On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019. The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.

On 12th March 2020, the Portuguese government declared the highest level of alert because of COVID-19 and will maintain it until 9 April. Portugal enters a Mitigation Phase as Community Transmission is detected and there is a need to implement harsher measures. On 18th March, the President of the RepublicMarcelo Rebelo de Sousa, declared the entirety of the Portuguese territory in a State of Emergency for the following fifteen days, with the possibility of renewal, the first since the Carnation Revolution in 1974.

On 2nd April, the Parliament approved the extension of the State of Emergency, requested by the President. The State of Emergency will remain until 17 April, subject to further extensions of similar duration. Under the new regulations, for the Easter celebrations, from 9 April to 13 April the Portuguese Government decreed special measures in restricting people movements between municipalities with very few exceptions, closing all airports to civil transportation and increased control in the national borders.

On 30th of April, the Portuguese Minister’s Council approved a plan to start releasing the country from the COVID-19 container measures and cancel the Emergency State.  The plan was divided in three stages (dates): 4th of May, 18th of May and 1st of July.On 2nd of May the Emergency State was canceled. On 4th of May Portugal started the first phase in opening the restrictions. picture below shows the coronavirus cases in Portugal.