Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on January 29, 2021

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on January 29, 2021

The Council of Ministers approved the Government Decree draft, presented by the Prime-Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, on the measures to implement of the state of emergency, renewed by the President of Republic’s Decree 6/2021, of January 27th, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of emergency, now renewed, covers the entire national territory and is in force between February 2nd, 2021, 00:00 a.m. and March  3rd, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

As the Decree of the President of Republic states, given that “overall, the epidemiological situation shows a notorious trend of aggravation“ and, “in particular, the pandemic evolution in the Indonesian province of Eastern Sunda (Nusa Tenggara Timur, or NTT)”, it is necessary to maintain an important set of measures that prevent the importation of SARS-CoV-2 into the national territory and its transmission among the population”.

The Government Decree requires that all individuals residing in Timor Leste to maintain a distance of, at least, five feet from other individuals with whom they do not live in a common economy, to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth when they have to access or stay in public or private premises for collective use, and to sanitize their hands when they intend to enter commercial, industrial or service establishments or  buildings where public administration services operate.

It remains mandatory that all individuals wishing to enter or leave the national territory are subject to health control.  It also remains mandatory for prophylactic isolation (quarantine) with a minimum duration of fourteen days, and testing for COVID-19, for citizens wishing to enter the country, who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have had contact with individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2. Expenses related to prophylactic isolation are borne by each individual when the prophylactic isolation is carried out in a private health establishment or private isolation centre established by the State.

The ban on land border crossings for traditional or customary purposes and for access to regulated markets is also maintained, while maintaining the respective sanctions. The entry of foreigners into national territory, across land borders, remains subject to prior authorization.

During the period of the state of emergency, all licenses, authorizations and other administrative acts and documents remain valid, regardless of their expiration date.

Security forces officers should sensitize all individuals of the need to comply with provisions of this Government Decree. The agents of the security forces identify the individuals who disrespected the orders issued, report the incident to the Public Prosecutors’ Office, and the offenders may incur criminal liability, under the Penal Code. In the event that the infraction is committed by foreign citizens, the occurrence is reported to the Migration Service.

The Council of Ministers decided, on a proposal from the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral and the Minister of Finance, Rui Augusto Gomes, a set of political guidelines related to the implementation of the “basic basket” program. END