News from afpop - Friday 16th April 2021 update
Michael Reeve - 22-04-2021
News from afpop - Friday 16th April 2021 update
Included in this briefing:
1. Office renovations
2. Opening on the 19th
3. Staying as they are
4. Taking a step back
5. Flights to Portugal
6. Census reminder
7. A new name for S.E.F.
8. Vilamoura Boat Show
9. The islands
10. Covid across Portugal
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.
I am sure that you’re all aware by now that the next phase of ‘desconfinamento’ is not as straight forward as the previous one, as the government looks at which councils can continue to move forward, which stay as they are and which move back a step. Fortunately the backwards movers are few, but it does show that the government are not minded to simply roll out an opening up of the country and will continue to assess the scientific advice regarding infections. The Prime Minister in fact held a meeting with 15 council leaders last week to warn them about the problems in their areas.
As from the 19th of April in all areas except for; Alandroal, Albufeira, Carregal do Sal, Figueiria da Foz, Marinha Grande, Moura, Odemira, Penela, Portimão and Rio Maior will have the following restrictions lifted. More on these below.
We are in the process of upgrading the office computer network, as well as some structural alterations in the office. This may cause some interruptions to our network and phone systems during next week, but we will of course respond to all enquiries as quickly as we can. Please bear this in mind if you are contacting us and we will do our best to keep any interruptions as brief as possible. Thank you for your patience.
What is opening from the 19th?
- All shops and shopping centres
- Restaurants, cafés and pastry shops (maximum of four people per table inside, or six on the terrace), until 22h30 (or 13h00 on weekends and public holidays)
- Cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, concert halls
- Loja do Cidadão, with face-to-face service, but by appointment
- Sporting activities of medium risk
- Outdoor physical activity up to six people
- Outdoor events with reduced capacity
- Weddings and christenings with 25% of capacity of the venue.
- Secondary and higher education
Who stay as they are?
Alandroal, Albufeira, Beja, Carregal do Sal, Figueiria da Foz, Marinha Grande and Penela. The restrictions remain as for the current confinement plan:
- Stores up to 200m2 with a door onto the street
- Fairs and non-food markets (with Câmara permission)
- Restaurant and Cafes –Terraces only (max. 4 people)
- Low risk sports
- Museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries etc
- Disability centres
- Outdoor physical activity for up to 4 people and gyms without group classes
- Middle schools (and activity centres for these age groups)
Who takes a step back?
Moura, Odemira, Portimão and Rio Maior. For those areas it is a return to the previous phase, which means shops and terraces are to close, together with gymnasiums, museums and galleries. Fairs and sporting activity are prohibited, but hairdressers, libraries, vehicle centres, book and music stores can stay open and coffee shops can maintain a take away service from the door.
The next phase of the reopening is scheduled for May 3rd and as always we will have more information on that in a future briefing, once the details have been confirmed by the government, but course the government may take steps before that to adjust these restrictions if they feel that infections rates justify a change. This is borne out by the fact that Beja was on the initial ‘stay as you are’ list, but was taken off whilst this briefing was being written.
Flights to Portugal:
Flights to Portugal are starting to be allowed to enter, but still at the moment for countries outside the EU/Schengen areas, a trip to Portugal must be for a genuine reason, one of which is for foreign residents to return to their homes in Portugal. A negative Covid test taken with 72 hours of boarding must be produced and passengers must have completed this form https://travel.sef.pt/Forms/Form.aspx prior to boarding also.
Just a reminder that the census begins on April 19th and Members should have received their census form by now. The census is ONLY for residents in Portugal and is obligatory, so property owners who do not live in Portugal are not required to complete the census.
Please remember that if you do not feel comfortable with completing the census online, you can make an appointment with your Junta de Freguesia, who will assist you in person at their offices. Remember to take the census document and your Residência with you.
New name for SEF:
The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) will soon be called Serviço de Estrangeiros e Asilo (SEA). The SEA will have a purely administrative role, with the main function of supporting immigrants and refugees living in Portugal. The police functions hitherto performed by SEF will be transferred to the other security forces and services, such as the National Republican Guard (GNR), the Public Security Police (PSP) and the Judiciary Police (PJ).
Vilamoura Boat Show:
As the country starts to open and hopefully event might start also to get underway, I thought Members would like to know about the Vilamoura Boat Show, which is scheduled for 5th to 13th June, at the Marina in Vilamoura. You can find out more information on the website www.vilamouraboatshow.fil.pt,which is in Portuguese but does translate to other languages when using Google.