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News from afpop - Monday 26th October 2020

Michael Reeve - 27-10-2020

News from afpop - Monday 26th October 2020

Included in this briefing: 1. Masks in public, 2. Fines, 3. Circulation prohibited between municipalities, 4. BLiP Expo, 5. Interactive Covid-19 mapIncluded in this briefing:

  1. Masks in public
  2. Fines
  3. Circulation prohibited between municipalities
  4. BLiP Expo
  5. Interactive Covid-19 map
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. 

I wanted to clarify one or two issues that have arisen since the government’s directives on Friday and give you my thoughts on what they mean to us all. I will only cover two subjects in this briefing, which are the two that we have been receiving questions about since they were announced.

Masks in public (please note that face visors are not considered face masks under this law) : Much has already been written in the media and social media about this issue of course, but here is our understanding of the announcement and the situation as it stands today. The government has approved a recommendation by the PSD party to implement the use of face masks for a period of 70 days “on the public roads”. That is the official term translated, but I think we all understand that the more usual interpretation is ‘in public’. However, the wearing of masks under this new law, when it is announced, is that the wearing of masks is mandatory “where social distancing measures cannot be implemented”. This means that if you are walking alone or with a family member from the same household and are not in close proximity to other people, you do not have to wear a mask. If however you are heading into an area, for example a town centre or other public space such as a park, the chances are high that you will not be able to maintain a social distance and you will have to wear a face mask.

At the time of writing this is not yet a law, as to be considered such it has to go to the President of the Republic to sign the law and then be released in the ‘Diário da República’ (DdR), which has not yet happened. This is important because that is the date that the 70 days will commence. Of course it is highly likely that the President will sign the law this week and it will be announced DdR and so my advice to Members is that you should begin the practice of wearing masks as directed in the proposed law now, and not wait for it to be formally announced.
In order to keep the number of e-mails you receive to a minimum, I will not send a further mailing when the law is passed as it is likely to be in the next few days, but I will include further information on dates in the next mailing that we send to Members.

Fines: The fines for non-compliance range between €100 and €500, although it is not clear what determines the actual level of the fine. However, you should expect that the police will be very strict in their application of the law once it is announced. 

Circulation prohibited between municipalities: Between 00:01 on Friday 30th of October until 06:00 on the 3rd of November, circulation between municipalities is prohibited unless you have a specific reason for the travel. It isn’t possible to note all of the potential exemptions from this in a mailing, but there are a few questions that have arisen since the announcement, which I think give an opportunity to give general examples to follow.
Travel to the airport to take someone to catch a flight can go ahead, providing that you have the proof of the flight to show and also keep it with you for the return journey. Of course on the return you will be travelling home and be able to provide proof of address, but it will help if you have evidence of the reason for the trip in the first place.
We have been asked about travelling to the airport to fetch someone and this is more problematic. As anyone can download something from the internet and give it as proof of a reason to travel, it is my opinion that the police are unlikely to accept travel to the airport for this reason, mainly because you have to enter the Faro concelho far away from the airport and could be going anywhere once you pass the check-point. If you are expecting someone my advice is to arrange an alternative means of transport and make sure that they have your address in some document to show when stopped as they leave the Faro area. It is much easier to do this in advance, than to have them expecting you at the airport and have to make alternative arrangements when they land and you’re not there.
Hospitals, SEF etc. If there is an appointment already made with an official body, such as a medical appointment, SEF, Finanças etc and you have proof of the appointment, you will be allowed to go to the appointment. Make sure that you have the proof of appointment with you of course and leave a little more time for the journey.
If you are required to travel to work, have a document signed by your employer to state that you need to travel to your place of employment. You should try to have this on headed note paper or some other document with the name and details of the office and the employer and the official stamp (carimbo) of the company. 

BLiP Expo 2020: As you know BLiP Expo online was launched on Saturday morning and thank you to those who have already visited the website, where there are 105 exhibitors displaying their goods and services. To those who have not yet visited BLiP, please do – and tell everyone you know that they should to. We are trying to do something to help businesses and it costs nothing except your time to visit BLiP online and support our initiative to support businesses.

The website is open 24 hours a day for the whole period, so you can visit as often as you like and there are no masks required and social distancing is guaranteed. So please visit www.bliportugal.com from any device of your choosing and have a look around.

THANK YOU

Interactive Covid map: You may find the information in this website interesting https://qap.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/COVID-19/COVID-19.html

Until next time as always my best wishes to you all and please continue to,
STAY SAFE


Michael R Reeve
CEO
afpop - Making Life Better

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