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News from afpop - Monday November 23rd Update

Michael Reeve - 24-11-2020

News from afpop - Monday November 23rd Update

Included in this briefing: 1. State of Emergency dates, 2. New risk levels, 3. Restrictions reminder, 4. Movement between municipalities, 5. afpop office, 6. Map of risk areas, 7. Interactive Covid-19 map --Désolé, pas de traduction française disponible --


Included in this briefing:

  1. State of Emergency dates
  2. New risk levels
  3. Restrictions reminder
  4. Movement between municipalities
  5. afpop office
  6. Map of risk areas
  7. 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.

The new State of Emergency declared by the President of the Republic comes into force at 00h01 on the 24th November and lasts until 23h59 on 8th December. The State of Emergency does not have a fixed set of measures, but gives the government authorisation to impose restrictions without further acts of parliament and also allows them to make certain financial decisions and commandeer services from the private sector if they find it necessary to do so.

New Risk levels: As we know the situation in Portugal is changing quite rapidly as the government seeks to get the infection rate under control and prevent to spread of the contamination over the coming public holiday weekends. For the first time the government has decided that “as the situation is not uniform throughout the national territory, it is important to adjust the measures according to the situation and diversity in each municipality, in order to scale the intensity of the applicable measures according to the level of risk, which may be moderate, high , very high or extremely high.”

In other words, rather than the previous two level indicators there are now four with the previous ‘Red’ zone being divided now into three levels of high (yellow), very high (orange) or extremely high (red) risk, according to the infection rate per capita in each area. This is to bring Portugal inline with the rest of the EU. The map in the link below identifies which area is which and there is also a chart to explain the additional measures in force in each of the three elevated risk areas.

Restrictions: For those areas identified as moderate risk (white), the national guidelines remain in force. Please refer to the chart in the link below for details. 

The restrictions are slightly lighter for the high risk (yellow) areas and include a restricted curfew on weekdays - between 23h00 and 5h00.

For the very high (orange) and extremely high risk (red) areas, there are also restrictions regarding circulation on Saturday, Sunday and the two public holidays. Circulation is prohibited after 13h00 until 5h00 the following morning. Commercial establishments will be closed from 15h00 on November 30th and also on December 7th.

The basic restrictions remain unchanged, but it is worth reminding you of them here:

In these areas it is the civic duty to remain at home. Citizens should refrain from circulating in public spaces and roads, as well as in spaces and private roads equivalent to public roads, except for previously authorised trips, to which are added trips for activities carried out in day centres and to visit residents in residential structures for the elderly and for people with disabilities, as well as trips to stations and post offices, bank branches and insurance brokers or insurance agencies and the necessary trips to leave mainland Portugal.

Celebrations and other events that involve groups in excess of five people are prohibited, unless they belong to the same household and the ban on the holding of fairs and markets is reintroduced, although religious ceremonies and shows according to the rules of the General Directorate of Health may go ahead.

It is mandatory to adopt the teleworking regime where the functions in question allow it unless the employee is prevented from doing so by work requirements. The use of masks in the work environment is also mandatory.

In the very high and extremely high risk areas, the restaurants may only operate in the weekends with a take-away service until 13h00, after which time they can operate a delivery service. However throughout the week restaurants may open until 22h30, with a restriction of 6 persons on one table, unless they are all from the same family group.

Exceptions: There are exceptions to the prohibition, which revolve around the need to leave the house for medical reasons, including going to a pharmacy, walking pets providing that only members of the same household are in company and the exercise is short, travel to grocery stores and supermarkets. Also travel required to care for the sick and elderly may be permitted, but you should expect to be challenged if you are out of the house during the ‘curfew’ hours.

Movement between municipalities: (Please note that this restriction is in force for the whole country over the two holiday weekends and not only those areas of higher risk.)

Within the time frame of this new State of Emergency there are two public holidays in Portugal, which is clearly the reason for the new measures to be implemented. In order to reduce the risk of contamination by increased movement of people over these weekends and bearing in mind that both of the public holidays fall on a Tuesday, which many people take as an extended weekend, there is a prohibition of travel between municipalities for those two weekends. Between 23h00 on the 27th November and 05h00 on the 2nd December – and then again between 23h00 on the 4th and 05h00 on the 9th December, travel between municipalities is prohibited unless for a genuine reason as in the previous travel restriction periods.

In this new State of Emergency the government has taken the added step of requesting that all private businesses close their doors on those days too. They have not issued a directive to this effect, but are asking businesses to remain closed on Monday 30th November and Monday 7th December.

afpop office: In accordance with the government’s request to private businesses, the afpop office will be closed on Monday 30th November and Monday 7th December and also on the public holidays (1st and 8th December). As Members will know we have not closed the afpop office since this all began back in March, but I feel it is the right thing to do on this occasion.

Map of risk areas:

CovidMap

We have an updated map, alphabetical list and table of added restrictions in this LINK

Chart with measures you will find HERE

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 Bette

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