This transitional impediment is established in an order from the Ministry of Health that allows the “mobilisations” of workers in the services and establishments of the NHS who have asked for the end of contracts in recent weeks, according to Publico newspaper.

However, there is already at least a group of 18 nurses with experience in intensive care whose requests for dismissal from the Centro Hospital de Lisboa Norte – which is part of the Santa Maria and Pulido Valente hospitals – have been suspended and which is trying to legally contest the content of this order.

The 18 nurses asked for the termination of their contracts to go to work for other hospitals, especially the private sector, but were this week informed by email that the proceedings were suspended for the duration of the state of emergency.