'News from afpop" - Friday May 15th update
'News from afpop" - Friday May 15th update
Included in this briefing:
1. Government website,
2. Phase 2 what is open,
4. What remains closed,
7. Appointments Fact Sheet,
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.
To begin with today I’d like to tell you about a Portuguese government site in English, which gives information and updates on the bureaucratic changes as a result of the virus – in particular the extended deadlines for document validity. Click on the link:
https://eportugal.gov.pt/en/covid-19 to find out more.
Phase 2 of the government’s reopening schedule begins next Monday 18th May, but what is open or allowed and under what conditions?
- Shops up to 400 m2 with doors that open to the street, or sections of larger shops to a maximum of 400 m2 (where permitted the local authority)
- *Restaurants, cafés and pastelarias (50% capacity, open until 11pm)
- Visits to nursing homes may resume, but only with prior scheduling and registration of visitors
- Some secondary education: 11th / 12th years or 2nd and 3rd years of other training offers (10 am-5pm)
- Elderly Day Care centres
- Cultural centres (museums, monuments and palaces, art galleries, exhibition halls etc)
*Restaurants: The regulations for restaurant and café owners have now been released and you may have seen these printed in the local press. For customers you may find that your favourite restaurants will require you to make a reservation, certainly to begin with, to avoid them having people queueing inside the premises. You should get the number of your favourite restaurants to be sure. There may be some changes to the way they present their menus and also bear in mind that the toilets and wash rooms will also have rules for their use. Many of us will want to support our favourite restaurants and begin to get back to a feeling of normality, but please bear in mind that they will have restrictions and obligations and be patient when you visit them.
What remains closed/prohibited?
- Land Borders (until at least June 15th)
- Stores with an area greater than 400 m2 (unless decided by the local authority – see above)
- Nightclubs and bars
- Spas, swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), gyms & massage parlours
- Basic education, kindergartens
- Cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, casinos etc
- Sports venues, Congress centres and conference rooms
- Any event or gatherings with more than 10 people (except funerals with the participation of family members)
Airports: At the moment we have no confirmation about when airports will re-open, although some airlines are starting to advertise that they will be flying in June and some in July. We are in touch with the airport management in Faro and as soon as we have definite information about their plans we will pass that on. We are advised that there will be some new procedures, for example temperature checks and hand sanitising requirements and of course social distancing in queues, which should be interesting. However, the president of the regional tourism board, João Fernandes, has issued a Press Release to the UK media, stating that the golf courses are open, the beaches will soon be open and that restaurants and hotels and theme parks will soon be open too. So it would seem that there must be some announcement due soon about airports and travel restrictions. You can see some information from the airports about their preparations on this link https://www.ana.pt/en/corporate/ana/security-measures
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.
Appointments: We have prepared a Fact Sheet (in English) for afpop Members with information on how to make appointments (online or by phone) for: Conservatória, Finanças, Segurança Social, SNS & IMT (SEF is already explained in our Residency Bulletin), which can be downloaded from the Members area of our website under Publications/Bulletins/Fact Sheets.
Beaches: Whilst the Beach Procedures Manual is still in discussion and the details are not yet known, several councils are now opening their beaches for people to walk or run along them for their exercise, but not to congregate or sunbathe. It is likely that the bathing season will 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 Jun. After this date they will remain valid if you have an appointment, but only if you have proof of the appointment. (See the link to the government website in the first paragraph)
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.
PLEASE don’t relax your guard now. It is still our civic duty to remain at home as much as we can. 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.
Please continue to stay safe and please 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.
Until next time my best wishes to you all and please,
Michael R Reeve
afpop - Making Life Better