ANTÓNIO COTRIM/LUSA

Interior minister lays ‘State of Alert’ on the line

Interior minister lays ‘State of Alert’ on the line

Interior minister Eduardo Cabrita has finally laid out what exactly a State of Alert means to our everyday lives.

Essentially, it means we have to comply with everything we are told by the authorities, at risk of incurring ‘a crime of disobedience’.

Media outlets have a “special obligation to collaborate” with the authorities in order to publicise “information relevant to the situation”

As various reports have explained today, a State of Alert differs from a State of Emergency in that it allows the government to keep frontiers open.

It is a measure that falls under Civil Protection legislation giving the government “a series of widened powers to confront a grave accident or catastrophe”.

All these powers are brought in the moment a State of Alert is declared.

This means “all citizens and sundry private entities are obliged, in the area concerned (mainland Portugal), to comply with what is required by civil protection authorities in terms of orders, directions and respective solicitations”.

As Diário de Notícias explains, “this covers the entire Portuguese population”.

Adds the paper, the law that declares a State of Alert has to mention “the nature of the event that has originated in the situation”, “the temporal and territorial scope” and preventive measures that have to be adopted.

Cabrita stressed this afternoon saying that “during a State of Alert it is up to security forces to ensure compliance, to ensure in strict coordination with public health authorities that measures restricting circulation are rigorously respected and that measures restricting activities are also adequately fulfilled”.

These stipulations “emphasise the duty that falls on citizens”, he added.

For now, the time period for this new situation extends to April 9, at which point the crisis will be re-evaluated and “may be extended”, writes DN.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com