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News from afpop - Friday 11th of September 2020

Michael Reeve - 15-09-2020

News from afpop - Friday 11th of September 2020

Included in this briefing: 1. Contingency State - new regulations, 2. Travel to UK,3. Documents,4. SEF,5. October UPDATE Magazine, 6. Satellite Offices, 7. Area Events, 8. Cascais, 9. Portuguese speaking course, 10. Links to other countries information, 11. Pre travel form, 12. Interactive Covid map
Included in this briefing:
1.            Contingency State - new regulations
2.            Travel to UK
3.            Documents
4.            SEF
5.            October UPDATE Magazine
6.            Satellite Offices
7.            Area Events
8.            Cascais
9.            Portuguese speaking course
10.          Links to other countries information
11.          Pre travel form
12.          Interactive Covid map 

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. 

Once again there has been some time elapsed since my last update to you, but as you will know there are new rules set to come into force on 15th September, which have now been announced by the council of ministers. The country is to revert to a state of ‘Contingency’, which Lisbon has been in now almost all the whole duration of the pandemic so far, but what does this mean and what has changed?

The first thing to note is that gatherings of people are now limited once again to no more than 10 in any group. Other changes to shopping centres, cafés etc are as follows:

  • Commercial establishments cannot open before 10h00 (exceptions can be authorised by the local Câmara Municipal) and must close between 20h00 and 23h00;
  • In the restaurant areas of shopping centres, there is now a maximum limit of four people per group;
  • In restaurants, cafes and pastelarias situated within 300 meters of schools, there is a  maximum limit of four people per group;
  • Prohibition of sale of alcoholic beverages at petrol stations (and in all other  establishments after 20h00 – except establishments that serve meals);
  • Prohibition of consumption of alcoholic beverages in public spaces;
  • Sports venues/competitions remain without public;
Madeira: It is mandatory to wear face masks in public at all times. The following link takes you to the Madeira government website, where you can find all information relating to the island restrictions and regulations: https://www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19
If any more changes are announced we will of course make sure you are aware.
Here are some other updates on current events and afpop related matters that I would like to remind you about:

Travel to UK:
As you will now have heard, the air corridor to England has now been closed, with Scotland and Wales having already closed the link to those countries. For anyone travelling to the UK from mainland Portugal after 4 am tomorrow (Saturday 12th September), a 14 day self-isolation period will be in force. Madeira and the Açores remain in the air corridor. More information can be found in the link later on in this briefing.

In Portugal

Documents:
Just to remind you that any documents that need to be renewed and which expired after February 24th will remain valid until October 30th this year. If there is any further news on this we will of course make you aware as soon as we have it.

SEF:
In connection with the previous comment, it is now possible to make bookings on-line at SEF. You will need to set up a log-in, which is very simple and quick, and then you can use the on-line service by clicking on ‘Agendamentos’ in the menu on the left hand side of the page and then clicking on ‘Novo Agendamento’ and following the very simple steps. If you need any assistance the office team will be happy to help you, but it is a very simple process.

October UPDATE magazine:
The October edition of UPDATE magazine is usually mailed to Members in the week prior to BLiP and contains details of the expo and the exhibitors. As this year’s BLiP event is going on-line (more on that soon) and will be later in October, the UPDATE magazine will also be slightly later than usual and should be with Members on or around 13th of October.

Satellite Offices:
I’ve had to take the sad decision to cancel the satellite offices in Almancil and Lagos until the end of the year. As Members who visit the satellites know, they are held in the premises of other organisations at their kind invitation and it is not reasonable of us to invite Members into those offices while they are employing their own covid related regulations. It is sad because Karina, who usually runs the satellites, really does enjoy the chance to meet with Members who would not usually make the journey to Portimão to see us in the office. It is our intention to begin the satellites again in spring of 2021.

Area events:
Those Members who enjoy the social events organised by our intrepid Area Event Organisers (AEO), will no doubt have noted a reduction in communication from them over recent months. The restrictions on social gatherings and also the fact that most venues are also open to people who are not attending the organised events, means it has been really difficult for the AEOs to organise events that can be considered safe and meet with the government’s directives. This is frustrating for the AEO team, who are all very keen to support the restaurants that have looked after our Members so well for many years, but with no end in sight at the moment it’s difficult to see when the larger events that are enjoyed by Members will resume. The AEOs are still on the case though and looking to organise events that keep Members safe and fit with the government guidelines.

Cascais:
Sadly our AEO in Cascais, Kelly Dearden, has had to stand down, due to her move back to the UK for at least the next year. I’d like to thank Kelly for taking the role on, even though she did so just before the virus changed everyone’s lives and she never really got the chance to get her teeth into organising events for Members in Cascais and Estoril. If any Member would like to take over that role, once we can actually start organising events again, please contact the afpop office and we’ll be pleased to discuss the role with you. Good luck for the future Kelly.

Portuguese speaking course:
This may be an opportunity for Members to brush up on their conversational Portuguese and through our agreement with the training organisation DUAL, afpop Members have been offered a 10% discount on their on-line course, between 28th September and 18th November. The sessions will take place every Monday and Wednesday evening, between 19h00 and 21h00 and is administered by DUAL through its e-learning platform. The course lasts for 30 hours and costs €225 (after afpop discount). There will be a short verbal test to make sure that you will be able to take part, but according to DUAL, “Students only need to be able to communicate and understand simple phrases in Portuguese, useful to everyday life (how to greet, asking for information, giving simple information, etc). The objective of the training will be to improve the knowledge that the students already have. As the course is Portuguese for foreigners – conversation, the aspects of writing will not be valued, but the key is to improve the verbal communication.”

If Members are interested they can request the application form from the afpop office by contacting Marisa on apoio@afpop.com
Links to other countries information: The information in these links is taken from their official websites and sets out the advice and regulations that they have in place for people travelling to Portugal.

UK: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal
Dutch: https://www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl/landen/portugal/reizen/reisadvies  
German: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/aussenpolitik/laender/portugal-node/portugalsicherheit/210900?fbclid=IwAR3AdNwKk4DBz7tLV_B8bf-yqnhLpOQDtF4MtXdDkJo566e7akgiuUnNX4U#content_0
USA: https://pt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Swedish: https://www.swedenabroad.se/sv/om-utlandet-f%C3%B6r-svenska-medborgare/portugal/
Belgian: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/nl
French: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays-destination/portugal/
Danish: https://um.dk/da/rejse-og-ophold/rejse-til-udlandet/rejsevejledninger/portugal/
Norwegian: https://www.regjeringen.no/no/tema/utenrikssaker/reiseinformasjon/velg-land/reiseinfo_portugal/id2414892/
Swiss: https://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/de/home/vertretungen-und-reisehinweise/portugal/reisehinweise-fuerportugal.html

Pre travel form: If you are travelling to another country it is advisable to fill out the Covid declarations (if applicable) before you go. We advise that you download them and simply keep them with your other travel documents.

Interactive Covid map: You may find the information in this website interesting https://qap.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/COVID-19/COVID-19.html

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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