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Here is your weekly news overview…
We are happy to inform that the Portuguese government has extended the recognition of UK driving licences until 31st December 2021.
This means that those legally resident in Portugal who have a valid UK driving licence can continue to drive with their UK licence until the end of 2021, under the same terms as EU licence holders.
They are still obliged to exchange their UK licence for a Portuguese one if:
For those who have been resident in Portugal for longer than 60 days, and are still driving with their UK licence, they should have registered their address with IMT.
The Portuguese and UK governments continue to discuss future arrangements regarding reciprocal recognition of driving licences for residents.
For more information, please check:
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has decreed the renewal of the state of emergency until April 15th. This information was disseminated through a note on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic on the Internet.
"Following the broadly favourable vote of the Assembly of the Republic this afternoon, the President of the Republic signed the Decree that renews the State of Emergency until April 15th," reads the note.
This is the 14th diploma of the state of emergency from the head of state, to allow measures to contain Covid-19.
The current state of emergency period ends at 23:59 on the next Wednesday, March 31st. This renewal will take effect between 00:00 on April 1st and 23:59 on April 15th.
Earlier this week, while visiting a school in Lisbon, the President of the Republic suggested it is likely that the state of emergency will be extended to last until May.
The Government's plan for easing lockdown remains, with phases of reopening planned for the 5th, 19th April and 3rd May, but measures will be revised if Portugal exceeds the 120 new daily cases of Covid infection per 100 thousand inhabitants in 14 days, or if the transmissibility level (Rt) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus exceeds 1.
Opening for business next week on March 29th, online grocery store Super Express will provide the Algarve with deliveries in a maximum of two hours, any day and time and throughout the region.
The guarantee of the Super Express online grocery store, which promises "a fast, innovative, but above all reliable service, at a time when online shopping has become crucial to the day-to-day lives of families", is to provide deliveries between 60 to 120 minutes after order processing, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and anywhere in the Algarve.
“We live in the Algarve and we couldn't find any services like this nearby. In the future, we want to have this service available nationwide. But for now, it is only available in the Algarve, the rest of the country will still have to wait a few months for such a service”, says Eddie Ostrovsky, responsible for the project.
With a wide range of products available, the online supermarket Super Express also includes light meals, cold cuts, hygiene and beauty products, cleaning products and a variety of alcoholic beverages, in addition to wine and beer, such as spirits.
Super Express offers themed packages for special occasions, such as celebrations, birthdays or surprise parties, and it is possible to schedule the delivery of an order for a certain date and time. The idea is to expand and diversify according to customer feedback.
“We do not assume that we know everything about the consumption habits and preferences of the Algarvians. We are attentive, we are listening. We want our Customers to feel the same kind of closeness that they would have with their neighborhood grocery store, at any time of the day ”, Says Eddie.
In this first phase, the company has close to 100 employees and a fleet of more than 20 cars and motorcycles that will collect from the warehouses and deliver the products. Its logistical base is located in Benfarras, in Boliqueime, in the municipality of Loulé, an ideal location in the central area of the Algarve.
Orders can be placed on the website www.superexpress.pt or on the mobile app, which will be available to the public from March 29th, the first month being an initial “beta” version. In the event of a delay in the delivery of the order, Super Express undertakes to compensate the customer for the wait.
How will Easter be? Can I move between counties? And go abroad? What supermarkets will be open, until what time? Will take-away tradestop? What about religious ceremonies? Does teleworking remain? And after Easter?
The lack of continuity will not stop during the Easter period, but the Government has fine-tuned the "gradual" plan to ensure that this period of festivities is not a time for travel and meetings. Here's what changes until April 5, in eight questions and answers (and one more about what's planned to happen after that date).
No. Prime Minister António Costa underlined the objective of "ensuring that Easter is not a time of travel and meeting, but, on the contrary, another moment of confinement ." In this sense, citizens are prohibited from moving outside the municipality of residence, daily, from midnight on March 25th/March 26th (Thursday/Friday) and until April 5th (Monday).
Yes, you can, with one exception. Since last Monday (15th), the ban on travel outside the mainland has been lifted, whether by road, rail, air, river or sea. However, the Government decided to keep the border with Spain closed until April 5th , and that is why Spain is the exception to the rule.
The food retail establishments stay open until 19h - both over the Easter weekend and on Good Friday, being a holiday.
No. The changes that took effect last Monday (March 15th) will continue to be in effect, so trading at the door/take-away will be allowed .
In the case of establishments that opened last Monday (15th), they can remain open during Easter, by appointment. The same applies to bookstores, libraries, archives, and similar places .
For the second year in a row, the traditional Easter week will be celebrated with strong limitations by the Portuguese Church: there will be no processions or passing of the cross from house to house , for example. In Fátima, all celebrations will be broadcast online, as only those living in the municipality of Ourém are allowed to visit in person.
Yes, teleworking remains mandatory whenever possible.
After Easter, the Government's deconfinement plan will continue, but only if the country's epidemiological situation remains at level one. If this happens, the Government foresees the opening of schools for the 2nd and 3rd cycles (and respective ATL), museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries and the like, and stores up to 200 m² with door to the street on April 5th .
Also on April 5th, the terraces of cafe's, bars and restaurants can also open (with a limit of four people per table), and the gyms can open (without group classes). Low-risk sports and outdoor physical activity for up to four people are also no longer prohibited, so golf courses will re-open. Fairs and non-food markets may also open on that day, but this decision depends on each municipality and not the Government.
Enjoy the weekend. More news next week!
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To see more info about events coming up in the next few weeks, check out My Guide Algarve's event calendar.
For latest information and advice regarding crime, wildfires and the Covid-19 pandemic, visit the Safe Communities Portugal website at https://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com
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