Included in this briefing:
- End of State of Emergency
- Opening on May 1st
- April 5th restrictions
- March 15th restrictions
- Portimão Vaccinations for over 60s
- Vaccinations for over 65s
- Sending parcels outside the EU
- Flights to Portugal
- Reopen Europe website
- Office renovations
- Vilamoura Boat Show
- The islands
- 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.
As you have probably already heard, the State of Emergency ends at midnight tonight (Friday) and Portugal returns to the ‘Calamity’ state. However, in his address to the Portuguese public, the President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa reminded the country that “the virus has not disappeared, the pandemic is not over and we must do everything to avoid a setback.” He asked us all to use “common sense, prudence, precaution and discipline in the 4th phase of Desconfinamento”. The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health have both warned that the government will not hesitate to return to State of Emergency if the situation in Portugal begins to deteriorate again.
Notwithstanding those strong cautionary statements, the good news is that the situation in Portugal is clearly improving and the government feels that the plan of reopening the country can continue, although there are still some municipalities that are not out of the woods yet and others that have slipped back. The 4th stage of ‘deconfinement’ has in fact been brought forward and comes into force at midnight tonight, rather than on Monday as was scheduled, presumably to allow restaurants and shops to benefit over the weekend.
What is opening from the 1st?
- Restaurants, cafes and pastelarias (6 per table inside/10 on terraces) until 22h30
- Stores and shopping centres may open until 21h00 on weekdays and 19h00 on weekends
- All sports centres
- Outdoor physical activity and gyms
- Major outdoor and indoor events with reduced attendance (according to DGS rules)
- Cultural events until 22h30
- Weddings and baptisms with 50% of the limit capacity
- The land border with Spain is also reopening as from 1st May
Who stay at April 5th level restrictions?
Aljezur, Resende and Carregal do Sal
- 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
Who stays at March 15th level restrictions?
Portimão and Odemira (São Teotónio and Longueira/Almograve)
In the parishes of São Teotónio and Longueira/Almograve a Sanitary fence is in place, which means there is no movement in or out of those parishes.
- Stores up to 200 m2 with door to the street
- Museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries etc.
- Fairs and non-food markets
- Low-risk sports modalities
The operation of:
- Trade at the door or window
- Automobile trade and real estate mediation
- Hairdressing salons, manicurists etc by prior appointment
- Retail establishments for books and musical support
- Parks, gardens, green spaces and leisure spaces
- Libraries and archives
The situation in the area with restrictions will now be assessed at the end of each week.
Vaccinations for over 60s in Portimão:
In an attempt to address the infection rates in Portimão, the municipality has been granted extraordinary authorisation to start vaccinating locals of 60 years of age and above. All PORTIMÃO residents aged 60 years or over who have not yet been vaccinated, should call the Municipal 24 Protection line, on the 24 hour number 808 282 112, where they will be assisted in registering for their vaccine at the Portimão Vaccination Centre.
The number will be busy but keep trying and have your Utente Number (number from the health centre) and NIF (Portuguese Fiscal Number), in order to be registered. You can ask to speak English and you will receive a call later to tell you the date and time for your vaccination.
Please note that at the moment this vaccination plan for over 60s is only for residents of Portimão area. If other councils follow their lead we will update Members in those areas.
Vaccinations for over 65s across the country:
Those people who are over 65 years of age and have not yet been vaccinated, can now make an appointment themselves via the Health Ministry website on the link https://covid19.min-saude.pt/ You will see at the top of the page a large banner which says “Vacina COVID 19 | Pedido de agendamento”. Click on the link in the green box which says “Tem 65 ou mais anos e ainda não foi vacinado(a)?” and then enter your date of birth, click ‘Validar’ and follow the instructions on the subsequent pages, where you also choose the date. The health service will then contact you by SMS to inform you of the time for your vaccination.
Sending parcels outside the EU:
We have notified Members previously about the changes to the process for sending parcels outside of the EU, which now of course affects UK Members. There is a problem with the form online that is required by CTT, especially concerning the CODIGO HARMONIZADO, which it appears makes it impossible to complete. In fact we have tried in the afpop office for a few Members and have failed every time. However, the good news is that if you go to the CTT office as we explained in the UPDATE article in February and pay a small fee (around €3.50), they will do it for you.
This may be a problem at the smaller CTT offices, where there is reduced staffing, but the bigger CTT offices should have no problem at all in helping.
Flights to Portugal:
The situation on flights appears to remain unchanged and 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.
As Europe begins to reopen, the restrictions in force will vary from country to country. In this link: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/ you can find information on each country for those who will be travelling across the continent, including quarantine and testing requirements.
The office renovations are almost complete, including a new computer network and improved space in the reception area. If you have experienced difficulty getting through to the office, thank you for your patience. I am pleased to advise you that normal service should resume from Monday 3rd May.
The ‘teletrabalho’ system is to continue until 16th May and will then be reassessed. In keeping with my intention of complying with the government restrictions, the afpop team will continue to work from home during that period. I hope that from the 16th May when the current restrictions will be reviewed, we will once again be able to welcome Members to the office, initially probably by appointment only.
Vilamoura Boat Show:
A reminder for those of you who are boating enthusiasts, 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.
The islands: The links below will take you to the Covid pages for the islands.
Covid across Portugal:
In this link you can see the current infection situation in Portugal. The website is in Portuguese and you can select the latest report each time it is updated by the government. In this https://covid19.min-saude.pt/vacinacao/ you can find the current status of the vaccination programme in Portugal