child/month for the year 2020;
  • Support for humanitarian fire-fighting associations through the possibility of bringing forward twelfths of the permanent funding due to them and the provision of a specific line of funding for the payment of salaries;
  • Reduction of VAT on protective masks and disinfectant gel to 6%, a proposal that had been made by Rui Rio and accepted by the Government;
    Extension to national and EU operators of the exemption from VAT on the supply to hospitals and charitable organisations of various health equipment, including personal protective equipment, in line with the decision already taken by the European Commission and followed by Portugal on the situations of importation of these goods.

H) Measures to support agriculture sector

  • For the purposes of financing, management and monitoring of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), COVID-19 pandemic situation can be recognised as a “force majeure case”, resulting in the impossibility of complying with obligations laid down in the support schemes. In these situations, the administrative penalties established, in particular at the level of reductions or exclusions of support, will not apply because the non-compliance is not intentional or negligent;
  • Situations of non-compliance, in fallow subplots, of obligations relating to the abstention of grazing in the period from 1 February to 31 July 2020 are considered “force majeure”, and the affected beneficiaries are not penalised in the amount of the Greening payment and the communication of the “force majeure” occurrence is waived;
  • Non-compliance on holdings with parcels producing cereals, as well as those relating to obligations to the practice of crop diversification are also considered as “force majeure”, however, in such cases, the affected beneficiaries shall assess on a case-by-case basis the verification of a causal link and report the occurrence of the “force majeure case”;
  • It was also foreseen that, in view of the restrictions on movement imposed by virtue of the State of Emergency, control and certification bodies will be exempted from carrying out presential control actions and the communication by these bodies of the ‘force majeure’ event is exempted.

I) Tourism 

  • Travel packages organised by travel and tourism agencies, scheduled between 13 March 2020 and 30 September 2020, which are cancelled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease pandemic, confer, exceptionally and temporarily, the right to travellers to opt:

a) By issue a voucher of equal value to the payment made by the traveler and valid until December 31, 2021. The voucher is issued to the bearer and is transmissible by mere tradition. If it is used for the same trip, even if on a different date, the insurance that was contracted at the time of acquisition of the travel service remains in force and if it is not used until December 31, 2021, the traveler is entitled to reimbursement within 14 days. Or
b) By rescheduling the trip until December 31, 2021. If the rescheduling is not made until December 31, 2021, the traveler is entitled to reimbursement, to be made within 14 days.

  • These measures are also applicable to the case of finalist or similar trips;
  • The non-compliance attributable to travel and tourism agencies allows travelers to activate the travel and tourism guarantee fund;
  • Until 30 September 2020, travellers who are unemployed may request a reimbursement of the entire amount spent, to be made within 14 days;
  • Reservation of accommodation services in tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments located in Portugal, with or without complementary services, carried out directly by the guest in the resort or establishment or through online platforms, for the period from 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020, that are not carried out or that are cancelled due to a fact related to the declaration of a state of emergency decreed in the country of origin or in Portugal or, also, to the closure of borders attributable to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease pandemic, in the modality of non-reimbursement of the amounts paid, confer, exceptionally and temporarily, to the guests the right to opt:

a) By issue a voucher of equal value to the payment made by the guest and valid until December 31, 2021;

b) By rescheduling the reservation of the accommodation service until December 31, 2021, by agreement between the guest and the tourist resort or local accommodation establishment.

The voucher referred in paragraph a) of the previous number:

a) It is issued in the guest’s name and is transmissible by mere tradition;

b) It can be used by whoever presents it also as a principle of payment for services of higher value, according to the availability of the resort or establishment and the conditions applicable on the new dates intended. If the rescheduling is not made until December 31, 2021, due to lack of agreement between the tourist resort or local accommodation establishment and the guest, he has the right to be refunded on the amount paid at the time of cancellation of the reservation, to be made within 14 days.

c) In case it is not used until 31 December 2021, the guest has the right to the reimbursement, to be made within 14 days.

  • Rescheduling can only be done directly with the tourist resort and local accommodation establishment. The provisions do not apply to refundable reservations, in which case the rules on cancellation of tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments shall apply;
  • Until 30 September 2020, guests who are unemployed may request reimbursement of the entire amount spent, to be made within 14 days;
  • Reservation of accommodation services in tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments located in Portugal, for the period from 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020, carried out by Portuguese or international travel and tourism agencies or entertainment operators operating in Portugal, that are not carried out or that are cancelled due to a fact related to the declaration of a state of emergency decreed in the country of origin or in Portugal or to the closure of borders attributable to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease pandemic, in the form of non-reimbursement of the amounts paid, grant, exceptionally and temporarily, to these operators the right to credit of the unused amount;
  • Credit must be used for the settlement of costs with any other booking of services with the same tourist resort or local accommodation establishment, on a date defined by the travel and tourism agency or the tourist entertainment operator, subject to availability of accommodation services, until December 31, 2021;
  • If the tourist resort or local accommodation establishment is not available for multiple dates requested by the travel and tourism agency or the tour operator until December 31, 2021, the travel and tourism agency or the tour operator may request the return of the credit to be made within 14 days;
  • If the travel and tourism agency or the tour operator is not able to make a new reservation for an accommodation service at a tourist resort or local accommodation establishment located in Portugal by 31 December 2021, the deposit amount must be returned within 14 days after this date.

J) Sport

  • Extension of the public utility status of sports federations until December 31, 2021, ensuring ownership of the status until the year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the year in which its renewal may be requested;
  • Extension of the mandates of the sport’s federation bodies, professional leagues or territorial associations of clubs until the year 2021 to ensure the organisational stability of the sports federations and continuity in the conduct, where appropriate, of their Olympic projects;
  • Amendments to the regulations of sports federations, allowing them to take effect in current sporting seasons, so as to enable the federations to adopt measures in response to the public health emergency caused by Covid-19 disease;
  • Comparison of distance training with face-to-face training (sports coaches, technical directors and exercise coaches), ensuring a match between the hours of training required to obtain continuous training credit units, in order to cope with the difficulties of conducting face-to-face training actions;
    Suspension of the renewal of registration of high performance sports agents (sportspersons, coaches and referees), ensuring the continuity of the support to these agents as long as there are no international competitions that allow them to obtain the sports results that justify such renewal;
    Suspension of the renewal of medical-sports examinations (sportspersons, coaches and referees), in view of the restrictions arising from the Covid-19 disease pandemic.

K) Measures to prevent risks of corruption and related offences

  • The Council for the Prevention of Corruption has recommended to all public bodies and entities, regardless of their nature, to intervene in the management or control of monies and other public values, as follows:

1 – Ensure the necessary control to guarantee the absence of conflicts of interest, the transparency of public procurement procedures and the integrity in the execution of public contracts, especially in the areas of health and infrastructure.

2 – To strengthen the means and instruments necessary to ensure transparency, impartiality and integrity in the allocation of public aid and social benefits, with possible use of digital information platforms or transparency portals.

3 – To ensure the creation of monitoring and evaluation tools concomitant with the implementation of public aid, in accordance with the principle of efficiency and effectiveness in the application of public money.

4 – To exercise an effective control over the operations of public intervention in the Business Sector and other beneficiary Private Entities, considering, in particular, the warning signs of risk of irregularities, in order to safeguard the legality, the correct application of the resources and their allocation to the foreseen purposes.

L) Courts

  • The declaration issued by a health authority in favor of a procedural subject, party, its representatives or agents, that attests the necessity of a period of isolation from them due to possible risk of contagion of COVID-19 is considered, for all intents and purposes, grounds for the allegation of fair impediment to the practice of procedural acts that must be practiced in person in the scope of proceedings, procedures, acts and diligences that run their terms in judicial, administrative and fiscal courts, arbitration courts, courts of peace, alternative dispute resolution entities, notary public offices, registry offices, services and administrative entities;
  • The referred declaration also constitutes grounds for not appearing in any procedural or procedural steps, as well as its postponement, within the scope of the proceedings and procedures referred to in the preceding paragraph;
  • In case of closure of facilities where procedural acts must be performed within the scope of proceedings and procedures, or of suspension of attendance at those facilities by decision of a public authority based on the risk of contagion of COVID-19, the time limit for performing the procedural or procedural act in question shall be considered suspended from the day of the closure or suspension of attendance;
  • The suspension ceases with the declaration by the public authority of the reopening of the installations;
  • The signature of the other judges who, besides the rapporteur, have intervened in a collective court, may be replaced by a written declaration of the rapporteur attesting the vote of conformity of the judges who have not signed.

M) Other measures

  • Approval of  public procurement and authorization of expenditure exceptional regime;
  • Extension of the vehicle periodic inspection period by five months from the date of registration for vehicles required for inspection between 13 March and 31 May 2020.
  • Trips scheduled until September 31 and cancellations due to the pandemic will be replacable by vouchers of the same value until December 31, 2021.  Thus, a voucher is awarded until December 31, 2021 and, on that date, it can be reimbursable”;
  • Automatic extension of the period for receiving domestic violence victims until 15 July 2020;
  • It is determined that within 72 hours probationary proceedings shall be carried out to evaluate the victim’s background in relation to the assessment of the risk of further acts of violence against the victim and other persons related to the victim, by the prosecutor or the OPC, as well as in cases where the accused is detained;
  • Civil jurisdiction is given to the criminal courts to issue urgent provisional decisions for the protection of domestic violence victima, such as the provisional regulation of the exercise of parental responsibilities, the provisional use of the family home and the custody of pets. These measures shall be communicated to the Public Prosecutor of the competent court;
  • The scope of the Database on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence is broadened, in the context of the process of improving, harmonising and updating official data on violence against women and domestic violence under way, in particular by adapting and harmonising collection mechanisms and information systems.
  • The simplified direct setting regime for the execution of contracts whose object is the acquisition of equipment, goods and services necessary for the prevention, containment, mitigation and treatment of infection by SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease, or related to them, may be adopted exceptionally, to the extent strictly necessary and for reasons of compelling urgency, duly substantiated, and independently of the contractual price and up to the limit of the budgetary scope, namely:
  1. Personal protective equipment;
  2. Goods necessary for the testing of COVID-19;
  3. Equipment and material for intensive care units;
  4. Medicines, including medicinal gases;
  5. Other medical devices;
  6. Logistics and transport services, including air transportation, related to the acquisition, against payment or free of charge, of the goods mentioned in the previous paragraphs, as well as their distribution to entities under the supervision of the Government member responsible for the health area or to other public or public interest entities for which they are destined.
  • The circumstances invoked to justify extreme urgency may in no case be attributable to the contracting authority;
  • Contracts made under the simplified direct setting regime shall be communicated by the contracting authorities to the members of the Government responsible for finance and health and shall be advertised on the public procurement portal, including the grounds for adopting this procedure;
  • Up to 60 days after the period of validity of the decree-law, the entities shall prepare a joint report, which is published on SPMS’s website, E. P. E., on all contracts grounds and circumstantiality, namely by justifying the impossibility or serious inconvenience of having recourse to another type of procedure.
+ State of Emergency

State of Emergency

State of Emergency in Portugal

A) Validity and concept

  • Given the current situation related to the new coronavirus pandemic, Portuguese State declared an emergency, with effects and possibility of extension for equal period, from 00:00, March 19 and cessation at 23:59 on April 2, 2020;
  • The reffered period was now extended for more 15 days, from April 18, 2020 until May 2, 2020, with possibility of extension;
  • This declaration may entail the partial suspension of the exercise of rights, freedoms and guarantees. However, such declaration shall always respect the proportionality principle and its duration must be limited to the intended purposes;
  • It shall be noted that constitutional rights cannot be violated, and values and principles compatible with equality and non-discrimination must always be safeguarded. As well as for fundamental rights such as the right to life, physical or personality integrity, citizenship, among others.

B) Suspended rights

  • Hence, the decree regulating the state of emergency will enter into force at 00:00 on March 22 and provides a content of rights, freedoms and guarantees whose exercise will be suspended, in the following terms:
  • The decree shall apply to the entire territory Portuguese.
Mandatory isolation, protection and home-stay duties
  • Mandatory isolation has been ordered for persons infected with Covid-19 or Sars-Cov2 and for those who are in prophylactic isolation. The violation may be considered as crime of disobedience;
  • A special duty of protection has been decreed in respect of persons in the risk groups, in particular persons over 70 years of age or with respiratory, cardiac diseases. It was also recommended that people in this group do not leave home, except in rare situations such as for the acquisition of essential goods – food, medicines;
  • Restrictions arising from the special duty of protection shall not apply to health professionals and other health or social support employees, as well as civil security and military protection agents and politicians;
  • A general duty of home-stay has been decreed in relation to the rest of the population. People shall avoid leaving the house beyond what is strictly necessary and only if it is indispensable (such as job search or response to job supply, health reasons, helping domestic violence victims, assistance to vulnerable people, travel of short duration for enjoyment of outdoor activities, participation in procedural acts, among others);
  • Participation in activities relating to official Labor Day celebrations has been authorised by observing the recommendations of health authorities, in particular with regard to social distancing;
  • “Sanitary barrier” in the geographical area of the municipality of Ovar was banished, being prohibited the movement and permanence of people on public roads, including travel to or from the said municipality, except for the necessary and urgent situations;
  • Telework remains compulsory for those who are able to perform functions in these terms.

Employees 

  • Possibility of determination by the competent public authorities that any employees of public, private or social sectors, regardless of the type of link, if necessary, start to perform functions in a different place, entity, with new working conditions and schedules, in particular in the case of employees in the health, civil protection, security and defence sectors and other activities necessary for the treatment of patients, support for vulnerable populations, elderly people, people with disabilities, children and young people at risk, residential structures, home or street support, prevention and combating the spread of the vírus;
  • The exercise of the right to strike is suspended to the extent that it could jeopardise the functioning of critical infrastructure, health care units and essential public services, as well as in economic sectors vital to the production, supply of essential goods and services to the population.

Transport and circulation

  • The use of transports has been limited to one third of the maximum number of seats available. People are allowed to drive their own transports on public roads to carry out the permitted activities, but always limited to the strictly necessary;
  • The closure of road and rail traffic has been ordered for public health, safety and traffic flow reasons. It was also restricted the circulation of some types of vehicles;
  • Border controls on persons and property may be established by the competent public authorities, in liaison with the European authorities and in strict compliance with the Treaties of the European Union.
Establishments rules
  • Establishments for recreational leisure, entertainment, cultural, artistic, sports,  open space activities, games and betting spaces, among others, were closed;
  • Suspension of trade / retail activities and provision of services, except those intended to provide essential goods, including health, minimarkets, supermarkets, fruit shops, butchers, among others. Establishments with home-delivery or take-away services may remain open;
  • E-commerce activities in which services are provided at distance and without contact with the public are maintained;
  • The maximum occupancy rule of 0.04 persons per square meter of area was decreed to wholesale establishments and markets that remain open;
  • Retail activities located along the highways and within airports and in hospitals are not suspended;
  • By Government’s order, it may be allowed to open facilities and establishments forced to close by decree-law. Trade and retail activities that prove to be dispensable or undesirable in combating spread of the virus may be limited or suspended;
  • Mandatory adoption of safety and hygiene measures was imposed in establishments that maintain the activity;
  • Priority care has been decreed for persons on whom a special duty of protection is imposed, as well as for health professionals, members of security, protection and relief forces;
  • It was envisaged the possibility of a “gradual, phased or alternating opening of services and establishments.

Lease agreements

  • Prohibition of eviction or termination of non-housing rental agreements, due to the closure of facilities and establishments.

Religious Activities, school regime and clusters

  • Suspension of religious activities and other worship events involving a cluster;
  • Companies that carry out funeral activity maintain their activity and carry out funeral services of the dead by covid-19;
  • Funeral ceremonies shall be limited to the adoption of measures to prevent clusters. The limitation is ruled by the respective local authorities;
  • Prohibition or limitation of presential classes, imposition of distance learning by telematic means (using the internet or television). Postponement or extension of school periods, adjustment of evaluation methods and suspension or rescheduling of exms or the opening of the school year, as well as possibility of adjustments to the model of access to higher education;
  • The necessary restrictions may be imposed to reduce the risk of contagion to prevent and combat the epidemic, including the limitation or prohibition of meetings or demonstrations that, by the number of people involved, enhance the transmission of the new coronavirus.

Employment contracts

  • The powers of the Working Conditions Authority have been strengthened in the event of evidence of unlawful dismissal. It was decreed that, in case of suspect unlawful dismissal, the employment contract and he associated rights mantain until the employee’s situation is regularized or until the transit of the judicial decision;
  • Temporary and exceptional suspension of termination of the health professionals linked to the National Health Service employment contracts;
  • Temporary and exceptional suspension of the termination of contracts for the provision of health services, either on the initiative of the services and establishments integrated in the National Health Service, or at the initiative of the service provider;
  • Suspension of the counting of the actual service time for the purposes of the calculation of the maximum duration of contracts, with regard to military contracts.
Agricultural and maritime sectors
  • Possibility of carrying out production, transport and distribution in the agricultural and maritime sectors.
Acts and notifications
  • Licences, authorisations or other administrative acts shall remain in force, irrespective of the time limit;
  • Suspension of notification formalities for implementing regulations and administrative acts, making them effective by mere electronical notification to the addressee.

Inspection and general cooperation duty

  • It is up to the security forces and services and the municipal police to monitor compliance with the standards in force due to the national state of emergency. It is imposed to all citizens a general duty of cooperation in the compliance with such orders and instructions.
Judicial offices and the respective public prosecution services, during the state of emergency
  • During the state of emergency judicial offices and the respective services of the Public Prosecutor’s Office ensure the attendance;
  • During the state of emergency, face-to-face assistance shall be ensured following a pre-scheduled request, justified by a citizen, and which has been favourably assessed by the person in charge of the office, according to the impossibility of carrying it out by telephone and online and the respective urgency, without prejudice to the specific guidelines existing in the services in matters that require the assessment and/or face-to-face assistance to be carried out by a magistrate;
  • The service that is not covered by the previous paragraph is provided exclusively by telephone and online;
  • Presence of court clerks to ensure face-to-face service is carried out on a rotating basis, determined by the head of the secretariat, or by whoever replaces him, without prejudice, whenever possible, to the identification of employees at risk, due to their age or special health conditions;
  • In all acts involving physical presence, safety and hygiene rules foreseen are applied, with the necessary adaptations, as well as the other hygiene and sanitary rules defined by the Directorate General of Health, namely those related to the distance between workplaces and, in any situation, between employees;
  • Priority care, also applicable to these public services, shall be ensured, with the necessary adaptations.

State of Calamity in Portugal

Note: Limitation to circulation between 1 and 3 May 2020

  • Citizens may not move outside the municipality of usual residence during the period between 00:00 on 1 May 2020 and 23:59 on 3 May 2020, except for reasons of health or other extreme urgency.
State of Calamity
Confinement and Collection duties
  • State of Calamity will come into force on Sunday, May 3, and will be in force for 15 days, subject to renewal;
  • Compulsory Confinement for patients with Covid-19 and Sars Cov 2 and for citizens in prophylactic isolation has been maintained;
  • Civic duty of home collection was maintained, with the population having to leave only to acquire essential goods, for health reasons, to go to work, to practice outdoor sports, to assist vulnerable people among others.

Suspension of activities and establishments and its rules

  • Activities involving clusters such as amusement parks, circuses, pavilions, swimming pools among others remain closed;
  • Suspension of activities in retail and service establishments with a sales or service area of more than 200 square metres, as well as those in commercial complexes, unless they have the same or a smaller area and an independent entrance from the outside. Exceptions are applied to establishments who were already providing essential goods and services and also to, establishments for the sale of books and musical supports, as well as establishments which intend to maintain their activity solely for the purpose of delivering goods to domicile or making them available at the door of the establishment or at the ware, in which case access to the inside of the establishment is prohibited by the public;
  • Telework regime remains mandatory, regardless of the employment relationship, whenever the functions in question allow it;
  • Restaurants remain in operation online and take away;
  • Owners of the operation of wholesale food distribution establishments are allowed to sell their products directly to the public, cumulatively exercising the activity of retail trade, subject to compliance with hygiene and safety rules;
  • In places where commercial service activities are carried out, whether wholesale or retail establishments, or large commercial surfaces, commercial complexes, markets, auctions or service establishments, rules of occupation, permanence and social distancing, as well as rules of hygiene and safety, such as disinfection of the space, must be observed;
  • The opening hours of retail or service establishments may be adjusted and may not be opened before 10 a.m;
  • Retail establishments or service establishments which maintain their activity shall give priority to health professionals, members of the security, safety and rescue forces and services, personnel of the armed forces and social support services;
  • Outdoor sports are allowed as long as the social distance is never less than 2 meters;
  • Public services will open on presential regime by appointment on May 4, 2020 and the Citizen’s Shop remain closed;
  • The use of masks or visors is mandatory for access to or stay in commercial and service spaces and establishments, in services and buildings opened o the public and in educational establishments and day care centers by teaching and non-teaching staff and students over six years of age. The use of these visors in the collective transport of passengers is mandatory, and non-compliance constitutes an administrative offence, punished with a fine of at least (euro) 120 and at most (euro) 350;
  • Possibility of carrying out body temperature measurements to employees for the purpose of access and permanence in the workplace. If the body temperature is higher than normal, access to the premises may be forbidden;
  • Patients at risk, namely hypertensive people, diabetics, cardiovascular patients, patients with chronic respiratory disease, cancer patients and patients with renal insufficiency, may justify their absence from work by means of a medical declaration, as long as they cannot carry out their activity in telework or through other forms of activity;
  • Operations to increase the storage capacity of urban and hospital waste management operators are exempt from licensing;
  • Until 30th June 2020, the municipalities guarantee the performance of all the fuel management works, and shall replace the owners and other forest producers in default;
  • When the deadline for permits for cutting or grubbing up oak and holm oak trees, in stands or isolated areas, hunting charters and hunting grounds has expired during the period of the declaration of a state of emergency, that deadline shall be extended to 30 September 2020;
  • When the end of the period of authorisation for cutting or grubbing up of cork oak and holm oak trees, in stands or isolated, hunting charts and hunting areas has occurred in the period of the declaration of a state of emergency, that period shall be extended to 30 September 2020;
  • When the deadlines provided for in the process of establishing forest intervention areas have expired during the period for declaring a state of emergency, these deadlines shall be extended to 30 September 2020;
    Suspension of the deadlines for municipal plans until 180 days after the end of the state of emergency;
  • The exceptional regime of exemption from service is applicable to the volunteers of the Portuguese Red Cross who are proven to be called to provide assistance or transportation in the scope of the epidemic situation of COVID-19;
  • Until December 31, 2020, the provision of effective service by military personnel in the reserve situation is authorized;
  • Extension of the maximum period of actual military service under contract until 31 December 2020;
  • Suspension of obligations relating to the complaints book in physical form;
  • The Government responsible for the area of Public Administration, with the faculty of delegation, may, by order, determine the definition of guidelines:

a) On telework, namely on the situations that impose the presence of Public Administration employees in their workplaces, as well as on the compatibility of the functions with telework;

b) On the constitution and maintenance of mobility situations;

c) On cases in which the employees of the Public Administration may be required to exercise functions in a place other than their usual place of work, in a different entity or under different working conditions and hours;

d) Related to the articulation with local authorities in relation to local public services, in particular the Citizen’s Spaces, and the regime of work provision in local administration.

Funerals and other celebrations

  • Celebrations and other events involving more than 10 people are not allowed;
  • The holding of funerals is subject to the adoption of organisational measures to ensure the absence of crowds and the control of safety distances, namely the establishment of a maximum limit of attendance, to be determined by the local authority exercising the management powers of the respective cemetery;
  • Companies that carry out funeral activities must maintain their activity and perform the funeral services of the dead diagnosed with COVID-19.

Transports

  • The public or private entities responsible for collective passenger transport shall ensure, cumulatively:

a) Maximum capacity of 2/3 of their capacity for land, river and sea transport;
The adequacy of the maximum number of passengers carried in air transport, imposing a limit value in accordance with the recommendations on maximum capacity, to be defined by an ordinance of the Government member responsible for the area of air transport;

b) The daily cleaning, weekly disinfection and monthly hygiene of vehicles, facilities and equipment used by passengers and other users, in accordance with the recommendations of the health authorities;

  • The allowed passenger capacity per aircraft is reduced to two thirds of the normally expected capacity;

Except in the following cases:

a) Flights specifically intended to repatriate citizens, whether under the European civil protection mechanism or non-scheduled flights contracted by the Portuguese State or by other States;

b) Commercial flights of national or foreign air carriers, insofar as they are used for repatriation actions or that justifiably serve this purpose;

c) Flights of aircraft with a maximum available capacity of 19 seats, in non-scheduled commercial air transport operations and in compliance with the applicable legislation;

d) Non-scheduled commercial flights contracted by companies, to transport workers at their service, with a contract of employment or services to be rendered in a foreign country, with whom Portugal keeps the flights open.

In these cases the exemption operates provided that:

a) No passenger presents symptoms;

b) The country of destination, in accordance with the rules in force internationally notified to the aeronautical authorities, does not condition the arrival flights to the respect of capacity restrictions of the aircraft, and therefore there are no known reasons for possible refusal of flights or repatriation of passengers carried in aircraft without capacity restrictions;

c) the workers hold a residence permit as immigrant workers in the country of destination;

d) the return of any of them to Portugal is only foreseen after at least two months;

e) workers accept on departure the health rules imposed on arrival in the country of destination, including quarantine.

  • Passengers carried by the excepted flights are not exempted from visual and temperature screening by infrared thermal cameras or any other means being applied at national airports, as well as from possible secondary screening in the event of fever on arrival;
  • If any passenger carried by the excepted flights shows any symptom during the flight, the crew shall immediately proceed according to the contingency plan and notify the airport of arrival for segregated routing.
  • In taxi and electronic platform transport, the front seats shall be used only by the driver and the maximum occupancy of the vehicles by passengers shall not exceed 2/3 of the other seats.

 

Menu