Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, Dili, 28 October 2020
The President of the Republic, Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, on 27 October renewed the state of emergency in the entire national territory for another period of 30 days, starting at 0:00 on 4 November (Wednesday) and ending at 23:59 on 3 December (Thursday).
The state of emergency means taking measures that partially suspend or limit the exercise of fundamental rights, such as the international movement of people, freedom of movement and residence anywhere in the national territory, and the right to resistance.
The competent public authorities will now impose the restrictions deemed necessary to reduce the risk of contagion and to implement measures to prevent and combat the epidemic, including social distancing, prophylactic isolation and mandatory confinement at home or in health facilities, the use of face masks, and handwashing.
The President of the Republic declared the renewal of the state of emergency after receiving authorisation from National Parliament on 27 October.
After having obtained a favourable opinion from the members of the Superior Council for Defence and Security and the Council of State on 26 October, who believe that the best defence against the novel coronavirus is prevention given the country’s poor infrastructure and limited resources, the President of the Republic sent a message to the National Parliament requesting authorisation to declare the renewal of the state of emergency, as suggested by the government.
The government’s proposal to extend the state of emergency is due to the worrying evolution of the epidemiological situation and the spread of confirmed cases of COVID-19 community contagion at both regional level and worldwide.
When the first imported COVID-19 case was reported in March, the state of Timor-Leste decided to declare a state of emergency. The declaration of a state of emergency is a measure to prevent and control COVID-19 in order to avoid a public calamity.
Timor-Leste has reported, since March, 29 confirmed cases of infection – 28 of which have already recovered – and no fatalities.