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News from afpop - Friday November 5th 2021

Michael Reeve - 05-11-2021

News from afpop - Friday November 5th 2021

Included in this briefing: 1. COVID Alert Situation continues 2. Travel restrictions 3. 90/180 day travel rule UK Citizens 4. Algarve Symphony Orchestra 5. Portuguese General Election 6. Change of SEF contacts 7. afpop Office appointments 8. Satellite Office in Almancil


 
Hello my friends. As we head into November I wanted to start this Briefing with a slightly different message. We have been sending these mailings to you now for many months and they have in fact become part of the routine here in the office. A routine that we have actually come to enjoy, giving me the opportunity to write to you all, whilst also focussing our minds on the developments over the course of this pandemic and making sure that we have sufficient understanding of what is happening to enable us to put these Briefings together for you.
 
I thank those of you who have contacted us to show your appreciation for the Briefings and also to those who have forwarded them on to their friends. Whilst of course we work for you, the Members, the information that we put in these mailings is important for everyone and passing the Briefings to others not only helps them to keep abreast of the information, it is also testament to your appreciation of the work that the afpop team does on your behalf. So, on behalf of the team, THANK YOU.
 
It really is an ever-changing world and this week we have the announcement that the President has called an election in January. Time will tell what impact if any this will have on the deconfinement roll out, particularly in the New Year when the focus of politicians will be on electioneering. For now though we continue to monitor the restrictions on travel and certification, with one eye also on the things that make us feel something like normality is creeping back in.
 
COVID Alert Situation continues
The government has announced that the Situation of Alert which was due to end on 31st October will remain unchanged until the 23h59 of the 30th of November.
The regulations you will find in the briefing of 1st October: https://www.afpop.com/en/afpop-latest-news-1?aid=146&bx=1
 
Travel restrictions
An updated travel law has been approved, which is to remain in force until 23h59 on November 30th, 2021. As always this may be revised at any time, depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.
Non-essential travel from countries belonging to the European Union, countries associated with the Schengen Area (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland), USA, Brazil and UK will continue to be allowed.
 
The group of countries where travel to and from Portugal is reliant on reciprocity agreement are:
Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Jordan, Kuwait, Namibia, New Zealand, Qatar, People's Republic of China, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Singapore, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay.
 
Special Administrative Regions
1 - Hong Kong
2 – Macau
 
Territorial entities and authorities not recognised as countries by at least one Member State
1 - Taiwan
 
Passengers entering or transiting Portugal mainland by air must present: 
  • An EU Digital COVID Certificate or qualifying non-EU certificates (see rules below) or proof of a negative RT-PCR Test (or similar NAAT test) taken no more than 72h before boarding, or a Rapid Antigen Test (TRAg) taken no more than 48h before boarding
  • Children under 12 do not need to present test.
  • All passengers arriving by air need to complete an on-line Passenger Locator Card (individually) before departure to Portugal and print the confirmation. The form can be found here https://portugalcleanandsafe.pt/en/passenger-locator-card
 
Presenting a valid recovery/vaccination EU Digital COVID Certificate, or a valid non-EU equivalent, exempts passengers from the requirement to quarantine upon arrival.
It also exempts passengers coming from a country on the “only essential travel” list from presenting an essential reason for entering Portugal.
 
Acceptance conditions for non-EU certificates:
The acceptance of these certificates is based on reciprocity, meaning, Portugal only accepts certificates from countries that in turn accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate.
 
The vaccination certificate must show a complete and valid vaccination, with a COVID-19 vaccine authorised by the EU. Vaccination is considered valid after 14 days and the certificate must include the necessary details determined by law, which are; the holders name and DOB, Target disease or agent: COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 or one of its variants), name of vaccine, manufacturer, serial numbers, total of shots, date of vaccination stating the date of the last administrated dose, the entity and country that issued the certificate.
 
The validity of vaccination certificates issued will only be recognised if their holders have been inoculated with vaccine against COVID-19 with authorisation (Regulation (EC) No. 726/2004):
1 - Janssen: COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen; 2 - AstraZeneca: Vaxzevria (previously COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca); 3 - Moderna: Spikevax (previously COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna);4 - Pfizer-BioNTech: Comirnaty.

UK NHS COVID Vaccination Certificate
Portugal accepts the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1st of November 2021 to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully (because that is the date that the UK joined the EU Gateway). You can download and print the PDF from the link within the Travel Advice https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass
Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination for travel.
 
Entering Portugal by land
There are no restrictions when entering by land, UNLESS you are arriving from a country where test or isolation is specifically required.
 
Travel requirements Worldwide: https://www.algarvepromotion.pt/preview.aspx?pageID=4058&ver=19302
 
90/180 day travel restrictions UK citizens
The issue of non-EU citizens rights to travel in the Schengen area, which as you know now also affects UK citizens who are not resident in Portugal (or other EU countries), remains a contentious and confusing one, particularly in regard to when the 90 and 180 day periods start and end.
 
There is an on-line calculator that can help those in that situation to work out when they can travel in the Schengen area, the link to which is HERE We have also created a Factsheet (F/31), with some more information and a link to an instruction manual for the calculator, which can be downloaded from the Members’ area of the website www.afpop.com in the ‘Publications’ section.
 
Of course we usually advise Members to contact the afpop office if they have questions on anything in our mailings, but unfortunately in this instance we are not able to give specific advice on the travel dates or how they are calculated. Please read the Fact Sheet and use the links on that with contacts to the British Embassy team, if you have any questions about the restrictions.
 
Algarve Symphony Orchestra
We have been asked by the Orquestra Sinfónica do Algarve (OSA), which was launched in October this year, to make Members aware of their on-line questionnaire, which you can find HERE and which takes less than a minute to complete. The orchestra’s leader, Maestro Armando Motta, is keen to obtain the opinions of the foreign resident community as to the frequency, times, venues and types of concerts that the foreign community would enjoy, as they begin to plan their calendar for 2022.
 
I’m pleased to tell Members that we have agreed special terms for afpop Members who wish to attend concerts for OSA, which we will have more details about in the December edition of UPDATE.
 
Portuguese General Election
You may already have heard that the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has called an early General Election on the 30th of January 2022, as a consequence of the stalemate over the government’s proposed budget (Orçamento do Estado). This is of course a general election and therefore only Portuguese nationals and those foreigners with Portuguese citizenship are entitled to vote. Those residents registered to vote at their local Cãmara may only vote in local (Autarquica) elections.
 
New SEF contacts
A reminder that the new contact numbers for SEF are:
217 115 000 (for land lines)
965 903 700 (for mobiles).
 
afpop Office appointments
A reminder that Members are now welcome in the afpop office without prior appointment. Of course you can still make an appointment if there is a specific staff member or subject that you want to discuss. Please remember it is still necessary to wear a mask and at arrival we will measure your temperature and ask you to sanitise your hands.
 
Satellite Office in Almancil
As I mentioned in the Briefing last week, there will be a satellite office at the office of MEDAL Insurance in Almancil on the following dates:
 
November: Wednesday 17th of November
December: Wednesday 15th of December
 
The satellite will be open between 10h00 and 12h30, for Members who would like to speak with a staff member in person. As the MEDAL office waiting space is limited, please reserve a time in advance and we ask that you arrive promptly to avoid congestion. There is a coffee shop across the road from the MEDAL office if the reception area is full when you arrive.
 
To book an appointment at the Almancil Satellite, please contact Karina on info@afpop.com.
 
Sadly we do not have a venue for a Lagos satellite at the moment, but we are hoping to rectify that for 2022.
 
Until next time as always my best wishes to you all and please continue to stay safe.
 

Michael R Reeve
CEO
afpop – Making Life Better

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