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News from afpop - Tuesday 26th January 2021 update

Michael Reeve - 27-01-2021

News from afpop - Tuesday 26th January 2021 update

Included in this briefing: Restrictions reminder, Private healthcare, vaccine update, Vaccination programme, Registration at Centro de Saúde.Non-residents, The islands, Covid states across Portugal

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.

Restrictions reminder:
To begin this briefing a brief reminder about the restrictions, particularly those in force at the weekends regarding travel between council areas. We know that people were fined last weekend for going to a shopping centre in the adjacent council area and the same will happen this weekend. Travel between areas between 20h00 on Friday and 05h00 on Monday is prohibited, except for people with reasons considered justifiable by the police.

The fines begin at €200 and are payable on the spot. The police will probably have a Multibanco machine with them and where they do not they will escort you to the nearest one to pay the fine. If you refuse to pay on the spot, the fine will be handed to the courts and you’ll probably be required to pay costs for the process too.

Also remember that during this state of Emergency, taking the car to go to somewhere else to exercise, or walk the dog, is also prohibited. Exercise can be taken, but must be within reasonable distance of the home and if stopped the police may ask for proof of address. If you go for a walk to exercise, I suggest that you make sure you have a mask with you in case you encounter others or are stopped by the police and have to have a conversation with them and of course, make sure you have identification which includes your address.

The restrictions in force are as outlined in the previous briefing and are expected to remain in force until 30th January, when an announcement will be made about whether the State of Emergency is to continue. Of course we will update you if there is any alteration or change of dates.

Vaccine programme - Private health care: We have more information now for those people who are registered with the state healthcare system (SNS), but who use the private medical system for treatments and who may have ailments that should be taken into account when calling people for vaccinations.

The first thing for private healthcare patients to note, is that if they are registered with the SNS and have no health issues which will cause them to be in a higher risk category, they need to do nothing and will be called by the SNS according to their age. The criteria for higher risk categories in the vaccination phases are included below. This link will help you discover what phase you are currently included in for vaccinations.

If you do have any of the conditions in the list below, you should contact your doctor and arrange a consultation. The doctor will then issue you with a document, in Portuguese, for you to take to the nearest Centro de Saúde for input into the SNS system. There is no need to ask for a doctor’s appointment at the Centro de Saúde as far as we are informed and if you do ask for a doctor’s appointment and are not ill, you will probably be refused. However, once your details are registered you may be asked to go to see the doctor, but that will be decided by them. I suggest that you explain when you call or email them for the appointment, that you have a report from your private doctor that needs to be updated in the SNS system for the purpose of early vaccination and then follow their instructions.

If your Centro de Saúde is not accepting visitors, then you should consult this website In the three boxes at the top, you will see ARSACES and UF. These are drop down boxes and you select the region in the first (ARS) box, for example ARS Algarve, then in the second (ACES) box select the area, for example ACES 1 – Algarve Central and then the town in the 3rd (UF) box. This will then give you a list on the right-hand side of the page of the health centres that you can use and the contact details.

When you visit the health centre, make sure you have your personal identification, social security number (if you have one) and fiscal number with you as well as your Cartão de Utente/Número de Utente.

Vaccination phases:

Phase 1. From February 2021

People over the age of 50 with the following health conditions:
  • Cardiac insufficiency
  • Coronary Illness
  • Kidney disease
  • COPD and chronic respiratory problems requiring mechanical ventilation and or using oxygen permanently.
Phase 2 from April 2021
People over the age of 65 who have not been vaccinated previously;
People between the ages of 50 and 64 years of age, who have at least one of the following illnesses
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer sufferers
  • Chronic renal failure (GFR higher than > 60ml/min)
  • Liver failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Other underlying illnesses that fall into this category not yet defined.
Phase 3 will commence once phase 2 is completed.

Registering for Cartão and Nº Utente:
If you are Resident and not yet registered with the SNS, you must do so in order to be included in the vaccination programme. You need to contact them and arrange an appointment, after which you will be issued a document called Cartão de Utente, that will have your State health care number, also known as Nº Utente or Nº SNS.

Non-residents: We are still waiting for responses to our questions about non-residents and what to do if they are here in Portugal and if they can be vaccinated here. There are people who came to their property in Portugal and can’t return to their home country, but at the moment we still have no information about whether there will be any facility for those people to be included in the Portuguese vaccination programme. Hopefully we will have an answer soon.

The islands: At the moment we have no specific information about the situation in Madeira regarding private healthcare patients registering with the SNS there, but if we are able to confirm the situation we will update Members there. However the links below will take you to the Covid pages for the islands.



Covid across Portugal:
In this link you can see the current infection situation in Portugal. The website is available in Portuguese and English and you can select the latest report each time it is updated by the government.

Until next time as always my best wishes to you all and please continue to,


Michael R Reeve
afpop – Making Life Better

Alliance Partners
  • Medal Insurance
  • Algarve Resident
  • Blevins & Franks
  • Turismo de Portugal - Algarve
Associate Partners
  • Toldolanda
  • Golf for Greys
  • NCA Portugal
  • Mestre Raposa