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News from afpop - Tuesday 26th of April 2022 - Travel Update

Michael Reeve - 28-04-2022

News from afpop - Tuesday 26th of April 2022 - Travel Update

Included in this briefing: 1. Travel 2. SEF reorganisation postponed 3. E-gates 4. Masks 5. Spoof/phishing e-mails

Good afternoon and an unexpected bonus Briefing for you this week, as some travel and entry restrictions have been revised, most notably the distinction between essential and non-essential travel. We have taken this opportunity to reiterate the travel regulations in force, rather than link back to previous e-mails. We’ve included some news about the use of e-gates for entry to Portugal, however there are conflicting reports about exactly how the process works which we are seeking guidance about.
 
I also wanted to reassure Members regarding some spoof/phishing e-mails that have been circulating, more of which below.
 
Travel
From the 23rd of April, all passengers are authorised to enter Portugal Mainland, regardless of their origin or the purpose of the trip.
 
However, recognising that permanent monitoring of the evolution of the epidemiological situation is essential, it is understood that it is necessary to maintain the requirement to present a negative COVID test for all passengers who do not hold an EU Digital COVID Certificate or certificate of vaccination or recovery issued by third countries, recognised in Portugal.
 
The rules to enter mainland Portugal are:
1 - Entry into national territory by air, sea and river is authorised, for both essential and non-essential travel, regardless of the origin of the passengers.
 
2 - Airlines must only allow passengers to board flights to or from mainland Portugal upon presentation, at the time of departure, of:
 
a) EU Digital COVID Certificate the modality of vaccination or recovery
 
b) Vaccination or recovery certificates issued by third countries, under the terms of reciprocity. The vaccinations need to have been approved by INFARMED and the certificates need to contain all data set out by law
 
c) Proof of carrying out PCR (NAAT) or rapid antigen test (TRAg) for professional use with a negative result, performed within resp. 72 or 24 hours prior to boarding
 
3 – Passengers that exceptionally do not carry the vaccination certificates provided for in the previous number, or proof of negative COVID test, must carry out a PCR test (TAAN) or rapid antigen test (TRAg), on arrival, before entering mainland territory, at their own expense, being forwarded by the competent authorities, waiting in proper place inside the airport until notification of the result.
 
4 - The provisions of the previous numbers are not applicable to children under 12 years of age.
 
The law that required filling in the Passenger Locator Form on all flights to Portugal mainland has been revoked, so it is no longer necessary to present it at the time of boarding.
 
COVID Certificates
It is not required to present a negative test for crossing the border into Portugal, for those who have an EU Digital COVID Certificate (or other proof of vaccination or recovery that has been recognised as equivalent – i.e., from the UK. Here you will find a list of non-EU countries and territories whose certificates are accepted under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate) with:
  • Completion of the primary vaccination series, more than 14 days ago and less than 270 days since the last dose, with a vaccine against COVID; or
  • If the holder had a booster dose of a vaccine against COVID; or
  • If the holder has proof of Recovery less than 180 days old.

    If people do not have the above, they will need a proof of negative test, that is a PCR test not older than 72 hours or a professional rapid antigen test not older than 24 hours. Children under 12 do not need to present test.
Travellers entering Portugal by land do not need to provide the EU Digital COVID Certificate nor a negative test result.

The Islands
All travellers to the Açores are still required to complete a passenger locator form before arrival. It is recommended you complete a form if you are travelling to Madeira. Below you will find specific information for:

Madeira: https://www.visitmadeira.pt/en-gb/useful-info/corona-virus-(covid-19)/information-to-visitors-(covid-19)
Açores: https://destinoseguro.azores.gov.pt/?page_id=8908 (You will find a translate button on the left bottom of your screen).
Following the recent volcanic activity, the Portuguese Civil Protection authorities in the Açores are still advising against all but essential travel to the island. More information is available on the following page: https://www.prociv.azores.gov.pt/alertas/
 
Travel requirements Worldwide:
https://www.algarvepromotion.pt/preview.aspx?pageID=4058&ver=19302
 
Restructuring of SEF postponed
The restructuring of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), which was scheduled for May, has been postponed to allow the Government more time to finalise the new APMA agency. This means that the transfer of powers from the SEF to the police authorities and the creation of the new Immigration and Asylum agency (APMA), will now not take place until later in the year when the decree-law that will create the APMA comes into force.
 
E-gates at Portuguese airports
It appears that SEF has installed new ‘e-gates’ for passport control at Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Funchal airports, in order to ensure faster border controls on arrival for nationals of the United Kingdom and several other Third Nation countries (New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Singapore). When using the e-gates, passports should be electronically “stamped” to monitor the time in the Schengen area in line with the 90/180 day travel regulations, however we have also heard that people using the e-gates will still have to queue to have their passport stamped. We have sought clarification and as soon as we have confirmation of the procedure we will update the next available Briefing mailing.
 
Masks
As mentioned in our last weeks e-mail, the use of masks is still obligatory in Public Transport (which also includes planes, taxis and TVDE) and when visiting care-homes and health establishments. Violation of this rule can attract a fine ranging from 100 to 500 euros.
Use of a mask is completely waived for children under 11 years of age and may also be waived if a medical certificate of multipurpose disability or a medical statement confirming the incompatibility of the use of the mask with the condition is presented.
 
Spoof/phishing e-mails
From time to time we are made aware of what appears to be evidence that the afpop database has been hacked, where e-mail addresses that purport to be from the afpop office invite you to click links and receive payments etc.
A recent one was sent to some Members in the Lagos area and came from the e-mail address: "lagos afpop<anuwat.yoo@tanaosree.com>
 
This is not an afpop email address and such e-mails should not be opened and links should not be clicked. However there is no reason to panic or believe that your details held by afpop have been compromised and whilst these e-mails can appear to be alarming, our server is secure and your personal data is also secure.
 
E-mail spoofing is a technique used in spam and phishing attacks to trick users into thinking a message came from a someone they either know or can trust. In spoofing attacks, the sender forges email headers so that email software displays the fraudulent sender address.
 
In most cases there is very little personal data included in the message and almost always there is no salutation containing the recipient’s name, the send signature may be missing or the subject matter does not correspond to the usual subject matter sent out from the sender.
 
In the afpop office we use a mailing router, so that all e-mails sent from afpop are addressed personally and all links and attachments are generally fully described in the body of the email. Unfortunately there is nothing that we can do to prevent such spoofing and we highly recommend that you regularly run an antivirus software on your devices, to ensure you are not at risk and your device is protected against being compromised. If you are unsure about any email and its source we advise you not to open any attachments or click on any links included in such correspondence.

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