The Prime Minister, António Costa, confirmed yesterday that the restrictions on commerce and restaurants will end on August 1st, maintaining the mandatory use of digital certificates or negative tests indoors on bank holidays and weekends. Covid certificates or negative test results will also continue to be necessary for air and sea travel and entry into hotels/ accommodation, and within the new regulations this rule has been extended to entry into gym classes, spas, casinos, cultural events, weddings and baptisms.
"We will generically eliminate the time limitations on activities, and therefore both commerce, catering, and shows will be able to resume their normal hours, with a general limitation of everything being closed at two in the morning," said the head of Government at 'briefing' after the meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday, which took place today at Palácio da Ajuda, in Lisbon.
António Costa also stated that the elimination of these limitations is combined with the "intensive use" of the digital certificate or negative tests, which are still necessary to enter the closed spaces of restaurants on weekends and holidays, as well as to access tourist accommodation.
As part of the new deconfinement process, it was also announced that certificates or negative tests will continue to be required for air or sea travel, group classes in gyms, spas, casinos cultural events, weddings and baptisms.
It will also be necessary to use a digital certificate or a negative test in events (cultural, sporting or corporate) with more than 1,000 people in an open environment or 500 in a closed environment, and also for weddings and baptisms with more than 10 people.
In the first phase of distrust, starting on Sunday, weddings and baptisms may have a capacity of up to 50%, which will increase to 75% in the second phase as soon as 70% of the population has completed vaccination, something that Government estimates reaching in early September.
In the third phase, when 85% of the population has been fully vaccinated - something the Government is aiming for by October - the restaurants will be able to operate without limits on people per group.
Data released today by Eurostat shows the unemployment rate in the Euro zone decreased slightly in June to 7.7%, and to 7.1% in the European Union (EU), compared to 8% and 7.3%, respectively, in the same period of 2020.
Data reveals that, last month, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Euro zone was 7.7%, against 8% in June 2020 and also in May this year.
In the EU as a whole, this rate stood at 7.1% in June 2021, compared with 7.3% both in the same period last year and in May this year.
In absolute terms, Eurostat estimates that 14.9 million men and women in the EU, of which 12.5 million are in the Eurozone, were unemployed in June 2021.
This means a reduction of 397,000 unemployed in the EU and 339,000 in the Euro zone compared to June 2020.
Portugal followed the European trend, registering an unemployment rate of 6.9% in June 2021, after 7.5% in the same month of the previous year.
With regard to youth unemployment (covering young people up to 25 years old), it reached 17.3% in the Euro zone and 17% in the EU last month, a reduction compared to June 2020, when these rates were fixed, respectively, in 18.7% and 18.2%.
In all, 2.9 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU last month, of which 2.4 million are in the Euro zone, 152,000 less and 110, 000 thousand less, respectively, than in the same period of 2020.
By gender, the unemployment rate for women was, in June 2021, 8.2% in the Euro zone and 7.5% in the EU, while for men these percentages were, respectively, 7.3% and 6.7%.
Working alongside the vaccination process, step by step, Portugals' restrictive measures against Covid-19, presented this Tuesday at Infarmed, will be confirmed by the Council of Ministers today, with the definite start date to be announced. So what changes will come in to place, and when?
Experts, consulted by the Government, suggest an alleviation of the restrictive measures with the vaccination rate as a guideline. Portugal is in phase 1 of the plan presented this Tuesday at Infarmed, with 52% of the population with full vaccination. The last stage, phase 4, will correspond to the moment when group immunity is reached, that is, when about 85% of the population is vaccinated.
The new rules for each phase still require a final decision by the Council of Ministers, later today but the general rules below assume "routine use of the digital certificate in public spaces" - it may be necessary to use the certificate to enter any space or event.
LEVEL 1 (BETWEEN 50% AND 60% OF COMPLETE VACCINATION)
To begin imminently - date to be confirmed.
RESTAURANTS AND SIMILAR (BARS INCLUDED) ♦ Open with restrictive measures and reduced capacity (maximum of 6 people at the same table) - but with no restrictions on hours in the most affected municipalities, whether access to services or prohibited circulation. ♦ If you have a terrace, prioritise meals in this space (maximum of 10 people at the same table).
MAJOR EVENTS OUTSIDE (WITHOUT LIMITATION OF SPACE) ♦ Only events that can be controlled with identification of places where people can stay, in order to comply with the distance; ♦ Well-defined circulation circuits; ♦ Compliance with general measures.
MAJOR INDOOR EVENTS ♦ 50% capacity (evaluation of indoor space).
PUBLIC AND OUTDOOR SPACES ♦ Circulation with distance maintenance; ♦ Mask usage.
MARRIAGES, BAPTISM, ETC. ♦ 50% of its capacity (interior space assessment).
LEVEL 2 (BETWEEN 60% AND 70% OF COMPLETE VACCINATION)
EXPECTED DATE: SECOND FORTNIGHT OF AUGUST
CATERING AND SIMILAR (BARS INCLUDED) ♦ Open with restrictive measures and reduced capacity (maximum of 6 people at the same table); ♦ If you have a terrace, prioritise meals in this space (maximum of 15 people together).
MAJOR EVENTS OUTSIDE (WITHOUT SPACE LIMITATION) ♦ Only events that can be controlled with identification of places where people can stay in order to keep the distance; ♦ Well-defined circulation circuits; ♦ Compliance with general measures.
MAJOR INDOOR EVENTS ♦ 75% capacity (evaluation of indoor space).
PUBLIC AND OUTDOOR SPACES ♦ Circulation with distance maintenance.
MARRIAGES, BAPTISM, ETC. ♦ 75% of its capacity (interior space assessment).
LEVEL 3 (BETWEEN 70% AND 85% OF COMPLETE VACCINATION)
EXPECTED DATE: END OF AUGUST
RESTAURANT AND SIMILAR (BARS INCLUDED) ♦ Open with restrictive measures and reduced capacity in interior spaces (maximum of 8 people at the same table); ♦ No limitation outdoors.
MAJOR EVENTS OUTSIDE (WITHOUT LIMITATION OF SPACE) ♦ All activities, in compliance with general measures.
MAJOR INDOOR EVENTS ♦ All activities, with compliance with general measures.
PUBLIC AND OUTDOOR SPACES ♦ Circulation with distance maintenance.
MARRIAGES, BAPTISM, ETC. ♦ General security measures only.
LEVEL 4 (OVER 85% OF COMPLETE VACCINATION)
EXPECTED DATE: END OF SEPTEMBER
GENERAL RULES ♦ Promotion of activities outdoors or remotely, whenever possible; ♦ Compliance with physical distance, defining the maximum number of people per square metre; ♦ Mandatory use of mask indoors and at public events; ♦ Avoid all uncontrolled situations of population agglomeration.
SCHOOLS ♦ All activities, in compliance with the general rules.
WORK ♦ All activities, in compliance with general rules; ♦ Whenever possible, spaced appointments and telecommuting.
COMMERCE AND RETAIL ♦ All activities, in compliance with the general rules.
ACCOMMODATION AND HOTELS ♦ All activities, in compliance with the general rules; ♦ Restoration areas with rules defined above.
HOMES ♦ Risk identification according to age group, comorbidities and vaccination status; ♦ Promotion of the digital certificate for users, employees and visitors.
SPORTS (INSIDE AND OUTDOOR) ♦ All activities, in compliance with the general rules; ♦ Preferential promotion of activities abroad.
MAJOR EVENTS ABROAD (FIXED SPACE) ♦ All activities, in compliance with the general rules; ♦ Well-defined circulation circuits; ♦ Controlled events with identification of places where people can stay in order to comply with the distance.
FAMILY ♦ All activities, in compliance with general measures.
CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS EVENTS, ETC. (SMALL / MEDIUM SIZE) ♦ All activities, in compliance with general measures.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ♦ Ensure adequate ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as their maintenance. In its absence, keep windows open, promoting mechanical ventilation; ♦ Promote distance whenever possible; ♦ Mandatory use of mask.
SHOPPING CENTRES ♦ All activities, in compliance with general measures.
BEACH AND CAMPING ♦ Fulfillment of distance measures with definition of people per square metre; ♦ Use of masks in common places (beach bars) or in situations of agglomeration of people outside their socio-family circle.
MEASURES THAT SHOULD BE IN FORCE AT ALL LEVELS ♦ Adequate ventilation and air conditioning in closed spaces; ♦ Routine use of the digital certificate in public spaces; ♦ Risk self-assessment.
The German company FlixBus has just expanded its domestic network in Portugal connecting Lisbon – Oriente, Armação de Pêra, Portimão and Lagos. The new route starts today, 29th of July 2021, and prices for the Lisbon tp Lagos trip start at 5.99 euros, depending on the booking date.
In addition to being available online, at www.flixbus.pt , and in the App (available for IOS and Android), tickets can be purchased locally, at various points in Lagos, Portimão, and Armação de Pêra. They can also be purchased directly from the driver, on the bus. In Lagos and Portimão, the stop is at the Bus Terminal, and in Armação, the FlixBus stop is on the Via Dorsal de Armação de Pêra, next to the Health Centre.
"FlixBus ticket prices vary according to the advance purchase, somewhat similar to what happens with airlines, so the sooner you buy the tickets, the cheaper the trip. The price of a trip between Lisbon and Lagos starts at 5.99 euros", explains the company in a statement.
Portugal has more and more green buses on the road, and it is a priority market for the German company
FlixBus' network in Portugal currently covers more than 50 destinations, with national and international lines connecting cities such as Lisbon, Porto, Braga and Coimbra to countries such as Spain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium, among others. With a unique and technologically innovative business model, the German company works in partnership with local operators, in a revenue-sharing model.
Despite the last year having been particularly difficult for passenger transport companies, which were forced to stop their activity, FlixBus continues to invest in the development of the domestic and international network in Portugal. “It has been a difficult year, but Portugal was and continues to be FlixBus' major bet in 2021. We continue to invest in the expansion of the domestic network, together with our local partners, and to strengthen the international network, connecting more and more Portuguese cities to small and large European cities”, says Pablo Pastega, general director of FlixBus in Portugal and Spain.
The operation of regular bus lines is possible thanks to the strict hygiene measures established by the company, and FlixBus goes beyond the measures indicated by the health authorities, complying with the highest standards of hygiene and safety before and during the trip. In addition to the mandatory use of masks and contactless check-ins, buses are regularly disinfected and, in 2020, more than 162,000 litres of disinfectant were used for this purpose.
Transport of passengers by bus is a public service, being essential and safe.
“In Portugal, as in other countries, medium and long-haul buses are an essential means of transport for many people, even in times of pandemic. We provide a public, essential and safe service, guaranteeing the safety of those travelling with FlixBus from the very first moment”, concludes Pablo Pastega.
In Portugal, and despite the restrictions, FlixBus maintained its regular operation during the pandemic, with buses on the road ensuring its international network, which links the main Portuguese cities to Europe, such as the national express lines, launched in the summer of 2020 in partnership with local companies.
FlixBus ticket sales points in Armação de Pêra, Portimão and Lagos:
FlixMobility is a young mobility operator company that offers new alternatives for comfortable, economical and ecological travel through the brands FlixBus and FlixTrain. Thanks to a unique business model and innovative technology, the startup quickly developed Europe's largest long-distance bus transport network and launched the first long-distance green trains in 2018.
Since 2013, FlixMobility has changed the way millions of people in Europe travel and created thousands of new jobs in the mobility sector.
From across Europe, the FlixMobility team is responsible for technology development, network planning, operations control, marketing and sales, quality management and continuous product expansion.
FlixBus' regular daily service and green fleet are operated by bus companies, usually local SMEs, while FlixTrain operates in cooperation with private railway companies. Through these collaborations, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and a strong international brand join the experience and quality of the traditional.
The unique combination of technological start-up, e-commerce platform and classic transport company has positioned FlixMobility as a leader, ahead of large international corporations, changing the landscape of European mobility.
The number of frozen bank loan payments held by realtors in Algarve continues to plunge in July, with the value of loans deferred by consumers decreasing by 50% as the economic recovery gains a bleak momentum. According to Mario Centeno, Portugal’s central bank chief, consumer withdrawal of frozen bank loan payments is progressing well, with bad debt continually plummeting to incredibly low levels.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, new measures that allowed borrowers to temporarily freeze their loan payments were primarily geared to help them recuperate from dented personal finances. While different banks set their specific terms for freezing bank loan payments, the cuts in installments will range between 1.1-1.67%, which means that monthly mortgage installments will decrease. This is undoubtedly good news for all Algarve residents who took out loans to finance their homeownership, but the speculation about which direction mortgage rates will move has become a culture in the financial industry.
Property Prices to Drop with the End of Loan Repayments
In a recent financial report, the suspension of loan repayments until September 2021 could scathe house prices in Algarve. It all began when the Portuguese Government suspended loan repayments until March 2021, followed by an extension of another six months to avoid bad debt. The erosive effect on house prices has been widely epitomized in the apartment sector, where the real estate supply threatens to overtake residential demand.
This suspension – loan repayments that include household mortgages – has helped families benefit from non-payment of capital installments on loans but will resume interest payments in September. While this could mean holding out for approximately nine months for buyers, sellers may have to wait for an ideal selling window shortly before September.
Impact of Housing Price Decline
According to a report by algarvedailynews.com, plummeting housing process makes consumers default on their home loans, consequently causing financial institutions to lose money. Aside from forcing banks to shut down, the dry-up of home equity means fewer funds are available for consumers to spend, save, invest and pay down their debt.
“Although banks are better centralized today, another decline in housing prices could directly impact them, particularly because private individuals froze over 14.7 billion euros,” says an analyst for the platform Monederosmart. “With mortgage payments making up 90% of that amount, regulators are keeping a keen eye on the sector, but the turn-out of events in the 2008 housing crisis could possibly indicate how events will turn out this fiscal year.”
In situations like this, banks typically minimize their investments and lending. At the same time, it might be daunting for consumers to obtain home equity loans. Although it is unclear how consumers utilize their home equity loans, over 75% of Algarve residents term repairs and improvements as “good uses.”
A Foreseeable Recovery
For real estate facilities, there are concerns about the consumer’s ability to meet their repayment obligations once the Government suspends frozen loan payments. Under normal borrowing circumstances, the failure to meet loan repayment could invoke the lender’s right to recover the entire outstanding debt.
Given the uncertainties post the frozen loan repayments, the logistic and legal hurdles will render it almost impossible for banks to exercise their recovery efforts. With over 16% of total loans suspended, it will be impossible for banks to ignore the challenges further exacerbated by the pandemic. Economic recovery, however, relies heavily on policymakers to adopt the final phase of economic recovery.
Congrats mayors Isilda, Rosa and Rui! In 2018 the fire in Monchique started on August 3rd, ended on August 10th. The action of firefighters was hampered by strong and changing winds, predicted by IPMA; also by difficult access by land. The fire resulted in 41 injuries, out of which 22 firefighters, and consumed 26,885 ha of forests in Silves, Odemira, Portimão and Monchique. It burned 62 homes of 1stdwelling, 49 of the 2nd, and killed 5,600 animals.
Since restoring her first unit 30 years ago, a chest of drawers which was hers as a child (which she still has!), Simonne has always done the odd upcycling project and has always had a passion for wood, despite her career being in aviation!
The Portuguese law states that UK nationals resident in Portugal can drive with their valid UK licences until the end of 2021. This means that UK nationals need to start the process of exchanging their licence for a Portuguese licence before 31 December 2021 if they wish to continue driving after 1st January 2022.
Since it was chartered in 2006 Almancil International Rotary Club (AIRC) has been raising funds to support local disadvantaged people. In addition the club felt it important to give support and encouragement to local students.
From the time Palm Beach opened in 2017 the restaurant has been building on its reputation as one of the finest beachside eating venues in the region. Paulo and his team provide a first-class service in a relaxed and beautiful environment.
I decided to write this eBook to help you if you’re moving to a new country. You see, I have moved around a lot. I've been an expat for over 40 years. I've had great transitions when I felt could navigate smoothly in the new culture. But I must admit that many of my cultural transitions have been painful and difficult.
Drivers with hopes of road-tripping through Europe later this year will have to trade in their GB car sticker or magnet for a new ‘UK’ version. The current sticker used on the back of vehicles will no longer be valid from September 28th 2021, the United Nations (UN) has outlined. Instead, motorists will have to replace it with a UK sticker to drive on foreign roads.
For the first time in the Algarve, groups of people with physical disabilities or with reduced mobility will be able to stroll along the Ria Formosa and enjoy spectacular scenarios, up to now only available to those with the capacity to board regular boats.
This stunning, recently renovated home with a build area of 246m2 and a 2000m2 plot, enjoys lovely garden and country views. It is located in a very quiet area, surrounded by beautiful countryside, yet only 10 minutes from the buzzing market town of Loulé, 15 minutes from a golf course and 20 minutes from the beach.
This magnificent property has four en-suite bedrooms and is set on a cliff top with the most spectacular ocean views; yet is only a few minutes by car from Albufeira Old Town, the beautiful beaches of Galé, Salgados, São Rafael and Arrifes and within twenty minutes drive of some of the best golf courses in the Algarve.
Saturday. Two cats are released after neutering. The previous week Célia had only managed to capture one cat in the bairro of Horta do Pádua in Olhão. We asked the vet to name her Siouxie Sue on the microchip, but then it was found that she was quite old and had no teeth. And she was pregnant. Perhaps we’d better drop the ‘have a cat named after you’ idea. We certainly don’t want to link anyone with a toothless old crone of a cat.
ACCA Kids and Castelo de Sonhos are once again appealing for assistance to ensure that children who often “do without” will, this year, have all they need to return to school. As well as the backpacks every child needs black exercise books, pens, pencils, rubbers, sharpeners, A4 files, set squares, scissors etc.
Instead of the crowd filled annual Silves Medieval Festival, this year will be slightly different. From July 30th to August 22nd, Silves will host the Silves Medieval event. During which the city is dressed in the colours and decorations of yesteryear, the streets of the historic centre will be decked out and the medieval sounds and displays will create a unique atmosphere.