The President of the Republic has just announced, that Portugal enters a National State of Emergency for 15 days, and the period may be reassessed at the end of this time, according to the evolution of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

The Portuguese Head of State, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said that there are five essential reasons for decreeing the State of Emergency: anticipation, prevention, certainty, containment and flexibility.

"The road is still long, difficult and ungrateful," said the President of the Republic, saying that this decision was taken after calling the Council of State, after hearing the Government and asking the National Assembly to decree the State of Emergency, organ of power from which he obtained widespread support for his decision, he said.

Noting that "prevention is better than cure" and takes as an example what is happening in other countries, which took longer to adopt more strong measures, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stressed that it is necessary for the Portuguese to understand that we are at war and that they must remain at home.

From now on, the Government is authorised by the President of the Republic to suspend certain collective rights, such as the right to strike, and the security forces may act, by prohibiting gatherings in the public space.

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