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Ponta Delgada ,  March 13, 2020

Press release from the President of the Regional Government of the Azores

"Following the Regional Government's permanent monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Government of the Azores has determined the following:
1- Declare state of emergency in the entire territory of the Autonomous Region of the Azores until March 31 under the terms of the Legal Scheme on the Civil Protection System of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, without excluding the possibility of extending this period or the transition to the following phase provided for in the document.
2- Include in this state of emergency declaration all the preventive measures and recommendations already issued in this regard by the Regional Health Authority as well as all those that will be further issued by the same entity.
3 - Include in this state of emergency declaration all measures already defined by the Government of the Azores under the previous the state of alert declaration and request the National Government to effectively reinforce the surveillance of passengers travelling to the Autonomous Region of the Azores at the national airports of origin,  especially as regards their compliance with the guidelines issued by the public health authorities from their places of origin.
4 - Activate a proximity network to support displaced Azoreans with the aim of providing information to the Azoreans residing in Mainland Portugal and in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, or who have travelled to these areas, in partnership with various organisations.
This network is composed of the House of the Azores of the North Region, the House of the Azores of Lisbon, the House of the Azores of Madeira, the Support Service for Displaced Patients and the Youth United for the Azores Association.         
In practice, this network will draw on the contacts and experience of these organisations in the work of proximity with Azoreans in the remaining national territory to provide information about the decisions that, at each moment, the Government of the Azores and the Regional Health Authority will adopt, also contributing to the clarification on issues that may eventually arise.
The network focuses on Azoreans residing in Mainland Portugal and in the Autonomous Region of Madeira as well as, in particular, patients displaced through the Regional Health System and Higher Education students.
On behalf of the Government of the Azores, I would like to express the recognition and recognition to these entities for their prompt availability and collaboration.
5 - The Government of the Azores has also decided to create a specific telephone line for the provision of non-medical information.
This line, which is being finalised, will enter into operation in the next few hours and will be disclosed in due course to answer non-medical questions.
6 - I urge all Azoreans to only call the Azores Health Line for medical reasons, but they should only do so when experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or breathing difficulties.
In these cases, they should not, I repeat, they should not go to Hospitals and Health Centres before contacting the Azores Health Line.
7 - I would like to offer a word of recognition and thanks to all of those who, in a more direct and immediate manner, are also involved in our response to this situation.
Health Professionals, Firefighters and Security Forces are just some of the professional sectors whose dedication, commitment and professionalism are a source of pride for the Azores and for all Azoreans.
8 - As, I believe, everyone realises this is not an easy or normal situation.
Therefore, I call for the sense of responsibility, serenity and tranquillity of each Azorean to overcome, as a People and as a Region, this challenge.
9 - I conclude by urging, once again, the compliance with the protection and prevention measures determined by the health authorities.
10 - The protection of all people begins with individual protection.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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