Major incident page

Purpose of this page

The purpose of this page is to keep you, the community, informed of developing major incidents that may pose a risk to life and property, so people can take appropriate action as advised by the appropriate government authorities

Such incidents may include, severe weather conditions, rural fires, earthquakes, radiological disasters, viruses etc. These may also include incidents originating from overseas, such as in the case of viruses, which could pose a risk to the population in Portugal.

The information and advice given, is from government sources, and reliable established professional organisations both in Portugal and overseas, including in this case China.

This will be updated at least twice daily or at more frequently if the situation demands.

Please use the tabs on the right of this page to obtain more information



Safe Communities Portugal activated its response to Covid-19 on 26th January 2020

Currently it is an ongoing incident 

The following and attached tabs should be read in conjunction with the official advice given by the Director General of Health in Portuguese


Situation of Calamity

Portugal declared a State of Emergency on 18th March and this was extended twice, finishing on 2nd May. This has now been replaced with a Situation of Calamity commencing 3rd May which will be reviewed every 15 days, the details of which are contained in the Legislation page. Current extension ends 28th of June.


Click on the picture for a fresh update of the situation of Covid-19.










Go directly to DGS here.

Development of Corvid-19

On 29 December 2019 Chinese authorities identified a cluster of similar cases of  pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in China. Wuhan is a city with 11 million inhabitants and capital of the Hubei Province.

These cases were soon determined to be caused by a novel coronavirus that was later named SARS-CoV-2.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are common in humans and are responsible for up to 30% of common colds.

Two outbreaks of new diseases in recent history were also caused by coronaviruses – SARS in 2003 that resulted in around 1000 deaths5 and MERS in 2012 that resulted in 862 deaths.

The first cases of COVID-19 outside of China were identified on January 13 in Thailand and on January 16 in Japan. Since then COVID-19 has spread to many more countries – cases have been reported in all world regions.

On 30th January the new coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) , as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.

On 11th February the WHO announced  the official name of the coronavirus: “Covid-19“. It is the first decision made by the scientific community that is meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, to analyse and share information about the disease.

On the 2nd March DGS confirmed that there were two confirmed cases in Portugal.

On 11th March the WHO  declared the worldwide outbreak of the new coronavirus a pandemic, with more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries and 4,291 deaths.

Preventive steps and reducing risk of transmission:

For residents and those travellers returning to Portugal from the affected areas, who show symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, during or after the trip, before attending a health clinic, they should call 808 24 24 24 (SNS24), informing them about their health condition and health history. following the guidelines that may be indicated. (More details see our “How does Portugal act to avoid spread of virus page”)

Latest News Covid-19



The president of the District Civil Protection Commission of Porto today... Read More

Covid-19 Hospitalisations and ICU Forecast by Minister of Health


We start the day with bad news but it is important people are aware.

Yesterday... Read More

Lessons for the future that DGS learned from Formula 1 – “We have to restrict events a lot”


Graça Freitas acknowledges that there were “discrepancies between... Read More

Covid-19 Rapid Testing Starts on 9th November


DGS determines that rapid tests should be preferred in outbreaks in schools... Read More