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News from afpop - Friday 29th of April 2022

Michael Reeve - 06-05-2022

News from afpop - Friday 29th of April 2022

Included in this briefing: 1. Situation of Alert 2. Travel 3. Viajar sem pressa campaign 4. Blue Flags 5. Beira Alta train line 6. Masks 7. Free tests 8. Alojamento Local 9. Satellite offices

Good afternoon and I’m pleased to report that we have received some very positive information about the use of E-gates for UK passport holders that I mentioned in the Briefing on Tuesday. There was some confusion about exactly what happened if using the E-gates and how passports were being stamped on entry, particularly a concern for residents in Portugal if the entry to Schengen area was automatically recorded at the E-gate. A couple of afpop Members who came through Lisbon airport this week have shared their experiences, one of which I include here:
 
“I am just responding to the paragraph about E-gates at Portuguese airports in yesterday’s E-mail briefing. On Saturday morning I flew into Lisbon from Canada. At immigration I was funnelled, following Union Flag signs, through E-gates which were quite separate from European passport E-gates. Once through these gates, the funnelling continued towards a desk manned by two border officials. People in front of me proceeded to have their passports stamped. I showed them my (out of date) Residência card and presented my A4 piece of paper with the QR code at the desk, saying “Eu tenho residênçia”. The response was no stamp and a “Welcome back Senhora, and by the way, you don’t need to wear your mask anymore”!
 
Easy, efficient, relatively quick, certainly quicker than the general EU passport line. So yes, a two-step process but handled well at a particularly busy time. I hope sharing my recent experience is useful feedback others.”
 
Thank you to those two Members for confirming the situation at Lisbon airport and I’m trying to confirm that the same is true for the other airports, but I have no reason to believe it will be any different.
 
There have been no changes to the regulations or entry requirements since our Briefing to Members earlier in the week, which you can see in the links below for those Members who have joined since that mailing was sent, but there are some other matters that we have been asked about this week and a couple of things we thought Members should be conscious of, so without further ado;
 
Situation of Alert
The Situation of Alert throughout mainland Portugal remains until 23h59 on the 5th of May 2022 and you can find the latest information here:
https://afpop.com/en/afpop-latest-news-1?aid=187&bx=1
 
Travel
From the 23rd of April, all passengers are authorised to enter Portugal Mainland, regardless of their origin or the purpose of the trip, please find all the information here: https://afpop.com/en/afpop-latest-news-1?aid=188&bx=1
 
Viajar sem pressa campaign
You may have seen the signs on gantries above the road saying ‘Viaje sem pressa, sem alcoól e sem telemóvel’. This is part of the National Road Safety Authority (ANSR), the GNR and the PSP road safety campaign Viajar sem pressa (Travel without haste), running from 26th of April to the 2nd of May. In order to contribute to reducing the risk of accidents and to the adoption of safer behaviour by drivers when it comes to speeding, the campaign will include an awareness component, carried out by the ANSR, as well as inspection operations by the GNR and the PSP. Whilst that campaign is to end next week, it seems likely – given what government ministers have been saying since the start of the year about seat belt, mobile phone and speeding violations, that the increased vigilance and use of speed traps will continue beyond that.
Dates and locations you can find on the ANSR website: http://www.ansr.pt/Campanhas/Pages/Campanha-Viajar-sem-pressa-abril22.aspx
 
Blue Flags
As the beaches open and Members get ready to enjoy the summer, you will (hopefully) see that your favourite beach is displaying a Blue Flag. This is not any kind of warning but is a symbol of environmental quality awarded annually to river and coastal beaches that meet a set of criteria. 
This year Portugal has 431 beaches, marinas and vessels awarded a Blue Flag, which is in fact 32 more than in 2021, with an increase in river beaches distinguished with the award, announced the Associação Bandeira Azul Europa (ABAE). You can find them on the ABAE website: https://bandeiraazul.abae.pt/.
 
Beira Alta train line
The CP-Comboios de Portugal, has asked us to inform Members that, due to the Modernisation plan established by Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP), the Beira Alta Line is closed to rail traffic, on the Pampilhosa-Guarda-Vilar Formoso section, since 19th of April for an estimated period of 9 months. In order to minimise the impacts resulting from this intervention, alternative road transports were made available to replace the Intercity trains of the Beira Alta line on the Coimbra B-Guarda-Coimbra B route. You can find the timetables of the busses here:
horários dos autocarros and the bus stops here: locais de paragens dos autocarros.
 
Masks
The DGS has updated the latest rules about Masks and added that people who have COVID in all circumstances are also obliged to wear a mask whenever they are out of their place of isolation, until the tenth day after the onset of symptoms or the positive test. Also, those people that have been in contact with infected people must wear a mask for 14 days after the last date of contact.
 
As mentioned in our previous e-mails, the use of masks remains obligatory in Public Transport (which also includes planes, taxis and TVDE) and when visiting care-homes and health establishments. Unusually the DGS is now recommending that everyone carries with them a surgical mask (or FFP2), whenever they are outside.   
 
Other rules remain the same, as mentioned in our previous briefing(s).
 
Government of Madeira maintains mandatory use of masks in closed spaces until the 14th of May. More about the measures in Madeira you can find here: https://www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19
 
Measures for Açores you will find here: https://destinoseguro.azores.gov.pt/?page_id=11386
 
Free tests
A reminder that the 2 free monthly rapid antigen tests (TRAg) which are carried out in pharmacies and laboratories will end tomorrow 30th of April 2022. We have not had any news about whether this will continue after this date, but if it is continued into May we will include details in the next briefing.
 
Alojamento Local
We’ve received a few questions now about reports in the newspapers regarding the Portuguese Supreme Court’s decision that prohibits the “coexistence of permanent housing and temporary housing for tourist purposes”, which would mean that Residential buildings can no longer have Alojamento Local apartments and if you own an apartment in a residential building you can no longer rent it to holiday makers. This was due to residents complaining about noise after hours, dirt in common parts of the building or the access by strangers to garages and residential buildings.
 
Whilst it’s true that the Supreme Court has made such a ruling, it is not actually the law. The ruling has been sent to the government who will deliberate on it and decide if the law has to be changed or a new law implemented. We will keep a close eye on this and keep Members informed if there are any changes in the law.
 
Satellite offices
The Satellite Office in Almancil will be on Tuesday 31st of May in the MEDAL office. The Satellite will be open between 10h00 and 12h30 for Members who would like to speak with a staff member in person. There is a coffee shop across the road from the MEDAL office if the reception area is full when you arrive.
 
The Satellite Office in Lagos will be on Thursday 26th of May between 10h00 and 12h30 at the premises of MediLagos on R. José Ferreira Canelas, which is behind the Câmara building.
 
As the offices have limited waiting space, please reserve a time in advance and we ask that you arrive promptly to avoid congestion.
 
Please send an e-mail to the afpop office info@afpop.com to reserve an appointment.
 
 

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