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News from afpop - Thursday 14th January 2021 update

Michael Reeve - 15-01-2021

News from afpop - Thursday 14th January 2021 update

Included in this briefing: 1. New State of Emergency; 2. Reminder of restrictions; 3. The islands; 4. Risk areas; 5. afpop office; 6. Covid-19 website Included in this briefing:

  1. New State of Emergency
  2. Reminder of restrictions
  3. The islands
  4. Risk areas
  5. afpop office
  6. Covid-19 website
I hope you are all well and keeping safe. As always if English or German are not your first language and you need clarification on any of the information included in this mailing, please contact the afpop office to ask for assistance. As we now know, the State of Emergency was renewed once again and new measures run from midnight tonight (Thursday) until midnight on January 30th. The regulations coming into force broadly mirror those of the previous lockdown, although there are no restrictions on movement between council areas or curfews in place at night or over the weekends. However, as most establishments are closed a curfew seem pointless anyway.
The general duty of citizens to stay at home returns, once again with the exceptions of trips which are authorised for health and survival, namely to buy essential goods or visit essential services and for travel to work where teleworking isn’t feasible or practical. Medical centres, clinics and pharmacies remain open as do schools. For the Portuguese there is an exception to enable them to vote in the Presidential election this month
Supermarkets and grocery stores can remain open, with a limit of 5 people per 100 square metres of space, so expect queues outside stores and notices of capacity limits posted on the doors. Restaurants, bars and cafés may offer take away or home delivery services only.
Gyms, sporting and cultural centres, spas and leisure centres, hairdressers and beauty salons are closed, although some professional sports may continue without spectators. Religious services may continue, in accordance with DGS guidelines as is currently the case.
The guidelines state that exercise in the open air may only be done individually, but as this in the guidelines referring to sporting activities I take this to mean that there can be no organised exercise classes, such as yoga or fitness training. The right to go for a walk with other family members is not mentioned, but it is also not excluded in the announcement.
Nothing has been said specifically about golf, however tennis and padel courts, 5-a-side etc are closed. It is our understanding that golf courses will also be closed, however you will know for sure if you call and try to book a tee time.
Public services may continue to operate a face-to-face service, by only by appointment, but are instructed to use digital means where possible. So visits to the local Câmara, Finanças, Conservatoria etc can continue but you have to contact them first to make an appointment. Post offices will remain open.
All celebrations, except for religious services, are prohibited. There is no mention of numbers allowed to congregate as there has been in the past, but as the instruction is to stay at home and catering establishments are closed, it seems logical to assume that gatherings of any number are prohibited.
For anyone who arrives in Portugal and refuses to take a Covid test on arrival, there is a fine between €300 and €800.

The islands: The restrictions in Madeira and the Azores are different to those in continental Portugal. The links below will take you to the Covid pages for those areas.

Risk areas: The previous maps of risk areas across the country are now no longer in force, as the State of Emergency conditions are now in general force across mainland Portugal.

afpop office: As you know, throughout the pandemic we have kept the office operating as normally as possible and will continue to do so as far as we are able to do. In order to comply with the government’s guidelines as far as possible and still maintain an acceptable level of service to Members, we will be adapting our working procedures and sadly it is not possible now to receive Members in the office. There may be some delays in responding to telephone calls, but the e-mail service will of course still operate. As we are expecting an increase in e-mails, please bear with us if you do experience any delay in receiving a reply. If your enquiry is urgent, please indicate that in the subject field of your e-mail. We will do our best to maintain the level of service to Members that you are accustomed to.

Covid website: The government Covid website carries information on the restrictions and also on the vaccine situation and when you might expect to be contacted for vaccination.  You can access a lot of information by selecting the individual tabs at the top of the page. If you select the VACINAÇÂO COVID19 tab, you will see a drop-down menu, the third line of which is ‘Simulação Fase de Vacinação’. If you select that it will ask you to select a few simple options and then tell you which phase of the process you are in and the month when that phase is expected to begin.This page is not in English, but you can use the translator of your browser.

Until next time as always my best wishes to you all and please continue to,


Michael R Reeve
afpop - Making Life Better

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