Reopening of the courts and the end of the suspension of legal deadlines
The diploma that provides for the reopening of courts and the end of the suspension of judicial deadlines as of April 6th was published. The courts had been closed and the deadlines suspended since January 22nd.
- The trials and examination of witnesses shall take place in person, if necessary in a different location from the court, or through videoconference;
- The parties involved who are over 70 years of age, immunosuppressed or chronically ill, are not obliged to travel to court and must be heard by videoconference; the presence of the accused is guaranteed in the instructive debate and in the trial session when statements are made by the accused and the testimony of witnesses;
- In the case of criminal proceedings, the hearing of defendants, witnesses and parties is always in person;
- It will be up to the courts to define how they carry out judicial acts according to the rules defined by the DGS, such as the maximum limit of people in the buildings;
- During the pandemic, the time limit for presenting the debtor for insolvency, the judicial transfer of the family home, the transfer of the rented premises, as well as the limitation and prescription periods for all these processes remain suspended.
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Given the worsening of the epidemiological situation registered at the beginning of this year and considering the difficulties of citizens in renewing or obtaining relevant documents to the exercise of rights, as a result of the closure of the services, the Government has decided to extend the requirement for public authorities to accept the display of documents whose validity has expired.
In this regard, Decree Law No. 22-A/2021 was published and it extends the deadlines and establishes exceptional and temporary measures in the context of the Covid-19 disease pandemic.
The Government has decided to extend until December 31st, 2021 the admissibility of certain documents, such as medical certificates to evaluate incapacity that expire in 2021, citizen cards, certificates and certificates issued by the registration and civil identification services, documents and visas related to staying in national territory, licenses and authorisations, as well as family ADSE beneficiary cards.
At the corporate level, it was decided:
- To extend the deadline for approval and posting of the holiday map until 15 May 2021;
- Waive the annual confirmation of the information contained in the Central Register of the Actual Beneficiary during the year of 2021, regardless of the date on which the beneficial ownership declaration was made and provided that no fact has occurred that determines a change in the information contained therein;
- Notwithstanding the possibility of holding general meetings by telematic means under the terms of the law, provision is also made for the possibility that the general meetings of companies, cooperatives and associations, which must be held by legal or statutory requirement, may be held until June 30th, 2021 or, in the case of cooperatives and associations with more than 100 cooperative members or members, until September 30th.
In the restaurant sector:
- Since restaurants, during this suspension period, may only operate for the purposes of preparation for consumption outside the establishment through home delivery, at the door of the establishment or at the wicket, it has been decided to extend the period available to catering and beverage service providers to adapt to the provisions of Law No. 76/2019 of September 2nd, which determines the non-use and non-availability of single-use plastic tableware in the activities of the catering and/or beverage sector and in retail trade.
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Order no. 26-A/2021, published on February 2nd, introduces the first amendment to Order no. 91/2020, which defines, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 3 of Law no. 4-C/2020, an exceptional regime for situations of late payment of rents in view of the epidemiological situation caused by COVID-19.
This regime has experienced some amendments in face of the evolution of the pandemic situation and its effects on the economic and social domains.
This Order alters articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Order 91/2020. We highlight the reduction from 35 % to 30 % of the tenants’ effort rate regarding rent payment.
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