Covid-19 Update 2nd of April 2020
Michael Reeve - 27-04-2020
Covid-19 Update 2nd of April 2020
News from afpop 2nd of April 2020 - latest update regarding Covid-19In this article we have updates on:
- State of Emergency & general isolation update
- Recyclable waste
- Residency applications
- Veterinary and dental services
- Beaches and parks
- IUC (car tax), IRS and IMI payments
- Annual vehicle inspections
- Postal service
- Information sources
State of Emergency & general isolation update: The president made a statement the nation yesterday (Wednesday 1st April) that the current State of Emergency will be extended for a further 15 days. The general social distancing and isolation measures will be maintained and other measures are being discussed in parliament today. If there is any change or any additional measures are announced we will of course send out a further ‘News from afpop’ mailing to our Members with those details.
Recyclable waste: The waste disposal collections are continuing as you will know, but there are some guidelines from ALGAR that you should pay attention to.
Masks, gloves and handkerchiefs are not recyclable; they must always be disposed of in regular trash. These materials are apparently appearing, in large quantities, in Eco-points, ending up in the sorting lines. In addition to not being recyclable, they can be contaminated.
Contaminated waste is not recyclable; it must always be disposed of in regular waste. This rule applies to all persons who have contracted COVID-19 or who are quarantined for the same suspicion. Anyone in quarantine should have their waste placed in two bags, one inside the other, tightly closed. These bags must not be full or compacted - they just have to be tightly closed and deposited inside the regular waste container.
SEF and Residency applications: As we know the services of all government agencies are reduced to on-line or telephone contact only, except in exceptional circumstances where face-to-face visits are authorised. SEF has announced that all applications which were in process prior to March 18th are now considered as residents until July and that visas and documents related to the stay of foreign citizens in Portugal which expired after February 24, are now valid until June 30. These documents, as well as the Citizen Card, Driving License, Criminal Record and Certificates, must be accepted by public authorities for all legal purposes.
SEF will continue to provide in-person assistance only for requests considered urgent. That is, citizens who need to travel or who prove the urgent and urgent need to leave the national territory, for imponderable and unavoidable reasons and citizens who have been stolen, stolen or lost documents. The Service will also proceed with the rescheduling of appointments, which were scheduled until March 27, starting next July 1, in chronological order, thus guaranteeing equal treatment.
Veterinary services and dentists: These services have reduced hours and you can only attend by appointment and after their assessment of your situation.
Beaches and parks: It is now reasonable to assume that all beaches and public parks, including exercise areas, board walks and children’s play areas are closed until at least the end of the State of Emergency. You may know of spaces in your local area that can still be used, but most if not all such spaces are now closed off.
IUC (car tax), IRS and IMI payments: The dates remain in force and there are no changes. You should proceed with these as usual and the dates are as follows:
IMI - If the total value of IMI is less than €100 - a single instalment, in May
For values between €100 and €500; two instalments in May and November;
For amounts over €500; three instalments in May, August and November.
IUC - only available for payment in due month. Either log in to the finance website or contact the call centre (217 206 707) and ask for the ATM reference to make the payment online or at the ATM.
IRS – tax declarations from April 1 to June 30
Annual vehicle inspections: These are now extended for 5 months after the date of registration.
Postal service: As we know the banks are operating on-line or via their banking apps unless a personal visit is agreed in advance, but the postal services is still working, although CTT offices are serving closed doors. The company wants to minimise the number of customers in the premises and guarantee the distance between each one, so that only those who are being served can remain in the store. CTT also say that store hours are permanently updated on its website and notes that those that remain open «will have a closing period at lunchtime, from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm, allowing for more thorough cleaning of all spaces ». To check the CTT office in your area use their website https://www.ctt.pt/feapl_2/app/open/stationSearch/stationSearch.jspx?request_locale=pt
Volunteering: There are several volunteer groups now operating and most, if not all Câmaras have information on their websites about how to volunteer to help. We can’t list all of them here and I am looking to use the afpop website Community Centre to put the information on there, but in the meantime you should check with your Câmara, for example in Vila Real they have a ‘Linha Apoio’ for those people who are unable to leave their house to go to the shops, as well as in information website http://www.cm-vilareal.pt/index.php/servicos/itemlist/category/110-covid-19 and in Portimão they have the e-mail address email@example.com set up for people to either offer or request support along with the site https://www.cm-portimao.pt/menus/servicos/dicm/coronavirus-uk/portimao-questions-answers. Loulé has the site http://covid19.cm-loule.pt/ with more information too.
If any Member knows of a support group that is looking to either recruit volunteers or offer services, please contact Marisa Neves in the afpop office on firstname.lastname@example.org and let her have the details so we can upload them to our Community Centre. Please provide as much information about the contacts and what they are offering or looking for as you can.
Information sources: We have been asked several times about numbers of infected people and which is the most accurate source to use, as some sites have different information. We suggest that you use the official government site https://covid19.min-saude.pt/ as the source for all information on the Covid-19 status in Portugal. There is also https://eportugal.gov.pt/covid-19
Finally: We are fortunate in Portugal that the numbers of infected people and particularly deaths from the virus are lower that in many other countries. The fact that it took longer to get here gave people more time to prepare and take steps to minimise the possibility of infection and transmission to others. HOWEVER, this is not over and is some way from it. PLEASE don’t relax your guard now. Keep the good practices in play. Wash your hands regularly and cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, preferably with either a tissue or your forearm but not your hands. Clean surfaces often and keep the social distancing measures. As annoying and alien as it can be to have no contact with others, particularly at birthdays or other times when you would get together, it’s important to maintain these measures.
Listen to and HEED the advice of the experts. This is a scary time and the only way to get past this current situation is to keep the good practices going. The longer we can all do this, the less time we will have to.
On behalf of the whole team here I thank you again for all the kind and supportive comments that we have received. Please continue to stay safe and be well and remember, if you do forward this information to others, remove the ‘unsubscribe’ link or they may just take YOU off our mailing list.
My warmest regards to you all and my best wishes for a healthy April. We are in this together, so let’s be in it together for as little time as possible.
Michael R Reeve
afpop - Making Life Better