News from afpop - 12-02 - State of Emergency extended
Michael Reeve - 12-02-2021
News from afpop - 12-02 - State of Emergency extended
Included in this briefing:
• President and Prime Minister's comments
• State of Emergency extended
• Travel reminder
• Vaccines Fact Sheet
• AGM 2021
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.
President and Prime Minister message to the country:
In their messages to the Portuguese people last evening, the President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister António Costa confirmed that the government believes that the restrictions are having a positive effect on tackling the Covid situation in Portugal and also addressed the issue of vaccines, with Sr Costa explaining, “Our problem is neither distribution nor professional ability. The problem is outside Portugal and beyond our control and it is the production capacity of the industry”. The vaccination programme is going ahead and so far half a million people in Portugal have received their first injection.
With regard to the positive effect of the restrictions, they said “The confinement decided by the Government on January 15th has brought results to improve the epidemiological situation in Portugal. Thus, and in order to win the third wave at the same time that future waves are prevented, it becomes necessary not to relax the rules and reinforce the fight against the pandemic.”
State of Emergency extended:
The State of Emergency has now been extended until Monday 1st of March. All the existing regulations remain in place, including the ban on travel between council areas at weekends and the closure of all but essential businesses remain in force, however from Monday 15th, supermarkets may once again start to sell books, which is intended to help students who need access to them for their studies.
Please remember, the government has authorised the immediate collections of fines where there is disregard for the restrictions in force.
Easter: There are rumours that the restrictions will remain in place until after Easter (4th of April), but the government has not declared that at the moment. They have suggested that there may be a further extension after the 1st of March, but that will as always be based on their assessment of the situation at the time. What the Prime Minister DID say, is that Easter “surely will not be the Easter we used to have" and that Easter celebrations will probably not be permitted.
A reminder that essentially the borders are closed except for certain exceptional circumstance. The international transport of goods, cargo and mail may continue, humanitarian or medical emergency personnel, service personnel, and those carrying out professional activities with the correct documentation. Portuguese citizens who reside in other countries may cross the border and people may reunite with their spouse or family members in the first degree. Portuguese citizens or residents with right to live in Portugal may return to Portugal and travel to the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira are also allowed. Foreign citizens who are not residents in Portugal may leave to return to their country of residence.
Road, rail and river travel between Portugal and Spain are prohibited except to allow for the exceptions stated above.
The islands: The links below will take you to the Covid pages for the islands.
Vaccines Fact Sheet: Our Fact Sheet (FS26) has been updated and is available in the Members’ area of the afpop website through the menu Publications > Bulletins : There is also an article about the different types of vaccines used in Portugal by a Portuguese pharmacist, Drª Ana Lopes, in the February edition of UPDATE or you can download it from HERE.
Annual General Meeting (AGM): The AGM is scheduled to take place on Saturday 20th March. If at all possible we intend to hold a physical meeting, however it is highly unlikely that this will be possible. The Management Council has therefore agreed that the AGM will be held behind closed doors in the afpop office, either on 20th March as scheduled, or on Friday 19th March if the restriction on travel between council areas at the weekend is still in force. If the restrictions alter we will of course review the decision and a venue has been reserved in case that happens.
I suggest that any Member who wishes to vote or raise a question or comment at the AGM, sends their voting slip or question to the afpop office as soon as possible, in order that it can be included in the AGM. In the event that we are able to hold a physical event, the votes and questions submitted will of course still be valid and recorded.
The AGM booklet is available on the afpop website in the Publications section, along with the voting slip which should be printed and posted to the afpop office as indicated on the form. Please make sure that they reach the afpop office before the 18th of March.
Members may remember that last year the government allowed such meetings to be postponed until the end of June, but this year they have made no such provision, so we must schedule the AGM in compliance with our Statutes and hold it in March.
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.