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April 8th Easter update

afpop - 27-04-2020

April 8th Easter update

News from afpop 8th of April 2020Included in this briefing:

  1. Easter travel restrictions
  2. Airports closed
  3. afpop office hours
  4. Increased traffic
  5. IRS/IUC/IMI reminder
  6. Land clearance deadline extension
  7. Recyclable waste
I hope you are all well and keeping safe. Once again I apologise that these briefings are only available in English and German, but translating to all languages would simply not be feasible and I hope that those Members whose first language is not English or German will understand the information in the mailings, but if not of course you can contact the afpop office to ask for clarification.

As you will know the restrictions on travel over the Easter period will come into force at midnight tonight (Wednesday 8th) and will last until midnight on Monday 13th April. During this period no-one is allowed to travel outside of their municipality of residence, unless they need to do so for work and have a letter from their employer stating the reasons for their travel. The police have already begun issuing fines for people infringing the new restrictions on unnecessary travel and it’s highly probable that they will have zero tolerance for people not adhering to the instructions over Easter. You should expect that police will be at the boundaries of all municipalities stopping and checking vehicles trying to pass from one to the other over the Easter weekend.

All Portuguese airports for all international flights in and out of Portugal are also closed for this period.  

In compliance with the government’s instructions the afpop office will be closed on Easter Friday and Monday and will re-open on Tuesday 14th April. We will however continue to monitor information from the government and will circulate anything that we think cannot wait until we return to work next week.

It is being reported, and you may have seen yourself, that traffic is beginning to increase again, probably as the reports are now starting to indicate that the curve of infections in Portugal is starting to slow and people thinking that the worst is now behind us. This improvement may or may not be true, but if it is the case that the curve is slowing then it must surely be because the measures that we’re taking are working, but they have not finished working. The government will decide on the 17th whether to continue with the State of emergency for another period and until that time ALL the restrictions and guidelines on sanitation, social distancing and self-isolation are still in force. It is thought likely that the State of Emergency will be extended and make ‘25 de Abril’ the least celebrated since the revolution, but perhaps the way to celebrate this year is to be alive next year.
In the government’s words, “In the meantime, it is necessary not to undermine the control of the disease to confirm whether or not we have already passed the peak of the epidemic in Portugal at the end of March. Containment measures must be maintained, if we are to see May as a turning point.”

PLEASE continue to adhere to the guidelines and continue the excellent work that’s been done so far.
Information regarding IUC, IRS and IMI payments are in the previous e-mail sent on 3rd April, which is available with all the previous mailings on the afpop website for new Members or those who may have missed the mailings. 
We’ve been informed by the Bombeiros that due to the renewal of the State of Emergency to combat the pandemic of covid-19, the Government has decided to extend the deadline for owners to ensure the cleanliness of forest land until April 30. Property owners are obliged to clean tree limbs and flammable material and clean their land in a strip of not less than 50 metres around their homes, as we have published in UPDATE each year. (View article)

Recyclable waste: A REMINDER. 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.
It is also worth noting that anyone who does undergo checks or treatments for Covid-19 will not be charged for any diagnosis or treatment.

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 probably still some way from it.

PLEASE don’t relax your guard now. 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 and at Easter or other times when you would get together, it’s important to maintain these measures.

Listen to and HEED the advice of the experts. The longer we can all do this, the less time we will have to.
Please continue to stay safe and be well and remember, if you do forward this information to others, please remove the ‘unsubscribe’ link or they may just take YOU off our mailing list.
On behalf of the whole team here I thank you again for all the kind and supportive comments that we have received and send you our warmest regards. For those of you who celebrate Easter I hope that the lack of church services or gathering with others will not lessen the joy for you.
Until next week, my best wishes to you all and please

STAY SAFE

Michael R Reeve
CEO
afpop - Making Life Better
 

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