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News from afpop - Friday 7th of January 2022 - Update

Michael Reeve - 14-01-2022

News from afpop - Friday 7th of January 2022 - Update

Included in this briefing: 1. State of Calamity - new measures 2. Free Rapid Antigen tests in Portugal 3. Changes in the COVID isolation period 4. EU Digital COVID Certificate - updating the booster vaccination 5. COVID Vaccination self-scheduling 6. Travel 7. Portuguese elections 8. afpop Office visits

 
Good afternoon to you all and first things first, on behalf of the afpop team I wish you all a Happy New Year and a healthy and prosperous 2022. I would like to thank you for the kind comments that we have received from many of you over the Christmas period. They are very much appreciated.
 
As I’m sure most of us were anticipating, the government has extended some of the restrictions that were in place over the Christmas period, an update on which is below. It seems highly likely that these Briefings will continue for some time to come,
 
State of Calamity – new measures
The Council of Ministers decided to review and amend the measures to contain the pandemic. Given the current regime, the following changes are highlighted.
 
The following measures will come into force on the 10th of January
  • Mandatory Teletrabalho throughout the mainland (until the 14th of January);
  • Bars and night clubs can open on 14th of January;
  • Maximum occupancy in public establishments of 1 person per 5 square meters;
  • Schools will start on the 10th of January;
  • Prohibition of consumption of alcoholic beverages in public spaces, with the exception of esplanadas.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate (proving full vaccination OR negative test OR recovery) is mandatory for access to:
  • Restaurants;
  • Tourist establishments and alojamento local;
  • Cultural shows;
  • Events with assigned places;
  • Gyms.
The presentation of a negative COVID test is mandatory for access to:
  • Visits to nursing homes;
  • Visits to patients admitted to healthcare facilities;
  • Bars and night clubs;
  • Large events and events without assigned places or in improvised venues;
  • Sports venues (according to the DGS rules).
If fully vaccinated with the booster done more than 14 days ago, you are exempt from showing a negative test in bars/nightclubs, nursing homes, healthcare facilities and certain large events.
 
Free Rapid Antigen tests in Portugal:
The rapid antigen tests (TRAg) carried out in pharmacies and laboratories that adhere to the exceptional reimbursement scheme will still be free of charge and people can have 4 free tests per person per month in January. Rapid antigen testing for COVID will be reimbursed at 100% for residents in Portugal. The list of pharmacies and laboratories that carry out rapid antigen tests for professional use has been increased and the working hours have been extended. It can be consulted on the Infarmed website links (see our fact sheet FS 27).
 
Changes in the COVID isolation period
  • The isolation period is reduced to 7 days.
  • Isolation is now applied only to positive cases and their cohabitants
  • Persons with a booster dose are exempt from isolation. It is our understanding that cohabitants who have received a booster are exempt from isolation if their partner tests positive, but we are awaiting publication of the law to confirm this. The SNS24 service will of course give the appropriate advice in the event of a positive test.
EU Digital COVID Certificate – updating the booster vaccination
We informed Members last year that there will be an update of the booster vaccination “codes” on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, the information reported was obtained from the SNS website:
"The European Commission has now decided there will be an update to the codes used to show the full vaccination schedule. The certificate will show 3/3 for people who have already received booster doses after the two dose vaccine and 2/1 for those who have received booster afterward of a single-dose vaccine or who have recovered from the virus."

However this update system is not yet functioning in Portugal. Instead you will see the date and type of the last vaccination, together with an update of the expiry date. We are not sure when this system will be working correctly, but we recommend that Members carry the small paper vaccination card with proof of the booster. As always we will inform Members if the system changes.
 
COVID Vaccination self-scheduling
Members may have experienced problems with the website for self-scheduling the COVID vaccine/booster. We can inform you that the website has been updated and is now up and running. Be aware that the layout has changed but the scheduling process remains the same.
 
Travel
In addition to the ‘News from afpop’ on the 29th of November HERE, we have further information about travel:

The suspension of air traffic from southern African countries was lifted in December. However, authorised trips are only those considered essential, that is those that take place for professional, study and family reunion reasons, or for health or humanitarian reasons. Upon arrival in Portugal, travellers from Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe must undergo a 14-day prophylactic isolation period. This isolation period ends for travellers who test negative for a SARS-CoV-2 screening test performed on the third day after arrival.

Under the measures currently in force, all travellers with destination or transit in the national territory must present a negative laboratory test result to SARS-CoV-2 prior to boarding, performed within 72 hours, if PCR type; or within 48 hours, if rapid antigen type.

These measures remain in force until 9th of February 2022 - but as usual may be revised at any time depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation in different countries or regions of the world.

As you will see on the above link, the rules for entry to Portugal require that all travellers submit either a PCR test or a Rapid Antigen test. These tests cannot be a ‘Self-Test’ kit that you have delivered to your home, but must be one taken at an authorised testing centre. Self-tests are also not acceptable for entry to Portugal.

Entering Portugal by LAND Borders
You can find the rules for land borders on our website:
https://afpop.com/en/afpop-latest-news-1?aid=157&bx=1
 
Açores rules
https://destinoseguro.azores.gov.pt/?page_id=8908
You will find a translate button on the left bottom of your screen.
 
Madeira rules
https://www.visitmadeira.pt/en-gb/useful-info/corona-virus-(covid-19)/information-covid-19
 
Travel requirements Worldwide:
Please check HERE

 Pre-flight test for England abolished
Eligible fully vaccinated travellers and children under 18 will no longer have to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate on arrival in England. (Guidance for travellers to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are included in the link below).
Another change announced is that a lateral flow test can be used instead of PCR tests for eligible fully vaccinated travellers and children over 5 to take on or before day 2.
Further information can be found HERE.  
 
Portuguese elections
A reminder to any foreigners who are eligible to vote in Portuguese General Elections, which is only those foreigners who have taken Portuguese citizenship, that the early legislative elections, called by the President of the Republic after the annual State Budget was rejected by opposition parties last year, will take place on 30th of January 2022. All 230 seats to the Assembly of the Republic will be at stake.
 
Please note that these are not Câmara (Autarquia) elections and only Portuguese citizens are eligible to vote in National elections.
 
Office update
Due to the extension on teletrabalho requirements, the afpop office will remain closed to visitors until Monday 17th of January. In the meantime you can contact the office by e-mail and phone as usual.
Tel: 282 458 509
Mob: 938 252 100
E-mail: info@afpop.com 
 
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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