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News from afpop - Friday 22nd January 2021 update

Michael Reeve - 25-01-2021

News from afpop - Friday 22nd January 2021 update

Lastest news about additional restrictions,vaccine information, private health patients and more--As nossas desculpas por este artigo não ter tradução --

Included in this briefing:
  • Additional restrictions
  • Vaccine information
  • Private health patients
  • The islands
  • afpop office
  • Covid-19 website
  • Postal service around Europe
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 indicated in the previous mailing to you that there may be more announcements to come and that is the case, with the government and health service (DGS) concerned about the increasing infection rates across the country. In his press conference, the Prime Minister António Costa stated, “It is essential to abide by the rules and stay home. Controlling the pandemic depends on you, it depends on everyone.”

Within a week the strain had a significant growth and in order to avoid a worsening of the situation for the country, the government has decided on additional measures to those already announced.

The additional restrictions are as follows:

Please remember the restrictions on movement between municipalities begins tonight at 20h00 until Monday at 05h00

A total suspension of flights between Portugal and the UK as of Saturday 23rd of January, except for humanitarian and repatriation flights.

The Episcopal Conference in Portugal has suspended all masses from Saturday.

Access to all beaches are closed

Golf Courses are now closed and all leisure activities, dance and music establishments, as well as school sports activities are closed.

Lojas do Cidadão (Citizen Shops) and Vehicle Inspection Centres (IPO) are closed to drop in visits, allowing attendance in person only by appointment. The Loja do Cidadão will also provide their services through digital media and call centres.

Courts are closed and the deadlines for all non-urgent cases are suspended.

Schools/nurseries/universities are now closed. Mr Costa stated, “In spite of all the extraordinary efforts that schools have made to prepare themselves so that they could function normally in face-to-face activity, in view of this new stipulation and the speed of transmission that it entails, the precautionary principle is that we proceed the interruption of all teaching activities during the next 15 days”. The suspension will be duly compensated in the school calendar.

Vaccine programme/Cartão and Nº Utente:
In our previous mailing we mentioned the need for Residents to register with the local State health centre (Centro de Saúde) in order to be called for a vaccine, if they had not already done so. When you register with the Centro de Saúde, you will be issued a document (also called Cartão de Utente) that will have your State health care number, also known as Nº Utente or Nº SNS. As some Members have been asking what a Nº Utente is, we hope this better explains the term.

Private health care: We have been asked what the situation is for those people who are registered with the State system, but who use the private medical system for treatments and who may have ailments that should be taken into account when calling people for vaccinations. As they are not included in the SNS database they will not be taken into account when deciding which phase the person should be included in. I have contacted the Algarve MP Ana Passos about this who has discussed it with the Health Minister and any person who is usually treated under the private medical system, should contact their doctor to discuss if their health problems should elevate them in the vaccination programme and ask their doctor to relay that information to the SNS. The doctor legally needs the patient to request this, but once done their details will be forwarded to the vaccination centre.


The islands: The restrictions in Madeira and the Azores are different to those in continental Portugal. The links below will take you to the Covid pages for those areas.

Madeira: https://www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19/DecisoesExcecionaisCovid19

Azores: https://portal.azores.gov.pt/en/web/comunicacao/news-detail?id=2621765

afpop office changes: The afpop team is now operating a rota. As you know, throughout the pandemic we have kept the office operating as normally as possible and will continue to do so as far as we are able to do. In order to comply with the government’s guidelines as far as possible and still maintain an acceptable level of service to Members, we will be adapting our working procedures and sadly it is not possible now to receive Members in the office. There may be some delays in responding to telephone calls, but the e-mail service will of course still operate. As we are expecting an increase in e-mails, please bear with us if you do experience any delay in receiving a reply. If your enquiry is urgent, please indicate that in the subject field of your e-mail. We will do our best to maintain the level of service to Members that you are accustomed to.

Covid website: The government Covid website carries information on the restrictions and also on the vaccine situation. https://covid19estamoson.gov.pt/

Covid around Portugal:
In this link you can see the current infection situation in Portugal. The website is available in Portuguese and English and you can select the latest report each time it is updated by the government.

Postal service situation in Europe: Many people are experiencing delays with post across Europe, some are still waiting for Christmas cards that were posted in mid-December. This link www.posteurop.org/CCG takes you to a web page, on the right hand side of which, in the panel titled ‘Members dedicated webpage’, are links to the postal service websites of 32 countries.

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

STAY SAFE
 
Michael

Michael R Reeve
CEO
afpop – Making Life Better

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