President of the Republic renews State of Emergency for another 30 days

Sat. 03 of Outubro of 2020, 19:37h

The President of the Republic, Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, after the Government’s request, decreed today, October 3rd, 2020, the state of emergency renewal, for another 30 days, between October 5th, 2020, 00.00 am and November 3rd, 2020, 11.59 pm.

The President of the Republic Decree 62/2020, of October 3rd states that “given that the determinant causes that justified the renewal of the current emergency declaration (…) remain, it becomes absolutely necessary, in order to protect the public health, the renewal of the current state of emergency for the same period”.

Government decided, at the Council of Ministers meeting, on September 23rd, 2020,  propose the State of Emergency extension of the, for another thirty days, to the President of the Republic. After the State Council and Defence and Security Superior Council positive opinions, the National Parliament, in the morning of October 3rd, authorized the President of the Republic to declare the renewal of the state of emergency, for the sixth time, since the pandemic of COVID-19 appeared, which considers essential “taking into account the risk of import and subsequent spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the national territory”.

On the same day of the Presidential Decree publication, the Government, in a Council of Ministers extraordinary meeting, approved the measures to implement the state of emergency.

From the various measures approved, it is worth highlighting the rules for entering national territory across land borders reinforcement, with the prohibition of land border crossing for traditional or customary purposes and for access to regulated markets, and with the imposition of fines, from US $30 to $250 , and the obligation to pay the expenses resulting from the respective quarantine for those who enter the country illegally.

The Government Decree determines that individuals of foreign nationality who intend to enter national territory through the land border must register in consular posts and request authorization to enter.

The obligation that all individuals wishing to enter or leave the national territory must be subjected to sanitary control, and the prohibition boarding on buses, ships or aircraft to whom shows symptoms of COVID-19, remains.

Citizens who wish to enter the country are also required to test for COVID-19 and comply with a minimum period of 14 days quarantine. This time limit does not apply to aircraft crews who ensure the international transport of passengers or goods and drivers of heavy goods vehicles for international land transportation. If COVID-19 is diagnosed, these citizens are obliged to undergo therapeutic isolation.

Individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, suspected of being infected by SARS-CoV-2, but whose COVID-19 tests are inconclusive, who are health professionals who have worked in an isolation centre where SARS-CoV-2 infections are cared for, or who have been in close contact, living together or sharing the same environment with a COVID-19 patient, are also subject to quarantine for, at least, fourteen days.

Expenses related to quarantine are covered by each individual when carried out in a private health establishment, residence or isolation centre.

The Government Decree also states that, during the state of emergency, all individuals living in Timor-Leste are subject to the collaboration obligation, and should engage in and promote the practice of social distancing behaviour and respiratory etiquette, namely avoiding participating in crowds, keeping a distance of, at least, one and a half meter from other individuals with whom they do not live in shared economy, wearing a face mask covering the nose and mouth when they have to remain in closed public spaces and frequently sanitizing their hands, namely at the entrance of business premises and public administration service buildings.

Timor Leste recorded, so far, a total of 28 infected cases with SARS-CoV-2, of which 27 have already recovered, and there is currently only one active case.

Worldwide, the number of infected people has already exceeded 35 million, causing the death of more than one million people. More than 26 million people have already recovered from the disease.