How does Portugal act to avoid spread of Coronavirus?

National Plan – Preparation and Response to Disease – New coronavirus (COVID-19)

Purpose and Objectives


Preparing the response and minimizing the impact of a COVID-19 epidemic in Portugal

Main objectives

  • Minimize serious illness and deaths from COVID-19 in Portugal;
  • Minimize social and economic impacts adjacent to this health threat to the Public;


Secondary objectives

  • Reduce the spread of infection by promoting health measures public, individual or community;
  • Minimise the risk of nosocomial transmission of COVID-19;
  • Provide treatment and support to large numbers of people, while maintaining essential health care;
  • Support the continuity of health care and other essential services;
  • Maintain the confidence and security of the population, through the implementation of measures based on the best evidence



This page is to help you understand the Mitigation Phase

Starting midnight 25th March, hospitals and health centres will have to adapt to new rules to respond to this phase of mitigation.



The Mitigation Phase came into effect midnight 25th March

Here are some of the changes that came as a result (We will added more to this as updates)


What does the mitigation phase mean please?

It is the third and most serious phase of response to Covid-19 disease and is activated when there is local transmission, in a closed environment, and / or community transmission.

The answer is focused on mitigating the effects of Covid-19 and reducing its spread, in particular by minimizing associated mortality.

In this phase, the light patients stay at home, the moderates go to the health center , the serious, but not critical, are referred to hospitals and the critics are hospitalized


What changes, in practice, with the transition from the containment phase to the mitigation phase?

In the health infrastructure, the big change is that all public hospitals and health centres will be involved, as well as the private and social sector.


Will wearing masks be widespread?

No. At this stage, the use of masks is only recommended for people with increased susceptibility when they are in large agglomerations or in health services.


Should all suspected infections be tested?

People with a suspected infection, that is, who have symptoms such as fever, persistent cough or aggravated chronic cough, and difficulty breathing, should be tested.

Those with the presence of these symptoms, people should call the free telephone line SNS 24 (808 24 24 24), which will refer cases.

Try calling the SNS 24 line 808 24 24 24 OPTION 9 for English (the first option you hear) (It was previously OPTION 5)

This is usually very busy. As an alternative if you have a symptom and don’t know what to do the following may help?

“Evaluate Symptoms” is a feature on the SNS 24 website that allows citizens to assess their symptoms and obtain information and advice appropriate to their non-emergency health problem.

It is important to know that “Assess Symptoms”:

  • It is not a clinical diagnostic tool.
  • It is not a medical consultation.
  • It is not a substitute for professional health care.

You will need to agree Terms of Use

PRESS GREEN BUTTON and on next page Select Cov-19

You then enter your personal details followed by symptoms and it provides you with recommendations to take.


If you have severe symptoms and a lot of difficulty in breathing?

You can go to a hospital emergency room. They will be separated into two parts: one for people with breathing difficulties, including the Covid-19 suspects, and another for the rest of the patients.


Is there a Testing priority?

If it is impossible to test everyone with a suspected infection, DGS has established a priority chain: first, it is patients with criteria for hospitalization ; second, newborns and pregnant women ; third, health professionals with symptom

This is followed by patients with comorbidities (such as asthmatics, heart failure, diabetics, chronic liver or kidney patients, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and patients with cancer) or people with more fragile immunity ; and people in a situation of greater vulnerability , such as living in nursing homes or in convalescent units.

Finally, people in close contact with these patients are tested


What if my house is unable to recover?

You can stay in a health unit if the house does not have a telephone or mobile phone, thermometer, bathroom (preferably only for the patient), water, soap and detergents and, if necessary, a caregiver. Newborns, pregnant women or immunosuppressed people too.


If I recover at home, what kind of health monitoring will I have?

After speaking with SNS 24, you will receive a call from a doctor within the next 24 hours, and you will receive an SMS request for the test by SMS. With the nearest laboratory, schedule the harvest at home or at a dedicated location within the next 48 hours. If you have no symptoms in the meantime, you will repeat the test between the 10th and 14th day after the onset of symptoms.



More Information can be found on the DGS website here

  • Portugal in a State of EmergencyDownload