Today, 18 of March, Portugal has declared a state of emergency. This measure was taken in order to ensure the fight against the pandemic is carried out with maximum efficiency.
The State of Emergency will start from today, 18th of March, at midnight until the 2nd of April, at 23:59.
State of Emergency
The state of emergency allows the Government the right to take more measures. A State of Emergency can suspend some rights, freedoms and guarantees of Portuguese citizens, in an attempt to prevent infection by the new coronavirus. A State of Emergency can restrict freedom of movement, limit permanence on public roads, forcing factories to work or suspending the activity of others, etc. The specific measures are bellow.
Movement of citizens on public roads: The Council of Ministers determines that this can only happen in cases of acquisition of goods and services, for professional reasons that cannot be carried out from home under teleworking, for reasons of health, for family reasons, urgency as medical-veterinary trips or in helping victims of violence.
The practice of physical exercise on the street will be allowed but collective activities will be prohibited, with a maximum of two people being placed together. Short walks will also be allowed to walk pets and to go to the bank or insurance agencies.
Facilities and Establishments: The Council of Ministers obliges facilities and establishments such as medical services, supermarkets, butchers, markets, gas stations, home delivery services, funeral activities, banking services and cleaning and washing services to continue their operation.
In establishments such as pharmacies, the presence of customers inside will be prohibited, with the products to be placed at the door or shutter, in order to have a greater control of the safety distance.
All religious celebrations are also prohibited, due to the risk of crowding people. Small grocery stores, catering establishments and other types of retail businesses will be allowed, as long as they remain "essential to evolve" in times of crisis. Hospitality and catering activities can be open only for the provision of take-away meals or home deliveries.
Transportation: Private vehicles can circulate to carry out professional activities, urgencies or family situations and for refueling at gas stations. Still with regard to transport, the maximum number of passengers is reduced to one third of the maximum number of seats available (this goes for buses, metro etc).
In the end of these 15 days, the Government will evaluate the situation and can prolong the State of Emergency. We know that this is a very serious situation, but please remain calm. This is nothing more than what we have already been doing: staying at home, avoiding contact with others, being on social isolation. ESN Porto is here for you always, ask us anything, anytime!
Since this pandemic hit we have seen a wealth of disparaging, confusing and downright fake information about what measures should be taken. In order to keep you informed, we have compiled this list of official sources on recommendations and measures you should take.
Similar to a cold, symptoms can be easy to confuse. The most common symptoms are fever, feeling tired, and dry cough. Some people also experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. If you feel any of these, call the Saúde 24 phone line: 808 24 24 24.
Some protective measures should be adopted to prevent the spread of the virus. All these measures are being recommended by official authorities (WHO, Portuguese government):
Wash Hands: Wash your hands frequently, either with a alcohol-based hand rub or with water and soap (wash for at least 20 seconds);
Social Distancing: Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from someone who is coughing or sneezing;
Touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
Respiratory Hygiene: Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. In case you used a tissue, dispose of it immediately;
Greeting: Avoid physical contact with other people, specially when greeting them. Instead of a handshake or a hug, try using a nod or a wave.
World Health Organization
Check the official webpage for the Covid-19: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Also, this page shows how you can protect yourself: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
Check the official webpage for the Covid-19: https://ec.europa.eu/health/coronavirus_en
Check the official webpage of the Ministry of Health (it’s in Portuguese though): https://covid19.min-saude.pt/#
Status of the infection, showing how many cases there are (updated everyday): https://covid19.min-saude.pt/ponto-de-situacao-atual-em-portugal/
Health line, open 24/7 for people needing urgent medical advice: https://www.sns24.gov.pt/ or call 808 24 24 24
Although not from any official source, it’s a particularly interesting read on the flatten the curve phenomenon: https://www.flattenthecurve.com/