News from afpop - Friday 10th of July Update
Michael Reeve - 10-07-2020
News from afpop - Friday 10th of July Update
Included in this briefing: 1. Flights to Portugal, 2. Arrival in other countries, 3. UK travel form, 4. Travel through Europe, 5. Links to other countries, 6. Interactive Covid map, 7. Beach apps
|Included in this briefing:
1. Flights to Portugal
2. Arrival in other countries
3. UK travel form
4. Travel through Europe
5. Links to other countries
6. Interactive Covid map
7. Beach apps
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 assistance.
As I highlighted in the previous mailing, as rules start to be relaxed and different rules are put in place for different people or countries, trying to determine who is covered by which rules becomes more complicated. We have the information from the government and also from the airport authorities and if you read them they are a little confusing, purely because of the language used. The following is how we believe the rules are to be applied.
Flights to Portugal: You may be hearing reports of Covid tests being required for people arriving at Portuguese airports or fines being issued, entry refused etc. All flights from EU and Schengen area countries and also the UK are allowed to land in Portugal. Passengers will be automatically screened using the infrared screening system already in place and any passengers who display a higher than normal heat signature, will be taken to a private area and asked to undergo a Covid screening test. There is no requirement for any negative test results to be shown either at the point of departure or when arriving in Portugal, however if you do undertake a test at the airport, you will be released but required to go to your place of residence and stay isolated until you are contacted with the result. Flights are also allowed under these same rules from countries on an approved list. These are: Algeria, Canada, South Korea, Morocco, Tunisia, and China.
The pre-flight negative Covid tests you may have been hearing about, are for people arriving from specific countries and who are not Portuguese citizens or who are not legally resident in Portugal. Flights from Portuguese speaking countries are allowed, as are flights from North America, however flights from Brazil are only allowed from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Passengers from the Portuguese speaking countries and USA, who are not Portuguese citizens or legally resident in Portugal, will be required to provide a negative Covid test at check in which was taken no more than 72 hours before departure, or will be required to take a test at their own expense when they arrive in Portugal. Refusal to take a test will result in the passenger being returned to the original airport, again at their own expense. Portuguese citizens and legal residents who depart from Portuguese speaking countries or the United States of America are exempt from the requirement to provide a negative Covid test before they board the aircraft, but will be tested on arrival in Portugal. So be prepared to be required to take a Covid test even if you are a Portuguese resident when you arrive in Portugal from one of these countries. We are trying to find out the cost of tests, but at the moment have no details on that.
Arrival in other countries: OK – this is where the fun really begins and of course we are not in contact with authorities outside Portugal. You may have seen in the Algarve newspapers or social media postings of the situation in the UK, certainly Gatwick airport, when arriving there on a flight from Portugal. The experience was that of afpop Members, who contacted me to outline their dismay at the complete lack of any kind of control or even pretence of any guidelines when they arrived in the UK. Of course this was only one airport, but it is difficult to believe that Gatwick is the only place where such flagrant disregard for passenger safety and social distancing takes place. We also have no information about what you should expect in other countries, but there is some basic advice that you can follow. I suggest these are a few good things to consider:
Travel through Europe: This link will help you to find information about travel throughout Europe, how to enter individual countries and what conditions exist: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/PRT
Links to other countries information: The information in these links is taken from their official websites and sets out the advice and regulations that they have in place for people travelling to Portugal.
Interactive Covid map: You may find the information in this website interesting https://qap.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/COVID-19/COVID-19.html
Beach apps: We have informed Members about the mobile phone app for beaches ‘InfoPraia’, and there is another called ‘Posso ir’, which you can use to check the beach capacity before you set off. The ‘Posso ir‘ (Can I go?) app became popular at the beginning of the quarantine, as it shows the locations and occupancy levels of supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants near you and now also includes information about beaches. The app is supported by the Consumers’ Rights organisation DECO and is worth downloading for use even after the Covid situation ends, as it contains very useful everyday information on those other establishments. Click on the image below for the download:
‘InfoPraia’ is an app developed by APA as a tool for quick availability of updated information on beaches and the quality of coastal, transitional or inland bathing waters. It is very easy to use and has an English version. You can define your favourite beaches and make it easier to consult information on water quality, awards, existing equipment, as well as being notified of updated information on bathing water quality. The app for smart phones can be downloaded for Android and Apple mobile devices. It includes information on the majority of beaches throughout Portugal. It’s called ‘Info Praia’ and the symbol is a white life belt with orange flashes and the lowercase ‘i ’ in the centre (See image below):
As I said at the beginning of this e-mail, as things start to relax and the rules start to change, keeping up to date with things is becoming trickier rather than easier. The next review by the government is expected next week we will inform Members are about any changes that are made to current legislation and guidelines, but now, more than ever perhaps, it is about personal discipline and safety.
Until next time as always my best wishes to you all and please continue to,
Michael R Reeve
afpop – Making Life Better