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  • 10 of April of 2020Message of thanks to the nations where Timorese reside
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    April 10, 2020
    Press Release
    The Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste expresses its deepest gratitude to all the countries where Timorese reside, study, work and count on the protection of their governments.
    At a time when the whole world is joining forces in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and at this time of celebration of Easter, one of the most important solemnities in the Catholic religion, the Government joins all Timorese throughout the world, wishing a happy Easter and expressing its thanks to all the nations that welcome our People so well. ENDS
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    08 of April of 2020 Government signs agreement with Airnorth to ensure continued air services connectivity
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    April 8, 2020
    Press Release
     Government signs agreement with Airnorth to ensure continued air services connectivity
    The Government of Timor-Leste, through the Minister of Transport and Communications José Agostinho da Silva, on Tuesday, 7 April signed an agreement with Airnorth that will allow for air services to continue between Dili and Darwin.  The agreement was recently approved by the Council of Ministers according to the Government Spokesperson, Minister of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers Agio Pereira.
    Under the agreement, Airnorth will operate three flights per week between Dili and Darwin for the transport of medical supplies, medical emergencies, and the provision of essential goods and services. The services will commence in the coming week, with the date of first flight to be this Friday, 10th of April.
    The COVID-19 crisis is having an unprecedented impact on airlines around the world. In recent weeks, several service providers, including Airnorth and Air Timor, announced the cessation of services in and out of Dili. This was in response to widescale travel restrictions enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as transit and quarantine restrictions imposed by the Singaporean Government.  A cessation of all air services now leaves Timor-Leste isolated, without global connectivity for the movement of freight, medical supplies or passengers in emergencies.
    The agreement signed between the Government of Timor-Leste and Airnorth ensures continued air connectivity for Timor-Leste. Once the global COVID-19 crisis has stabilised, the parties anticipate a smooth transition to the provision of regular passenger services. In the interim, Airnorth’s services will largely be for the transport of freight and emergency medical supplies.
    Minister Agio Pereira said: “There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our people.”
    “As we all know, the outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared a public health emergency of international concern and is impacting countries around the world.”
    “The Government of Timor-Leste is taking concrete steps to protect the Timorese people and secure the safety of our nation.”
    Minister José Agostinho da Silva stated that “it is the responsibility of our Government to maintain an air transit route to ensure we can continue to bring in supplies to assist us in dealing with the challenges arising out of the COVID-19 virus.”
    Minister Agio Pereira added: “The Government has been working to secure a swift and cost-efficient air connectivity solution. Despite Airnorth cutting its services to many locations due to the impact of COVID-19, the airline has agreed to continue three services to Dili per week under this partnership.
    “This initiative will also be important for our businesses that rely heavily on air connections for freight.”
    “We thank Airnorth for its ongoing support and the flexibility shown by its CEO Daniel Bowden, who led the negotiation process personally.  We have been well advised by Stephen Webb and his aviation team at DLA Piper to ensure this arrangement has been put in place as quickly and cost effectively as possible, and as a gesture to our people this has been provided on a pro bono basis.”
    Minister Pereira also stated that, “On behalf of the people of Timor-Leste, I want to acknowledge the bravery and hard work of our health care workers during this crisis. I also would like to recognise the support of the Australian Government in facilitating medical testing in Darwin, and  the Airnorth workers who will continue operating the service during these challenging times.” ENDS
     
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  • 08 of April of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 8, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 8, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Dili Convention Center and approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Acting Minister of Finance, Sara Lobo Brites, which regulates the "COVID-19 Fund", established as an autonomous fund, integrated in the direct administration of the State, within the framework of the Ministry of Finance. The COVID-19 Fund aims to finance expenditure related to the prevention and fight against COVID-19. This Fund includes expenditure related to the acquisition of medicines, materials, medical equipment and essential goods, the installation and maintenance of quarantine and isolation sites, the training and operationalization of professionals involved in the prevention and fight against COVID-19, with social protection for victims of SARS-CoV-2 and other expenses related to the fight against the new coronavirus. The approval of measures to prevent and combat COVID-19 to be financed by the Fund will be previously approved by the Interministerial Commission for the Coordination of the Implementation of Measures for the Prevention and Control of the New Coronavirus Outbreak. The procurement process relating to expenditure financed by the Fund will be carried out in accordance with the Legal Provision Regime and the Public Procurement Code. The fund's management is the responsibility of the Management Board, which is chaired by the member of the Government responsible for finance and also composed of the members of the Government responsible for health and foreign affairs. The technical, administrative and logistical support necessary for the operation of the Fund will be provided by the Ministry of Finance.
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares, presented a draft Government Resolution, approved by the Council of Ministers, for the grant of a subsidy to Timorese citizens residing abroad, scholarship holders and non-grantees, to deal with the pandemic of the new Coronavirus. In safeguarding public health and protecting the social and economic well-being of national citizens, this law establishes a mechanism for consular support and protection for Timorese citizens living abroad, who declare a proven lack of financial means to bear daily expenses and who depend on family income to subsist.
    The Acting Minister of Finance also presented a draft deliberation, approved by the Council of Ministers, on the contract for the supervision of the rehabilitation work of the Hera-Manatuto road, a project financed by a loan from the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
    The Council of Ministers approved an amendment to the Government Decree No.3/2020 of March 28 on the measures to implement the declaration of a state of emergency made by the Decree of the President of the Republic n. o 29/2020 of 27 March. With this change, the possibility of entry into national territory of citizens of any nationality will be temporarily suspended from Monday, April 13.
    The Prime Minister, Taur Matan  Ruak and the members of the Situation Room, of the Integrated Crisis Management Centre (CIFG), gave a presentation to the Council of Ministers on the state of play of activities and the strategy for preventing and combating COVID-19. The four operational objectives to maintain or reduce the spread rate of COVID-19 were presented: ensuring adequate quarantine for all citizens arriving in Timor-Leste and people who have had contact with positive cases of SAR-CoV-2; identification of suspected cases, laboratory tests and isolation of covid-19 positive cases; preparation of isolation and treatment sites, at the level of the acquisition of equipment, medicines and facilities, and mobilization and training of human resources; and strengthening of containment measures, such as personal hygiene, social and physical distancing and voluntary confinement. CIFG members  also informed the Council of Ministers that between 1 March and 7 April 2020, there were a total of 1726 people who were monitored, 1072 people in mandatory confinement at the 29 quarantine sites prepared by the Government and 654 people in self-quarantine in their homes. There are also a total of 818 people (164 from mandatory quarantine sites and 654 in self-quarantine) who have already completed the 14-day quarantine period and received a certificate from the Ministry of Health. The main short-term priorities were also presented, such as the preparation of new mandatory confinement spaces, the preparation of a field hospital for isolation and treatment in Tasitolu, the improvement of laboratory capacity and the improvement of the conditions of quarantine sites. Next Friday, the analysis will be presented to the first fourteen days of the state of emergency.
    The Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, made a presentation to the Council of Ministers on the economic plan in response to the negative implications caused by COVID-19 in the national economy. The package of measures is divided into eight main areas and includes measures relating to the distribution of essential goods, credit lines, tax exemptions and subsidies for citizens. The first area of this package of measures is related to connectivity and aims to ensure the continuity of the supply of maritime and air transport in order to ensure the national supply of goods. The second area concerns the distribution of essential goods, in particular food, medicines and clinical equipment, through reimbursement, supply and distribution of essential goods by the Government. The third area of activity refers to the guarantee of continuity of the supply of telecommunications service, namely with the Government subsidizing internet access to students and teachers. The fourth refers to tax relief measures, such as the postponement or temporary suspension of tax obligations, in order to ease the burden on businesses and consumers and provide them with liquidity. Next, the fifth area of activity concerns utilities, with the participation or suspension of payment of electricity and water supply services.  The sixth area concerns public expenditure and aims to speed up the implementation of public expenditure already budgeted, in particular by anticipating the payment of salaries, social benefits, subsidies and amounts contractually provided for in procurement procedures. The seventh area relates to the creation of credit lines with reduced rates. The eighth, and last area of activity, refers to direct assistance, namely with direct support to the population and companies, with the objective of ensuring that the family maintains an income of 100 U.S. dollars per month, with the provision of a salary contribution to employers to subsidize 30,000 workers, with exemptions from payment of social security contributions by workers and employers and with exemption from payment of rents, in state properties.
    The Council of Ministers decided to grant tolerance days-off to all officials and agents of ministries or services dependent on them, as well as institutes and bodies integrated in indirect state administration, on Thursday, April 9 and Monday, April 13. ENDS
     
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    01 of April of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 1, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 1, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Dili Convention Center and approved a draft Government Decree, presented by the Acting Minister of Finance, Sara Lobo Brites, on the first amendment to Government Decree No. 1/2020 of 15 January on the budget execution on a duodecimal basis of the 2020 financial year. The amendment seeks to enable the normal activity of the State to be carried out, enabling the execution of public expenditure up to the limit set in the General State Budget of the previous year and to establish a set of safeguards that ensure prudent management of budgetary appropriations. The Government Decree, now approved, provides for a set of exceptions to the duodecimal regime, which will allow the solution of various onstraints that have prevented the State from fully fulfilling its obligations, in particular in responding to the current emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic crisis.
    The Acting Minister of Finance presented a draft Government Decree, approved by the Council of Ministers, concerning the first amendment to Government Decree No. 3/2019 of March 27 on the implementation of the General State Budget for 2019. This amendment aims to enable the realization of expenditure related to the prevention and combat of COVID-19, with the necessary urgency and agility, namely expenditure related to aviation services, and with contributions to international organizations, before verifying the effective provision of services or delivery of goods.
    The Council of Ministers approved the draft Government Deliberation, presented by the Acting Minister of Finance, on the budget ceiling for the month of April under the duodecimal regime, with a total value of USD 114,887,000, excluding loans. The resolution provides for expenses related to the acquisition of medicines and equipment to respond to COVID-19, payment of pensions and the payment of the lease of the facilities of diplomatic missions. It is also foreseen in the deliberation, the suspension of expenditure, which during the duration of the state of emergency, is suspended or reduced, namely expenditure related to local and foreign travel, organisation of training and seminars, and maintenance of vehicles.
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation presented a draft Resolution, approved by the Council of Ministers, for the signing of a contract between the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for the purchase of medicines and medical equipment, related to the response to the COVID-19 epidemic.
    The Council of Ministers approved a draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of Public Works, Salvador Soares dos Reis Pires, which establishes the Public Company "Be'e Timor-Leste" (BTL, E. P.) and approves its respective Statutes. This public company will have as its mission the provision of the public service of water supply and sanitation, through investment in the construction, management and supervision of water and sanitation systems throughout the territory, comprising the entire water cycle, as well as, through the establishment of uniform service levels in the water supply and in the supply of sanitation to the population.
    The Minister of Public Works also presented a draft Decree-Law, approved by the Council of Ministers, on the creation of the water and sanitation regulatory body, I. P. (ERAS I. P.). The task of this public institute is to propose, monitor and ensure the implementation of a national water resources policy in order to ensure its sustainable and integrated management, as well as to ensure the supervision of the public water supply services, urban waste water sanitation and municipal solid waste.
    The Council of Ministers approved a draft Decree-Law, also presented by the Minister of Public Works, which establishes the criteria for controlling the quality of water for human consumption. The approved diploma establishes the criteria that define the essential requirements of water quality for human consumption, aiming to protect the health of the population from the adverse effects resulting from possible contamination, from capture to distribution to the consumer, ensuring the supply of drinking water and the balance of its composition.  ENDS
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    28 of March of 2020Measures Relating to the Measures Relating to Private Economic Initiative during the State of Emergency
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    March 28, 2020
    Press Release
    State of Emergency
    Measures Relating to Private Economic Initiative
    In view of the declaration of a state of emergency, a Government Decree listing the measures for implementation of the declaration of the state of emergency was approved at the Meeting of the Council of Ministers on March 28, 2020.
    The measures adopted aim to prevent COVID-19, contain the pandemic, save lives and ensure the subsistence of supply chains of essential goods and services for our population, even though they may limit some fundamental rights and freedoms. These measures are taken with respect for constitutional limits and following the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the example of other States.
    The state of emergency is in force between 00:00 hours on March 28, 2020 and 23:59 hours on April 26, 2020 and applies to the entire national territory.
    During the duration of the state of emergency, collective passenger transport is suspended.
    Commercial and service establishments, markets and street vendors are allowed.
    When entering commercial or service establishments all persons must wear a protective mask covering their mouth and nose, wash their hands before entering and maintain a safe distance of at least one meter from other people. ENDS
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    28 of March of 2020Measures relating to vocational education and training establishments during the state of emergency
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    March 28, 2020
    Press Release
    State of Emergency
    Measures relating to vocational education and training establishments
    In view of the declaration of a state of emergency, a Government Decree listing the measures for implementing the declaration of the state of emergency was approved at the Meeting of the Council of Ministers on March 28, 2020.
    The measures adopted aim to prevent COVID-19, contain the pandemic, save lives and ensure the subsistence of supply chains of essential goods and services for our population, even though they may limit some fundamental rights and freedoms. These measures are taken with respect for constitutional limits and following the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the example of other States.
    The state of emergency is in force between 00:00 hours on March 28, 2020 and 23:59 hours on April 26, 2020 and applies to the entire national territory.
    During the state of emergency, all school activities are suspended on a face-to-face basis and the facilities of educational, education and vocational training establishments are closed, and teachers and students are prohibited from staying in the premises. Distance learning should be promoted through the means of information and communication in this period. ENDS
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    28 of March of 2020Measures Relating to International Circulation during the state of emergency
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    March 28, 2020
    Press Release
    State of Emergency
    Measures Relating to International Circulation
    In view of the declaration of a state of emergency, a Government Decree listing the measures for implementation of the declaration of the state of emergency was approved at the Meeting of the Council of Ministers on March 28, 2020.
    The measures adopted aim to prevent COVID-19, contain the pandemic, save lives and ensure the subsistence of supply chains of essential goods and services for our population, even though they may limit some fundamental rights and freedoms. These measures are taken with respect for constitutional limits and following the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the example of other States.
    The state of emergency is in force between 00:00 hours on March 28, 2020 and 23:59 hours on April 26, 2020 and applies to the entire national territory.
    Regarding international movement, the Government Decree prohibits the entry of foreigners into national territory, except for foreigners born in Timor-Leste, resident citizens and legal representatives of minors of Timorese nationality. The Prime Minister may exceptionally authorise the entry of foreigners, in duly substantiated cases, relating to the defence of the national interest or convenience of service. This prohibition does not apply to oil rig workers located in the Timor Sea.
    Foreigners responsible for the transport of goods or release of imported goods must remain in the international zone of seaports, airports or land border posts.
    All persons wishing to leave the country will be subject to health control, in particular by measuring body temperature or other means of diagnosis. Except in cases of medical evacuation, those who present symptoms of COVID-19, fever greater than 38º C, cough and/or breathing difficulties will be prevented from traveling and will be taken to a health facility to perform diagnostic tests of COVID-19.
    All persons entering the country are required to be quarantined for at least 14 days and if they have symptoms of COVID-19 will have to be subject to diagnostic examination of COVID-19 and in positive cases will be subject to therapeutic isolation. ENDS
     
     
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    28 of March of 2020Measures Regarding Measures Relating to Compulsory and Voluntary Isolation During the State of Emergency
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    March 28, 2020
    Press Release
    State of Emergency
    Measures Relating to Compulsory and Voluntary Isolation
    In view of the declaration of a state of emergency, a Government Decree listing the measures for implementing the declaration of the state of emergency was approved at the Meeting of the Council of Ministers on March 28, 2020.
    The measures adopted aim to prevent COVID-19, contain the pandemic, save lives and ensure the subsistence of supply chains of essential goods and services for our population, even though they may limit some fundamental rights and freedoms. These measures are taken with respect for constitutional limits and following the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the example of other States.
    The state of emergency is in force between 00:00 hours on March 28, 2020 and 23:59 hours on April 26, 2020 and applies to the entire national territory.
    Compulsory isolation in a health facility or their homes applies to all those infected with the new Coronavirus until they are discharged, and all individuals who enter the national territory and all those under the supervision of the authorities will remain in isolation for a period of fourteen days.
    Those who are not in mandatory isolation or are exempted from fulfilling their duty of presence in their workplace should remain at home. If they need to leave, they should go out alone and keep a distance of at least one meter from other individuals, avoiding crowds.
    Meetings or demonstrations involving the agglomeration of more than five people and any social, cultural and sporting events are prohibited. It is also forbidden to hold any religious celebrations and other events of worship, while the holding of funerals is conditional on the adoption of prevention measures and should not allow for the presence of more than ten people simultaneously. ENDS
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