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News from afpop - Thursday 1st April 2021 update

Michael Reeve - 02-04-2021

News from afpop - Thursday 1st April 2021 update

Included in this briefing: Office closed for Easter, Easter travel, Opening on the 5th, Masks in public, Portuguese census, UK issued driving licences, The islands, Covid across PortugalI 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.

First things first, despite the date this is NOT an April Fools version of the weekly briefing to Members. 😊 There are only a few things to inform or remind you about this week, so let’s get into it.

Office closed Good Friday:
Just a reminder that the afpop office will closed tomorrow (Friday) for the Easter holiday, hence the mailing today, but will be open again on Monday 5th as usual. On behalf of the team I wish you all a pleasant Easter, whatever your beliefs.

Travel restrictions for Easter:
As you know the restrictions on travel across municipal boundaries remains in force over the Easter weekend and until midnight on Monday 5th April, so no travel between municipalities until Tuesday morning.

What is opening from the 5th?

  • Stores up to 200m2 with a door onto the street
  • Fairs and non-food markets (with Câmara permission)
  • Restaurant and Cafes –Terraces only (max. 4 per table)
  • Low risk sports
  • Museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries etc
  • Disability centres
  • Outdoor physical activity for up to 4 people and gyms without group classes
  • Middle schools (and activity centres for these age groups)
The next phased of the reopening is scheduled for April 19th and we will have more information on that in a future briefing, once the details have been confirmed by the government.

Wearing of masks in public spaces:
The parliament has renewed the mandatory use of masks in public spaces for another 70 days, extending the requirement until 13th June.

The use of a mask (which cannot be substituted by a visor) is mandatory for those over ten years of age for access, circulation or permanence in public spaces and roads “whenever the physical distance recommended by health authorities proves to be impractical”.

Portuguese census:
We have been invited by the Portuguese office of national statistics I.N.E. (Instituto Nacional de Estatística), to help promote the census in Portugal, which begins on April 19th and is scheduled to end on 3rd May. From April 5, all homes will receive a letter, distributed by census takers (*see note below) with the necessary information - code and password - for the response to the 2021 Census via the internet from 19 April.

The census, which takes place every ten years, is essential for the government to make plans for services across the country and includes all residents, not just Portuguese citizens. Whilst it only a snap shot in time, trends can be established by taking the results of previous censuses and evaluating them against the most recent statistics.

*NOTE: I don’t wish to be alarmist here, but we have regularly advised Members about potential hoax callers and scams and you should take care when answering the door to people claiming to be from the census. Genuine census workers will carry identification which you should ask to see if in any doubt and they will not ask you to give any personal information or to enter your homes. The census takers will be happy to be challenged, but our advice is not to call any telephone number that they may give you to check their identity. Simply take the documents that they give you and hand over nothing in return.

UK issued driving licences:
The Portuguese government has extended the recognition of UK driving licences until 31 December 2021. This means that those legally resident in Portugal who have a valid UK driving licence can continue to drive with their UK licence until the end of 2021, under the same terms as EU licence holders.

However, if you DO decide to wait with starting the process to exchange your UK licence until the end of the year should remember that meanwhile you ARE still required to register your licence with the IMT, which is an EU Regulation, unless you have already done so. You can find information about this registration in the afpop Information Bulletin P04.

UK citizens should keep an eye on the afpop “Brexit Summary” Fact Sheet (FS24), which we are updating on a regular basis and which can be downloaded from the Bulletins section of the afpop website Members’ Area (publications).

The islands: The links below will take you to the Covid pages for the islands.
Madeira: https://www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19/DecisoesExcecionaisCovid19
Azores: https://portal.azores.gov.pt/en/web/comunicacao/news-detail?id=2621765
 
Covid across Portugal:
In this link you can see the current infection situation in Portugal. The website is in Portuguese and you can select the latest report each time it is updated by the government. In this link https://covid19.min-saude.pt you can find the current status of the vaccination programme in Portugal. 

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