Included in this briefing:
- State of Emergency update
- Travel restrictions 1st May
- Shops, restaurants and kindergartens
- Clean and Safe
- Land clearance reminder
- Garden waste
- IRS, IMI and IUC reminder
- Recyclable waste reminder
I hope you are all well and keeping safe. As always this briefing is in English and German and I hope that those Members whose first language is not English or German will understand the information in the mailings, but if not of course you can contact the afpop office to ask for clarification.
Public Calamity: As you know the current State of Emergency (SoE) is set to end on Saturday (2nd May), after which the status will probably be downgraded to one of ‘Public Calamity’ from 3rd May, but what does that mean? Well first of all it is the president who must declare a State of Emergency, but a state of ‘Public Calamity’ can be declared by the government and is in fact one of the assessments that makes up the State of Emergency. Essentially the same restrictions can be imposed on citizens and businesses, but the right to resist and the right to strike, both of which are suspended under a State of Emergency are no longer restricted, along with some other limitations on workers’ rights. However the government does still have the authority to restrict movement, public gatherings etc. but may start to lessen restrictions of movement and on businesses, allowing some to reopen under certain conditions. We have not yet been informed what restrictions may be lifted and probably won’t be until after the weekend, but as soon as we do have any information we will of course inform Members.
Travel restrictions: Between 00.01 on Friday 1st May and 23.59 on Sunday 3rd May, travel outside your own residential area will be prohibited except for people who are going to work and have a letter from their employer stating that they are required to travel and also people who may have necessary medical appointments or are travelling to airports. This will be similar to the restrictions that were in place over Easter, although the airports will not be closed as they were then. There has been some discussion about whether the restriction can stay after the State of Emergency is lifted, but as I’ve highlighted above the government still has the authority to restrict movement under the Public Calamity status and you should expect the restriction to stay in force.
Shops, restaurants and kindergartens: A lot is being written about restrictions being eased on smaller businesses, restaurants and kindergartens. At the time of mailing this update there are no new guidelines in these areas although some are expected to be announced with some restrictions being eased from the 4th May. We will have a further mailing when announcements are made by the government.
Masks: The use of masks is still only an advisory measure at the moment, but the government and local Câmaras are advising citizens, particularly those in the ‘at risk’ groups, to wear them whenever they are out of their homes. In particular in supermarkets or on public transport. There is some discussion about whether the use of masks may be made compulsory in order to allow for shops etc to begin to open and for travel on public transport, but this is NOT in force at the moment and is only one of the things that the government is discussing. We are advised that most pharmacies now have masks in stock and also gloves and disinfectant gel. The pharmacy group ‘Wells Saúde’, which outlets can be found in many CONTINENTE supermarkets, also now have stocks of masks and gels as do most CTT (post) offices. We have had complaints from some Members that their local pharmacy doesn’t have any masks or gel in stock and sadly it isn’t possible for us to contact every establishment to check, so if you do find that your local store doesn’t have them in stock, it is worth checking with the next nearest outlet to you.
Clean and Safe: One of the initiatives of Turismo de Portugal that you may read about is their “Clean & Safe” label, which they intend to use to distinguish companies in the tourism sector that meet a “minimum hygiene and careful cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of the Coronavirus or other possible infections”, in order to allow tourist resorts, tourist entertainment companies and travel agencies to have a tool that certifies them as safe establishments, “ensuring the tourist’s confidence in the destination”. We will have more information on this in the June edition of UPDATE.
Fire Clearance: The extended deadline for home owners to ensure the cleanliness of land around their properties expires tomorrow April 30. 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
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.
Finanças: Information regarding IRS, IUC and IMI payments are in a previous e-mail sent on 3rd April, which is still available with all the previous mailings on the afpop website for new Members or those who may have missed the mailings.
Recyclable waste: A REMINDER. 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. 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.
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