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News from afpop - Friday September 10th 2021 - Update

Michael Reeve - 10-09-2021

News from afpop - Friday September 10th 2021 - Update

Included in this briefing: • State of Contingency continues • Restrictions reminder • Travel to Portugal • Entry conditions • The Islands • COVID cases across the world • EU Digital COVID Certificate issued in Portugal • Reopening of public offices • Annual Golf Tournament • afpop Office appointments


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 is news but no news. I’ve heard that there are rumours that restrictions will end on Monday, but sad to disappoint you by telling you that’s not true. The government has announced that it hopes to be able to lift restrictions in the next three weeks, but what IS happening as from Sunday night, is the obligation to wear masks in public ends. Masks are still required in enclosed spaces and the wearing of masks outside whenever you cannot maintain a safe distance from others is still highly recommended by the Portuguese health authorities. In enclosed spaces, the mask is still mandatory.

State of Contingency continues:
We remain in the State of Contingency throughout the mainland Portugal, until 23h59 on September 30th 2021. The government will meet with INFARMED for a meeting in the end of the month to make further decisions on the next phase of deconfinement.

A reminder of the rules that are in place until the next stage of deconfinement:
  • Mandatory use of masks outdoors no longer applies (from Monday 13th)
  • Restaurants, cafes and pastelarias now have a maximum limit of 8 people per group inside and 15 people per group on terraces
  • Cultural shows in fixed nature venues with 75% capacity
  • Public transport no longer have reduced capacity limits
  • Family events (weddings and baptisms) now have a maximum limit of 75% of the venue capacity
Further easing of restrictions is expected when 85% of the population have had their complete vaccination.
Please note that in the following situations you still need to present an EU Digital COVID Certificate or proof of a negative test:
  • Meals inside restaurants (applicable only on Fridays, from 19h00, on weekends and public holidays);
  • Access to tourist establishments and local accommodation;
  • Access to gyms, for group classes;
  • Access to spas and thermal baths;
  • Access to casinos and bingos;
  • Access to certain events (according to DGS rules);
In terms of testing for the aforementioned purposes, the following is allowed:
  • NAAT-Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (RT-PCR, NEAR, TMA, LAMP, HDA, CRISPR, SDA, etc.), performed within 72 hours prior to its presentation;
  • Rapid antigen test (TRAg), verified by a certified entity, carried out within 48 hours prior to its presentation;
  • Rapid antigen test (TRAg), in the form of a self-test, within 24 hours prior to its presentation, in the presence of any health professional or pharmaceutical who certifies that it has been carried out and the respective result;
  • Rapid antigen test (TRAg), in the form of self-test, at the door of the establishment, with the supervision of those responsible for it;
  • Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the obligation to undergo tests for access to establishments and participate in events.
Travel to Portugal
Passengers entering or transiting Portugal by air, sea or land must present:
  • Proof of a negative RT-PCR Test (or similar NAAT test) - 72h before boarding, or Rapid Antigen Test (TRAg) - 48h before boarding, or EU Digital COVID Certificate 
  • Children under 12 do not need to present test.
  • All passengers arriving by air need to complete a Passenger Locator Card (individually) before departure to Portugal at https://portugalcleanandsafe.pt/en/passenger-locator-card and print the confirmation
Entry conditions
We are frequently asked about what rules apply for entry to Portugal if travelling by car. Are covid tests required, locator forms etc? The rules for entry to other countries and returning to Portugal don’t differentiate between the mode of travel. Obviously on air travel they are easy to implement, because you have to pass through check in desks and border controls, but the same rules do also apply if you’re travelling to Portugal by road.   

Of course I accept that as there are no border controls on entry to Portugal then no-one will check unless there is some random spot check, however bear in mind you will still have to travel through other countries and they will have their own regulations, which is particularly relevant to UK citizens who will have to enter the mainland via a terminal at a ferry port or rail terminal.

Anyone intending to travel by road should check the requirements in the countries they will pass through. Whilst you may not pass through any control points, you will probably be driving a vehicle with a foreign registration plate and may therefore be stopped by police patrols and asked to provide whatever certification that country requires.

To review further travel rules, please see our previous mailings, which are also available on the afpop website home page.
 
The islands
The links below will take you to the pages with COVID restrictions for the islands:
Madeira: https://www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19
Azores: https://destinoseguro.azores.gov.pt

COVID cases across the world 
In this link https://covid19.min-saude.pt/relatorio-de-situacao 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.

COVID Cases in Europe: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea
COVID Cases Worldwide: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases

EU Digital COVID Certificate issued in Portugal
A reminder that we have a fact sheet with detailed information about the EU Digital COVID Certificate and how to apply for it online or download the SNS 24 app, which is available on our website or from the afpop office info@afpop.com

Reopening of public offices:
You may have seen articles in the media about the reopening of Public Services without prior appointment, from 1st of September. Unfortunately this will not apply for all matters relating to each entity, for example IMT does not accept processes for exchanging a foreign driving license (that must always be done online), Social Security is only receiving payments and delivery of documents. We therefore advise Members to contact the services in advance in order to confirm that the matter you wish to address can be done in person and without prior appointment. The public offices that should now be open for people without prior appointment are: Finanças, Loja do Cidadão, IMT, Segurança Social, Conservatórias, Espaço Cidadão.

Annual Golf Tournament
A reminder that this year’s annual golf tournament, in partnership with our Alliance Partners MEDAL Insurance, will be held at Penina Golf course next Wednesday the 15th September. It is a shotgun start at 8h45, with the driving range free to use from 7h30. There are still spaces available, so to register please e-mail the afpop office on info@afpop.com or call 282 458 509 to reserve your place.

afpop Office visits
A reminder that Members may make an appointment to visit the afpop office by calling or e-mailing on 282 458 509 or info@afpop.com. Remember to wear a mask and at arrival we will measure your temperature and ask you to sanitise your hands.
 
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
 

Alliance Partners
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  • Turismo de Portugal - Algarve
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