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News from afpop - Friday August 27th 2021 - Update

Michael Reeve - 27-08-2021

News from afpop - Friday August 27th 2021 - Update

Included in this briefing: 1. Travel to Portugal 2. The Islands 3. SEF Strike 4. COVID cases across the world 5. Vaccinations 6. EU Digital COVID Certificate issued in Portugal 7. Fire risk 8. Annual Golf Tournament 9. Social events 10. Hospital leaflet 11. UK to Portugal ferry petition 12. afpop Office appointments

 
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. 
 
This week I am pleased to be able to send you a general mailing, once again not focussed on COVID regulations and restrictions. However, there is one issue that is causing some concern as people start travelling to and from Portugal again, that of what is required to fly here. It is frustrating because the rules seem to be very clear, and also consistent across all information sources, but still seem to be interpreted differently by some agencies.
 
So, without further ado:
 
Travel to Portugal
We have received a lot of enquiries from Members about testing for people arriving from a non-EU member state, but who have an EU Digital COVID Certificate. As I mentioned last time, I have confirmed with the ANA Aeroporto Director at Faro and he confirmed that no test is needed for people in the possession of an EU Digital COVID Certificate if they are Residents in Portugal. All other non-EU members (non-Residents) need to present proof of a negative test to screen for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
 
However, we have had calls from Members who say that their experience on arrival at the airport is that SEF officers are demanding a negative COVID test or taking them to get one done at the airport. We are also advised that some airlines are requiring a negative test prior to boarding and some aren’t. This is of course a nightmare, but at least the airline issue can be dealt with by asking the airline in advance what they require to board the plane, bearing in mind that their requirements may be different to those of the destination country.
 
As far as the airport authorities are concerned, it is confirmed that there is no test certificate required for fully vaccinated residents arriving in Portugal who have an EU Digital COVID Certificate. I have asked the airport Director to pass a report by a Member who contacted us to the SEF supervisors at Faro and ask them to confirm the situation there. It could be that some SEF officers either aren’t aware or are not applying the rules correctly and perhaps asking for a supervisor might solve the problem if you are asked for a negative test. An alternative might be to have the test done prior to returning to Portugal, but we also know that people have gone through the airport with no problem at all. As soon as we have clarification from Faro we will contact you again.   
 
Passengers entering or transiting Portugal must present: 
  • Proof of a negative RT-PCR Test (or similar NAAT test) - 72h before boarding, or Rapid Antigen Test - 48h before boarding, or EU Digital COVID Certificate 
  • Children under 12 do not need to present test.
  • All passengers need to complete a Passenger Locator Card (individually) before departure to Portugal at https://portugalcleanandsafe.pt/en/passenger-locator-card and print the confirmation
 
Provisions for passengers from the UK:
  • All travellers to mainland Portugal are required to show a negative COVID-19 test (RT-PCR taken within 72 hours of departure or Rapid Antigen (TRAg) test taken 48 hours prior to departure);
  • Passengers with EU Digital COVID Certificate  do not need to have a COVID-19 test prior to travel if they are legal Residents in Portugal;
  • Must comply with 14 days of prophylactic isolation on arrival in Portugal, or have complete vaccination carried out in the UK for 14 days, of a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA);
  • Children with age 17 or younger at the time of their departure flight are exempt from quarantine as long as they travel accompanied by their parents, parent or responsible adult that are fully vaccinated/immunised as per EU directives;
  • Children under 12 years old are exempt of testing requirements;
  • Young people from 12 to 18 years old must comply with testing requirements;
  • Passengers required to undergo prophylactic isolation must register at https://travel.sef.pt
Travelers who must isolate:
The list of countries from where passengers on flights and citizens traveling by land, sea or river must isolate for 14 days after entering continental Portugal, either at home or in a place indicated by health authorities, is:
Brazil, India, Nepal, South Africa and United Kingdom (UK = unvaccinated). People that need to isolate, must register before entering the country at https://travel.sef.pt
Citizens that are holders of the EU Digital COVID Certificate of Vaccination or Recovery are exempt from complying with prophylactic isolation.
 
Travel requirements Worldwide: https://www.algarvepromotion.pt/preview.aspx?pageID=4058&ver=19302
  
The islands
The links below will take you to the pages with COVID restrictions for the islands:
Madeira: https://www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19
Azores: https://destinoseguro.azores.gov.pt
The Government of Madeira have decided to extend the calamity state until September 30th, but reduced one hour in the mandatory curfew, which is now between 02h00 and 05h00 as of today. Further information here: https://www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19/DecisoesExcecionaisCovid19
 
SEF Strike
The strike which began on 14th August is set to end on 31st August. There have been some longer waiting times at the border control of Lisbon airports (05h00 to 09h00) Porto (20h00 to 23h00), Faro (09h00 to 12h00), Funchal and Porto Santo (10h00 to 13h00) and Ponta Delgada (06h00 to 08h00). ANA has requested that passengers arrive earlier than normal to allow for any delay in clearing the passport control and those departing for destinations outside the Schengen area arrive even earlier.
 
COVID cases across the world 
In this link https://covid19.min-saude.pt/relatorio-de-situacao 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.
 
COVID Cases in Europe: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea
COVID Cases Worldwide: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases
 
COVID vaccinations
People 16 years and older age can book now: 
https://covid19.min-saude.pt/pedido-de-agendamento
 
In this link https://covid19.min-saude.pt/relatorio-de-vacinacao you can find the current status of the vaccination programme in Portugal.
 
EU Digital COVID Certificate issued in Portugal
A reminder that we have a fact sheet with detailed information about the EU Digital COVID Certificate and how to apply for it online or download the SNS 24 app, which is available on our website or from the afpop office info@afpop.com
 
Fire risk
The Proteção Civil has reinforced its request for continued vigilance and instructed citizens to avoid any activities that could create a fire and a reminder that ALL burnings are forbidden. More information can be found at:
https://www.ipma.pt/pt/riscoincendio/rcm.pt/?fbclid=IwAR0DLSfPTFrEBl0nOR0NFX7Mw1JLNdkvGPadp7Hvi_DI7v1CiMDPm4fW1nQ
 
Annual Golf Tournament
A reminder that this year’s annual golf tournament, in partnership with our Alliance Partners MEDAL Insurance, will be held at Penina Golf course on Wednesday 15th September. More information can be found in the August UPDATE magazine. To register please e-mail the afpop office on info@afpop.com or call 282 458 509 to reserve your place.
 
Social Events
Finally, with the restriction measures being progressively lifted and with a large part of the population already vaccinated against COVID, we can start welcoming the return of the social events organised by our excellent team of AEO's. All of the events are planned with all appropriate precautions and with applicable rules in order to promote a safe environment for everybody! Depending on your areas of residence, you should have already started to receive emails with the respective events and their details, however, it is also possible to see what our AEO’s have planned in the ‘Events’ area of the afpop website. Regardless of your place of residence all Members are welcome to attend the social functions (subject to prior booking with the AEO)! We wish you the most wonderful time as we slowly start to return to the ‘good old days’!
 
Hospital Emergency Information Leaflet
Any Member who has had the misfortune of attending the SNS hospital emergency rooms with a family member, will perhaps have experienced the frustration of trying to get information about what is happening to their loved ones who have been taken into the hospital. Some years ago we created an Emergency Information Leaflet, in English and German, which was available in the Portimão Hospital emergency waiting room. I’m pleased to tell you that we have now reissued an updated version of the leaflet, in conjunction with the hospital administration team, which was delivered to the hospital today (Friday) and will be available in the national health service emergency rooms in Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira, Loulé, Faro and VRS António. The leaflet is in either English or German and is available from the reception staff in those hospitals. Please note this is not available in the private hospital emergency waiting rooms.
 
UK to Portugal ferry petition
Members who enjoy sea travel and want to visit the UK, or travel to Portugal from the UK, might be interested to know that a group has begun a campaign to ask Brittany Ferries to re-establish its ferry route between the UK and Portugal. If you would like to support this, you can sign the petition http://chng.it/JVQDkmXRFb
 
afpop Office visits
A reminder that Members may make an appointment to visit the afpop office by calling or e-mailing on 282 458 509 or info@afpop.com. Remember to wear a mask and at arrival we will measure your temperature and ask you to sanitise your hands.
 
Until next time as always my best wishes to you all and please continue to stay safe, particularly in the high temperatures expected over the next few days. 

Michael R Reeve
CEO
afpop – Making Life Better
 

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