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News from afpop - Friday 26th of November update

Michael Reeve - 06-12-2021

News from afpop - Friday 26th of November update

Included in this briefing: 1. State of Calamity 2. Free Rapid Antigen Tests - list of pharmacies 3. Booster vaccinations 4. COVID Test and Trace UK - self-isolation 5. Tolls for electric and hybrid cars 6. The Islands 7. afpop Office appointments

Good afternoon my friends,

I think most of us were expecting the change of state back to ‘Calamity’ which has now been announced, giving the government some increased powers to make changes to restrictions on civil liberties to address increases in infection rates. After a few weeks of not having much to tell you all about COVID, there is now quite a lot to say and sadly there probably will be for a few weeks to come.
The Prime Minister is still asking citizens to exercise “good judgment” rather than imposing strict limitations on movement, but some measures have returned, including masks and certificates for entering restaurants and other places, and also a level of mandatory testing in some circumstances.
What is interesting in the announcements this week though, is that they are already looking at the possible effects of a return to work in January, after a Christmas period of increased socialising – which we’ve also included in this Briefing.
State of Calamity
From December 1st, the State of Calamity will be in force across for the entire continental national territory and the following measures will be adopted:
  • General recommendations:
    • That citizens self-test regularly
    • Teletrabalho, when the activity allows.
  • Mandatory wearing of masks in all closed spaces.
  • The presentation of the EU Digital COVID Certificate will be mandatory when accessing:
    • Restaurants and similar establishments (not applicable in open terraces – esplanadas abertas);
    • Tourist establishments and Alojamento Local;
    • Events with individual seating
    • Gyms.
  • Mandatory negative test requirement (even for vaccinated people) for:
    • Visits to residential structures/homes (Old people’s homes, long-term care units, homes for children, homes for people with disabilities, etc.);
    • Visits to patients admitted to healthcare facilities;
    • Large events without marked seats (or in improvised venues) and sports venues;
    • Nightclubs and bars.
  • At borders:
    • Mandatory negative test for all flights arriving in Portugal (NAAT test) 72 hours or (TRag-Rapid Antigen Test) 48 hours prior to boarding time;
    • The land, sea and river borders will have similar regulations, but we will need to wait for the law to be published before we can give full details.
  • For the week of 2nd - 9th of January, after the festive season, specific rules will be adopted:
    • Mandatory Teletrabalho, when the activity allows;
    • Schools will restart on January 10th;
    • Closing of nightclubs and bars.
Free Rapid Antigen Tests
The government has announced that Rapid Antigen tests which are carried out in certain pharmacies and laboratories will be free again from Friday 19th of November until 31st of December, 2021.
Rapid Antigen testing for COVID will be reimbursed at 100% for residents in Portugal.
The contribution is limited to a maximum of four tests per month per user.
The list of pharmacies where you can book for the free Rapid Antigen tests scheme in Portugal has now been published by Infarmed and you can find it HERE. More information can be found in our fact sheet FS27.
Booster vaccinations
At the moment everyone aged 65 years or older can request an appointment for the flu vaccine along with the booster dose of COVID.
If you are qualified to take the two vaccines, but do not intend to, you must indicate your intention on the day and place of vaccination.
Self-scheduling of your appointment
This is the link for making the appointment if you in the group 65+:   
The Casa Aberta is open for people eligible for booster and/or flu vaccines aged 75 years or over. For more information about Casa Aberta and the opening hours, please check our fact sheet FS26.
Please also note that people are only eligible for a booster dose if 5 months or more has elapsed since their last vaccination was received.
The DGS also announced that, together with people 65 years of age and above, health professionals, social sector and firefighters that can now receive the booster dose, people that have recovered from COVID and who have had one vaccine dose are also included.
People vaccinated with Janssen’s
The General Directorate of Health (DGS) announced that people aged 18 and over who received Janssen's COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive a booster dose after 90 days of their vaccination. It will begin with eldest people first and in descending order from then on. They clarified that even those who had the disease and then received a dose of Janssen will also have a booster.
The vaccination centres will be open on the 5th, 8th, 12th and 19th of December to vaccinate those over 50 who received the Janssen vaccine. DGS announced that people should receive a message from SNS, but we will inform our Members when we have up to date information about this.
A reminder that we have a fact sheet FS/26 (in English) with full, detailed information about the COVID Vaccinations in Portugal and how to self-schedule online, which is available on our website or from the afpop office
COVID Test and Trace UK – self-isolation
We have received information from the British Embassy that the UK government and NHS have agreed to accept the EU COVID Vaccination Certificate and lift the self-isolation requirements for fully vaccinated arrivals in the UK who are contacted by Test and Trace (NHS Test and Trace only operates in England) from 1st of December. The UK government website will be updated shortly.
Tolls for electric and hybrid cars
The government has approved new measures for ALL hybrid and electric vehicles, confirming that they are all considered to be Class 1 vehicles for purpose of toll roads. They have announced the measures to acknowledge the reduced impact of these vehicles on the environment.
The islands

afpop Office appointments
After considering the new regulations announced by the government, the afpop office still remains open to Members and at the moment we do not require proof of vaccination or negative tests. However you will require a mask and your temperature will be checked on arrival. To avoid congestion in the office, which has limited waiting space, we do suggest phoning in advance to arrange an appointment if possible.
Until next time as always my best wishes to you all and please continue to stay safe.
Michael R Reeve
afpop – Making Life Better

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