20th March 22 00 hrs
Communiqué of the Council of Ministers of March 20, 2020
The Council of Ministers today approved a set of extraordinary and urgent measures to respond to the epidemiological situation of the new Coronavirus-COVID 19.
A decree-law was approved that attributes powers to the Directorate-General for Health and the Central Administration of the Health System to spend on strengthening equipment, goods and services to respond to the COVID-19 disease pandemic, as for example, fans, personal protective equipment or diagnostic support material.
A draft law was approved, to be submitted to the Assembly of the Republic, which establishes an exceptional and temporary regime for counting the terms of housing and non-housing lease contracts.
In view of the epidemiological situation caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease COVID-19, it is important to recognize that the limitation imposed on the freedom of movement of people, makes it crucial to guarantee the possible stability in their lives, right rom the maintenance in force of the lease agreements entered into.
A decree-law was approved that establishes exceptional and temporary measures related to the electronic communications sector, and that simplifies and suspends some obligations in order to ensure the uninterrupted provision of such critical services to the population.
The circumstances of the epidemiological situation, as well as the measures taken to deal with it, lead to a substantial increase in traffic from fixed and mobile networks, due to the widespread use of telework and a more intensive use of interactive and entertainment services.
It is particularly important to ensure the continuity of the provision of electronic communications services to priority customers, such as healthcare providers, security and internal administration forces and services.
A decree-law was also approved that establishes an exceptional and temporary regime for complying with tax obligations, social contributions and granting mutual guarantee, within the scope of the COVID-19 disease pandemic.
Thus, the Government decided to make the payment of taxes and social contributions more flexible, as well as to determine the suspension, until June 30, 2020, of tax enforcement proceedings in progress or that may be instituted by the Tax Authority and Social Security.
In the months of March, April and May, the social contributions due are temporarily reduced by 2/3, with the remainder paid in 3 or 6 month installment plans from the second half of the year.
In the months of April, May and June, the delivery of VAT and the withholding deliveries of IRS and IRC can be settled in 3 or 6 installments
It also establishes the extraordinary extension of unemployment benefits and all benefits of the social security system that guarantee subsistence minimums whose concession period or renewal period ends before the prevention measures cease.
A decree-law was approved establishing exceptional and temporary measures to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic within the scope of periodic technical inspections of motor vehicles and their trailers, with a view to privileging social distance and prophylactic isolation.
A decree-law was also approved, in general, creating a credit line with subsidized interest addressed to operators in the fishing sector. This credit line is intended to provide financial means for the acquisition of factors of production and for the settlement and renegotiation of debts with suppliers or credit institutions.
A Resolution was approved, amending Resolution no. 10-A / 2020, of 13 March, with the view that the 12-month deferral of installments falling due until September 30, 2020 relating to reimbursable subsidies allocated under the incentive systems of the National Strategic Reference Framework or Portugal 2020, do not depend on a drop in turnover or reserves or orders greater than 20%, in the two months preceding the submission of the request to change the plan reimbursement compared to the same period of the previous year.