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News from afpop - Friday 28th of May 2021 update

Michael - 31-05-2021

News from afpop - Friday 28th of May 2021 update

Included in this briefing: 1. State of Calamity, 2. Restriction reminder, 3. Who stays behind?, 4. Covid vaccinations for over 50s, 5. Beaches, 6. Flights to Portugal, 7. Reopen Europe website, 8. The islands, 9. Covid across Portugal, 10. IVAucher, 11. Vilamoura Boat Show and Golf, 12. Office visits



I’m pleased to report that the Covid information that I include in these briefings to Members is becoming less with each edition. I sincerely hope that this continues to be the case, but as we have seen – and you will see again in this week’s briefing, the government is making changes on a weekly basis to the confinement rules for councils, based on the number of infections per hundred thousand people. This becomes even more relevant perhaps, as the border with Spain is now open and flights from other countries are starting to arrive.
 
The government’s weekly assessment has been made and the State of Calamity is to remain in place until 23h59 on 13th of June. Phase 4 of the deconfinement plan is now in force across almost the whole country, with the exceptions which I’ve highlighted below.
 
A reminder of what is open for most of the country:
  • 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 and gyms, which may now resume group classes
  • All outdoor physical activity
  • 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 open without border controls
  • All sports and outdoor activities are permitted
  • Water parks may now open, observing guidelines from DGS
  • Children’s amusement parks, again with DGS guidelines
  • Mobile amusement equipment may again be used, within DGS guidelines
 
Who stays behind?
 
Level 2 rules of April 19th, apply to the municipality of Golegã and continue to apply to Montalegre and Odemira
 
Level 3 measures of April 5th apply to the municipality of Arganil
 
More information can be found on https://covid19estamoson.gov.pt/
 
Vaccinations for over 50s
People over 50 years of age can now book their vaccination in the following link: https://covid19.min-saude.pt/pedido-de-agendamento/
 
Beaches:
The law covering rules for beaches still applies and also to the use of outdoor swimming pools.
 
General rules:
  • Beach access with traffic light/flag system (information is updated continuously on the InfoPraia app): Green: 50% occupancy; Yellow: between 50% and 90% occupancy; Red: more than 90% occupancy
  • Physical distancing of 1.5 m between beachgoers, (who are not part of the same group) including in the sea;
  • Wear a mask until you reach the sand area;
  • Deposit all rubbish in the places destined for that purpose;
  • Sporting activities with 2 or more are forbidden (except for nautical activities, surf lessons and similar sports);
  • When circulating on paths and boardwalks the physical distance of 1.5 m between each person must be maintained and the use of a mask is obligatory;
  • The use of footwear and mask is obligatory in any sanitary facility or restaurants and shoes are obligatory when using outdoor showers.
  • Parasols and tents must have 3m distance between them;
Violation of the rules indicated above can result in a fine of between 50 and 100 euros.
 
Flights to Portugal:
Flights to and from Portugal are allowed for:
Non-essential travels from the countries of the European Union, from Schengen Associated countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland) and from the UK (see specific information for UK travellers at https://www.visitportugal.com/en/content/uk-travellers-travelling-and-testing-procedures)
Passengers must present proof of a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before boarding time, except for children who have not reached 24 months of age.
 
Countries with an incidence rate equal to or greater than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants;  Brazil, Cyprus, India, Lithuania, South Africa and Sweden* see Updated info below:
- Only “essential travel” is allowed
- Must present proof of a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before boarding time
- It is compulsory to comply with a prophylactic isolation period of 14 days, at home or in a place indicated by the health authorities, after entering mainland Portugal
The list of countries is determined by governmental document, reviewed every 15 days and whenever necessary according to the pandemic evolution.
 
Flights from Australia, China, Israel, South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau are not suspended but are subject to confirmation of reciprocity.
 
Flights to and from other countries (which are not members of the European Union or which are not countries associated with the Schengen Area) for "essential travel" only;
 
Flights intended to allow the return to Portugal of nationals or foreign citizens holding a residence permit in Portugal and flights intended to allow the return to their countries of foreign citizens who are in Portugal, provided that they are promoted by the competent authorities of those countries.
 
On all flights, passengers must present proof of a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before boarding time, with the exception of children who have not reached 24 months of age.
 
Before travelling to Portugal, visitors from the UK should ensure they have more than six months validity left on their passports.
 
Those visiting Portugal from countries who are obliged to comply with the 14-day mandatory isolation in Portugal must register with SEF - Foreigners and Borders Service before entering the country at https://travel.sef.pt where they can select how they are entering the country and complete the appropriate form. (This is currently Brazil, Cyprus, India, Lithuania, South Africa and Sweden).
 
For British Members you can see the UK travel advice on: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal
Members from other countries here: https://www.visitportugal.com/en/content/covid-19-measures-implemented-portugal
 
Reopen Europe:
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 islands:
The links below will take you to the Covid pages for the islands.
 
Madeira: https://www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19/DecisoesExcecionaisCovid19
Azores: https://destinoseguro.azores.gov.pt/
 
 
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 link https://covid19.min-saude.pt/relatorio-de-vacinacao/ you can find the current status of the vaccination programme in Portugal
 
IVAucher:
In the December 9th mailing we advised Members that the government intended to introduce an ‘IVAucher, to try to help with the effects of the pandemic in the sectors of tourism, restaurants, accommodation and culture. Portuguese taxpayers will be able to accumulate the VAT spent in those sectors and will be able to use it later in the same sectors of activity. In this week’s announcement the government has now approved that initiative, however at the moment we have no information on exactly how it will work. For now, we suggest that Members ask for their fiscal number to be included in any receipt for restaurants, hotels or other tourist activities such as water parks, museums etc, as our understanding is that VAT recorded against your fiscal number will be issued as credits for the next quarter. We will have more on this in the June edition of UPDATE.
 
Vilamoura Boat Show – Golf discount:
Information about the Boat Show itself is available at www.vilamouraboatshow.fil.pt, which is in Portuguese but does translate to other languages when using Google. Anyone who might wish to be an exhibitor at the event can still register and you should contact Paulo Jorge, whose details are also included on the website.
 
The Golf Tournament that is being held on June 5th at the Dom Pedro Old Course is now open for bookings on the website https://golf.easyrentall.pt/torneios/ and I am delighted to tell Members that a special discounted rate has been agreed with the organisers, which can be accessed by downloading this voucher
 
Office visits:
As the State of Calamity is to remain in force until 13th of June, office visits will not be possible before that date. It is my intention to open the office to Members, by appointment, from Monday 14th of June and I will confirm that in the mailing next week.

UPDATED 31-05-2021: 
Travel law update:
The list of countries have been updated from which only essential trips are permitted and whose passengers on flights and citizens traveling by land, sea or river must comply with a period of prophylactic isolation of 14 days. Passengers travelling from Cyprus, Lithuania and Sweden no longer have to comply with the 14-day prophylactic isolation period on entering mainland Portugal, starting 00h00 on May 31, 2021 and until 23h59 on June 14, 2021, and may be revised at any time, depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.

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