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After a month and a half of a state of emergency, it was decided by the government to gradually ease the restrictive measures to combat the pandemic, starting with the gradual lifting of suspensions and interdictions decreed during the period of the state of emergency.

In this sense, the Government came to declare the situation of adversity in the whole national territory until 17th May 2020, establishing limits and conditions to the circulation and also in the rationalization of the use of certain services, establishments and activities.

 As a result, other types of standards have emerged, concerning more individual aspects and the responsibility of each citizen, which is why mandatory use of masks and visors for access or stay in commercial and service spaces, in services and educational establishments and in public transport has now been determined.

Moreover, without compromising data protection, and only for health protection reasons, body temperature measurements can now be taken from employees, only for the purpose of safe access to and stay in the workplace.

As for the measure to support maintenance of  employment contracts in a business in crisis situation, even companies which activities have now been allowed to reopen after the state of emergency are still able to access the simplified lay off measure, provided that they resume their activities within 8 days of the lifting of closure restriction.

It is also foreseen that while the measure is in force, fixed term contracts can be renewed for the same roles under lay off, despite of the general regime laid down for lay off in the Employment Code.

Confinement remains mandatory in healthcare establishments or at home, as appropriate, for infected patients or persons under active surveillance.

For the general population, it is considered a civic duty to remain at home whenever possible and go out only if there is an urge to move.

As a result, teleworking remains mandatory in so far as the respective roles permit.

In this attempt to coexist with the virus, rules of occupation, permanence and physical distance have also been drawn up, and in all places of commerce and services, a minimum distance of two meters must be maintained between people, avoiding situations that cause agglomeration of people in the same space and for a long time.

In these places, hygiene rules must be observed and daily and recurrent cleaning and disinfection must be carried out, not only of the spaces, but also of the equipment used.

Alcohol-based solutions should also be made available for employees and customers in all spaces open to the public.

Although gymnasiums are still closed, non-competitive and outdoor physical activity can be performed, as long as the legal distances are respected.

Recreational, leisure and entertainment, cultural, artistic and sporting (with few exceptions) establishments are still closed.

Establishments providing essential goods remain open, reopening spaces such as tourist establishments and hotel restaurants with restricted use for customers, hairdressing salons by appointment, as well as home repair and maintenance services.

Cláudia Vaz Póvoa
Employment Department