News from afpop - Friday 8th of May
News from afpop - Friday 8th of May
Included in this briefing: 1. Phase 1, 2. Masks, 3 Appointments, 4. Phase 2, 5.Restaurants, 6. Beaches, 7. Fire Clearance, 8. Garden waste, 9. Documents, 10. Reminders
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 clarification.
The state of Public Calamity has been in force now since the 3rd of May and so far there are no indications that the government is dissatisfied with the reaction of citizens, or that there has been a marked increase in cases or deaths related to Covid-19. Of course it is still early days and there is a danger that people will become more confident and perhaps therefore less compliant, but so far this does not seem to be the case.
We will have more information about Phase 3 of the government’s reopening plan towards the end of this month, but with regard to Phase 1 and 2, which is scheduled to begin on 18th May, this is what we know so far.
1st PHASE - MAY 4th
Spaces up to 200 m2;
Hairdressers, barbers, car stands, registration offices (Conservatória), Finanças and non-concentrated public services (by appointment only);
Bookstores, libraries and archives;
Buses with a driver's cabin in order to isolate them;
Individual sporting activities such as tennis, surf and golf; (without using changing rooms or club houses).
Masks: As we know, masks are now required, at the risk of substantial fines for non-compliance, in essentially all situations where people will gather in any numbers inside a building or on public transport. The costs of masks has now been reduced as the government has reduced the VAT rate for masks (and also disinfectant gels) from 23% to 6% as from today (Friday).
Appointments: We have prepared a Fact Sheet for afpop Members with information on how to make appointments (online or by phone) for: Conservatoria, Finanças & IMT (SEF is already explained in our Residency Bulletin). Members can download it from website: Publications - Bulletins - Factsheets.
2nd PHASE - MAY 18th
Spaces up to 400 m2;
Restaurants/cafes*, museums, terraces and similar;
Kindergartens (in this first phase, parents can still choose to continue to stay at home with the family support subsidy);
Schools (classes/exams for only 11th and 12th grades);
Municipalities can decide to open other establishments. For example, if a space has more than 400 m2 but does not concentrate a lot of people, the municipality may decide to open it.
*Restaurants: This refers to restaurants/cafés being open to customers who wish to eat on the premises as opposed to take away service. There is reportedly some concern from restaurant owners that they have not yet been given any information on what restrictions they will have to comply with and we will do what we can to keep you updated.
Beaches: The Beach Procedures Manual is still in discussion and the details are not yet known, but it is suggested that the bathing season might start in June, providing that the situation continues to improve in Portugal. It is expected of course that beachgoers will be required to keep social distancing, both in and out of the water, and that there will be restrictions on size of groups and the numbers of people allowed to be on the beaches. When the government publishes the beach guide, we will publish the information to Members.
Fire Clearance: The extended deadline for home owners to ensure the cleanliness of land around their properties has been extended once again and you now have until the end of May to complete the clearance. Remember that 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. HERE is a link to our information on land clearance.
Garden waste: We have been advised by the Bombeiros that burning of waste is allowed until the end of June unless advised otherwise, with the usual restrictions and instruction to contact the local Bombeiros before and after the burning. Those Members who don’t want to burn their garden rubbish, should contact their local council to enquire about collections.
Documents: Those documents which expired after 24 February will be accepted until 30 June. After this date they will remain valid if you have an appointment, but only if you have proof of the appointment.
Recyclable waste: The waste disposal collections are continuing as you will know, but there are some guidelines 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 still our civic duty to remain at home as much as we can;
Events or gatherings with more than 10 people remain prohibited;
There can be a maximum of 5 people in closed spaces under 100 m2;
Funerals can now have family attending.
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.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.
Until next time my best wishes to you all and please,
Michael R Reeve
afpop - Making Life Better