Decree of the President of the Republic no. 59-A / 2020 20th November

Informal translation into English for information purposes only. The original Portuguese version has legal value

Decree of the President of the Republic no. 59-A / 2020
Publication: Diário da República no. 227/2020, 1st Supplement, Series I of 2020-11-20
Issuer: Presidency of the Republic
Diploma Type: Decree of the President of the Republic
Number: 59-A / 2020
Pages: 1 5- (2) to 15- (4)
PDF version: Download


Renews the declaration of a state of emergency, based on the verification of a public calamity situation


Decree of the President of the Republic no. 59-A / 2020

November 20

Summary: Renews the declaration of a state of emergency, based on the verification of a public calamity situation.

The evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and the adoption of essential health measures to deal with it show that restrictions on contact between people reduce the risk of contagion and the spread of the virus.

Some of these measures, due to their gravity and potential damage to rights, freedoms and guarantees, constitutionally require the declaration of a state of emergency.

The experts indicate that the effect of the measures taken on the evolution of the pandemic is felt, in the number of infected, about two to six weeks after being taken and, in the number of deaths, about a month later.

At this moment, the indication of a possible next production of effects results from the fact that the risk index of effective transmission of the disease (Rt) indicates a slight tendency to slow down, as well as a small deceleration in the rate of growth of the incidence.

However, this level of incidence, with the very disturbing numbers of newly infected people and deaths, continues to be very high and places enormous pressure on the NHS and the health system in general, in particular on the capacity to receive care units. intensive care, so, in addition to generic and fundamental measures of personal hygiene, proper use of masks and social distance, it is essential to renew the state of emergency, so that certain restrictive measures can also be renewed, but more adapted to the experience reality and more differentiated according to the situation and heterogeneity in each municipality, hoping that they can soon produce positive effects.

For this differentiation, the criteria allowing the grouping of risk levels, defined by the European Center for Disease Control, will certainly be useful.

In addition, the window of hope that is opened by the new vaccines can only begin to materialize, if everything goes as planned, from January 2021 and the vaccination of all interested parties will necessarily take several months.

In these terms, the President of the Republic decrees, under the terms of articles 19, 134, paragraph d), and 138 of the Constitution and Law no. 44/86 , of 30 September, as amended by the Organic Law no. 1/2011 , of November 30, and by Organic Law no. 1/2012 , of May 11, under proposal and after hearing the Government and obtained the necessary authorization from the Assembly of the Republic, through the Resolution of the Assembly of the Republic Republic No. 87-A / 2020 , of November 20, the following:


The declaration of a state of emergency is renewed for an equal period of 15 days, based on the verification of a public calamity situation.


The declaration of a state of emergency covers the entire national territory, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph a) of paragraph 1 of article 4.


The renewal of the state of emergency starts at 00:00 on November 24, 2020 and ends at 23:59 on December 8, 2020, without prejudice to possible renewals, under the terms of the law.


During the entire period referred to in the previous article, the exercise of the following rights is partially suspended, in the strict terms set forth below:

1) Rights to freedom and movement:

a) In municipalities with higher levels of risk, necessary restrictions may be imposed to reduce the risk of contagion and implement measures to prevent and combat the epidemic, and the measures to be adopted must be calibrated according to the degree of risk in each municipality, for this purpose, they can be grouped according to the data and assessment of the competent authorities, including the ban on driving on public roads during certain periods of the day or certain days of the week, as well as the prohibition of journeys that are not justified pursuant to paragraph c);

b) To the extent strictly necessary and proportionally, compulsory confinement may be imposed in a health establishment, at home or, where it is not possible, in another place defined by the competent authorities, of persons carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or under active surveillance;

c) The restrictions referred to above in point a) must provide for the indispensable rules for obtaining health care, for the support of third parties, namely the elderly, including those accommodated in residential structures, for the attendance of educational establishments, for production and supply goods and services and for traveling for other ponderous reasons, and it is up to the Government, in this event, to specify the situations and purposes in which the freedom of individual movement, preferably unaccompanied, remains.

2) Private, social and cooperative initiative:

a) The resources, means and establishments of healthcare provision integrated in the private, social and cooperative sectors can be used by the competent public authorities, preferably by agreement, with fair compensation, depending on what is necessary to ensure the treatment of patients with COVID-19 or the maintenance of assistance activity in relation to other pathologies;

b) Appropriate and indispensable measures can be adopted to guarantee the conditions of normality in the production, transport, distribution and supply of goods and services essential to the activity of the health sector, namely with a view to ensuring access and regularity in the medication circuit and vaccines, medical devices and other health products, such as biocides, disinfectant solutions, alcohol and personal protective equipment;

c) The total or partial closure of establishments, services, companies or means of production may be determined by the competent public authorities and changes to the respective regime or opening hours may be imposed.

3) Workers’ rights:

a) Employees of public or private entities, from the social or cooperative sector may be mobilized, by the competent public authorities and respecting their other rights, regardless of the respective type of bond or functional content and even if they are not health professionals, namely civil servants public in prophylactic isolation or covered by the exceptional protection regime for immunocompromised and chronically ill patients, to support health authorities and services, namely in conducting epidemiological surveys, tracking contacts and following people under active surveillance;

b) The possibility of terminating the employment relationships of workers in services and establishments integrated in the NHS may be limited.

4) Right to the free development of the personality and negative aspect of the right to health: the use of a mask and the performance of body temperature controls can be imposed, by non-invasive means, as well as diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV- 2, namely for the purpose of access and permanence in the workplace or as a condition of access to public services or institutions, educational or vocational training establishments and commercial, cultural or sports spaces, in the use of means of transport or in relation to institutionalized persons or accommodated in residential structures, health establishments, prisons or educational centers and their workers.

5) Right to protection of personal data: personal data may be processed to the extent strictly necessary for the implementation of the measures provided for in paragraph 3 of this article and in article 5 of this decree, as well as for the purposes of the provisions of paragraph 4 of this article without, in this case, being able to keep a memory or record of the body temperature measurements made or the results of the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests.


It is the responsibility of the Armed and Security Forces to support health authorities and services, namely in conducting epidemiological inquiries, in tracking contacts and in monitoring people under active surveillance. The Armed Forces and Security Forces’ health care resources, means and establishments can also be mobilized to support and strengthen the National Health Service.


The Government is responsible for executing the declaration of a state of emergency, which will keep the President of the Republic and the Assembly of the Republic informed of the respective acts.


This Decree enters into force immediately, taking effect under the terms defined in article 3.

Signed on November 20, 2020.

Publish yourself.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

Countersigned on November 20, 2020.

The Prime Minister, António Luís Santos da Costa.