Situation Reports Azores

You´ll find the older reports included in “Situation Reports Portugal”

Situation Report Azores 7th July – 8th July 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Health Service of the Azores will be reinforced this year with 579 new professionals, from all sectors, was announced today by the regional secretary of Health.

Teresa Machado Luciano said that this year “179 professionals have already been hired” and that 400 more staff from different areas will be hired later this year, including doctors, nurses, senior diagnostic and therapeutic technicians, technical assistants, psychologists, senior technicians and operational assistants “.

The Regional Health Authority announced that the 888 tests carried out at the two reference laboratories in the Region in the past 24 hours did not reveal new positive cases of Covid-19 So, the Region maintains a total of 154 cases of infection with six ‘active’ cases, four on the island of São Miguel, one on the island of Terceira and one on the island of Flores.  Since the outbreak began on the 15th of March, 130 people have recovered, two have returned to mainland Portugal but sadly, 16 have died.

Situation Report Azores 5th July – 6th July 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Health Executive has said, that in the last 24 hours, 612 tests were carried out in the two reference laboratories in the Region, with no new cases registered.

So, the Region has a total of 154 cases of infection by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 disease, with six currently active positive cases, four on the island of São Miguel, one on the island of Terceira and one on the island of Flores

Azores

Situation Report Azores 5th July – 6th July 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

“Ryanair” has started ‘direct’ flights from London “Stansted” airport to the Azores again, the first flight to Ponta Delgada airport arrived on Saturday the 4th of July and currently, they’re scheduled to continue for the rest of the year.  Another flight from the same airport to Ponta Delgada is scheduled for every Tuesday from the 7th of July until the 29th of September.  On Wednesdays, from the 8th of July until the 21st of October, Ryanair will also fly from “Stanstead” to Terceira.

At the moment, SATA “Azores Airlines” don’t have any plans to fly directly from the UK this year although they are flying twice a week from Frankfurt to Ponta Delgada on Thursdays and Sundays.

People are hoping that because of the direct flights and the very low levels of Covid-19 recorded in the ‘Archipelago’, the UK government will suspend the ‘14-day quarantine’ requirement for passengers, returning there from Portugal and the Azores.

The Regional Health Authority reports that the 938 tests have been carried out in the Region in the last 24 hours but there were no new ‘positive’ cases of “COVID-19”. So, the Region maintains a total of 154 cases of infection with six ‘active’ cases, four on the island of São Miguel, one on the island of Terceira and one on the island of Flores.  Since the outbreak began on the 15th of March, 130 people have recovered, two have returned to mainland Portugal but sadly, 16 have died.

 

AZORES from our volunteer in the Azores

Situation Report Azores 4th July – 5th July 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The islanders of Flores have had their first case of “Covid-19” since the outbreak of the ‘pandemic’ hit the Azores, back on March the 15th.  It’s a 39-year-old man who’d travelled from the mainland to São Miguel on the 30th of June and went on to Flores on July 1st.  On arrival, he’d presented a ‘negative’ test for the virus but 6 days later, he tested ‘positive’ on a second ‘required’ test.  Currently, he’s in a stable clinical situation and the procedures defined for a confirmed case, ‘testing’ and ‘surveillance’ of close contacts, have already been carried out by the local health authorities.  Tests on the 3 people with whom he was travelling and staying since his arrival in the region, have shown ‘negative’ results.

To date, 154 cases of infection have been detected in the ‘Archipelago’ and there are currently 6 ‘active’ cases, 4 on the island of São Miguel, 1 on the island of Terceira and now, 1 on the island of Flores.  So far 132 have recovered, sadly 16 people have died.

 

Situation Report Azores 3rd July – 4th July 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The autonomous Portuguese regions of the Azores and Madeira have been removed from what’s called the ‘Non-essential travel’ list because of their successes in combating the virus and their low infection rates but unfortunately, while travel to and from the regions isn’t a problem, passengers will still have to complete 14 days quarantine on return to the U.K. This takes effect from tomorrow, July the 4th and stays in place for the time being for all people arriving in the UK from Portugal, as a whole.

The Azores is handling the crisis well as can be seen by its performances since the first ‘positive’ “Covid-19” case was diagnosed here on the 15th of March.  In 831 tests, carried out in the last 24 hours, no new infections have been identified and to-date, 153 people have had virus.  132 of them recovered but sadly, 16 died, leaving just 5 ‘active’ cases; 4 on São Miguel and 1 on Terceira.

 

Situation Report Azores 2nd July – 3rd July 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

A 2.4 magnitude earthquake (very small) on the Richter scale was felt this morning on Terceira island.  The epicentre was about 6 km from Lajes base.

The Regional Health Authority reports that the 914 tests carried out in the two reference laboratories in the Region in the last 24 hours did not reveal new positive cases of COVID-19.

To-date, 153 people have been infected with the virus since the first ‘positive’ case was discovered in the Azores on the 15th of March.  132 of them have recovered but sadly, 16 died, leaving 5 ‘active’ cases; 4 on São Miguel and 1 on Terceira.

 

Situation Report Azores 1st July – 2nd July 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Government of the Azores has just published a list of ‘approved’ laboratories in continental Portugal where people, travelling to the region, can book a free “Covid-19” test prior to their flight:  https://covid19.azores.gov.pt/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/LaboratoriosConvencionadosCovid30062020.pdf

The tests, being paid for by the Azorean government, must be completed within 72 hours of flight departure and proof of travel is required.  Results are being sent to the regional health authority as well as the visitor.

Meanwhile, the official state of ‘Public Calamity’ on the islands of Faial, Pico, Santa Maria, São Miguel & Terceira has been extended until 00:00 on the 15th of July.  Despite the “efficacy of the approved procedures” in “containing the spread of the virus in the region”, as well as the “adherence, commitment and responsibility” of people to the implemented measures, the regional government believes that in view of the evolution the global pandemic situation plus the opening of air connections from abroad to those islands, it is justifiable to maintain that situation as well as an extension of the ‘Alert’ status on the islands of Corvo, Flores, Graciosa, São Jorge.

As a result of the 852 tests in the last 24 hours, 1 new ‘positive’ case of “Covid-19” has been diagnosed on the island of São Miguel.  It’s the 10-year-old son of the woman who tested ‘positive’ on arrival on the 27th June.  Currently, the boy is in a stable ‘medical’ condition and in ‘quarantine’ with his mother.

To-date, 153 people have been infected with the virus since the first ‘positive’ case was discovered in the Azores on the 15th of March.  132 of them have recovered but sadly, 16 died, leaving 5 ‘active’ cases; 4 on São Miguel and 1 on Terceira.

 

Situation Report Azores 30th June – 1st July 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The new hunting season in the Azores starts today and runs until June 30, 2021, “ensuring total respect for the sustainability of game resources”, announced the Regional Government.

The rules for the hunting calendar has been established for each of the islands in the Azores and have been published in the Official Journal by the Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and Forestry, through the Regional Directorate for Forest Resources.

The dates established for each of the islands indicate to the hunters which species can be hunted, the period in which hunting can be carried out, the number of pieces that can be captured, the places where hunting is allowed, as well as the processes hunting equipment that can be used.

The hunting calendar for the 2020/2021 season for the islands of Santa Maria, São Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Faial, Pico and Flores “are the result of listening to hunters, farmers, environmentalists and forestry organizations, reflecting the consensus reached between all the parties involved in this process “, explained the Azorean executive.

Azores Airlines resumes internal flights today

Azores Airlines, of the SATA group, resumed this Wednesday the international air connections with four destinations, an operation interrupted since March 22 in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic , said a source of the airline.

In a statement sent to the Lusa agency, the company said that it “resumes” from today “its flights with Boston (United States of America), where a large number of Azorean emigrants reside, Toronto (Canada), Frankfurt (Germany) and, “later, in August, Cape Verde”.

Azores Airlines’ resumption schedule for international flights includes five calls a week in July and October and seven calls in August and September to Boston, five flights a week to Toronto and twice a week to Frankfurt, the company told Lusa.

 

 

Situation Report Azores 29th June – 30th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Health Authority has reported that, following 514 tests in the region in the last 24 hours, one new ‘positive’ case of “COVID-19” has been diagnosed on the island of São Miguel.

It’s a 42-year-old woman who isn’t an Azorean resident, she’d arrived in the ‘Archipelago’ by air from the mainland on June the 27th.  Currently, she’s in a stable ‘clinical’ condition and the normal procedures, defined for confirmed cases, namely the ‘testing’ and ‘surveillance’ of close contacts have already taken place.  She is in ‘quarantine’ where she first went following arrival.

To-date, 152 people have been infected with the virus “Covid-19” since the first ‘positive’ case was discovered in the Azores on the 15th of March.  132 of them have recovered but sadly, 16 died, currently leaving just 4 ‘active’ cases, 3 on São Miguel and 1 on Terceira.

 

Situation Report Azores 28th June – 29th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

A fresh campaign, aimed at increasing the amount of ‘inter-island’ tourism within the ‘Archipelago’ to help ‘offset’ a fall in the number of visitors coming from outside, has attracted a great deal of interest.

The regional secretary of Energy, Environment and Tourism in the Azores, “Marta Guerreiro” says that there have already been more than 1,700 registrations under the scheme that subsidises Azorean holidays for residents in the region.

The program called “Viver os Açores” , “Living the Azores” was launched by the President of the Regional Government “Vasco Cordeiro” a couple of weeks ago.

To-date, 151 people have been infected with the virus “Covid-19” since the first ‘positive’ case was discovered in the Azores on the 15th of March.  132 of them have recovered but sadly, 16 died, currently leaving just 3 ‘active’ cases, 2 on São Miguel and 1 on Terceira.

 

Situation Report Azores 27th June – 28th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Health Authority reports that the 654 tests carried out in the two reference laboratories in the Region in the last 24 hours did not reveal new positive cases of COVID-19.

To-date, 151 people have been infected since the first ‘positive’ case was discovered on the 15th of March.  132 of them have recovered but sadly, 16 died, currently leaving just 3 ‘active’ cases, 2 on São Miguel and 1 on Terceira.

 

 

Situation Report Azores 26th June – 27th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Government of the Azores is planning to extend its network of “Covid-19” ‘testing’ laboratories to include continental Portugal from July the 1st, in partnership with private and public sector laboratories.  This will ‘streamline’ procedures and make it easier for people, travelling to the ‘Archipelago’.

They’ll be able to choose a laboratory where they intend to have their coronavirus screening test from the list of contracted laboratories, this will be published on the Azores Government Portal. The passenger must present proof of booking and payment for the trip between the mainland and the Azores.

According to Teresa Machado Luciano, these laboratories are required to carry out the test within 72 hours before the trip, and the result must be sent to the passenger and to the Regional Health Directorate before the flight departs. To-date, 151 people have been infected since the first ‘positive’ case was discovered on the 15th of March.  132 of them have recovered but sadly, 16 died, currently leaving just 3 ‘active’ cases, 2 on São Miguel and 1 on Terceira.

Situation Report Azores 25th June – 26th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Health Authority reported, yesterday afternoon, that following 661 tests in the region during the previous 24 hours, there were no new cases of the virus, “COVID-19”.

Following on from the case of a 27-year-old man who’d tested ‘positive’ on Tuesday but regardless, decided to travel back to the continent from where he’d come, 80 people in the ‘freguesia’ (parish) of “Ribeira Quente”, Povoacao on São Miguel, have, nevertheless, had to be tested for the virus.  Those results are still awaited.

To-date, 151 people have been infected since the first ‘positive’ case was discovered on the 15th of March.  132 of them have recovered but sadly, 16 died, currently leaving just 3 ‘active’ cases, 2 on São Miguel and 1 on Terceira.

 

Situation Report Azores 24th June – 25th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Health Authority reported, yesterday, that an extra ‘positive’ case of the “COVID-19” virus was diagnosed on Tuesday, on the island of São Miguel but that the infected 27-year-old man returned to the mainland, from where he’s previously come, that same day.  This was despite being ‘monitored’ and receiving the appropriate, correct ‘guidance’ from the Municipal Health Delegation.  His earlier test had been ‘inconclusive’ but the 2 residents with whom he had stayed, received ‘negative’ results.  Now, back on the continent, he’s in a stable ‘clinical’ situation and is being cared for by the “Concelhia” Health Delegation, there.

To date, 151 cases of infection have been detected in the ‘Archipelago’ since the first case was diagnosed on March the 15th.  130 have recovered, 1 was sent back to the continent by the military from where he’d arrived, this new case allegedly returned by personal choice and sadly, 16 others have died.  That leaves 3 ‘active’ cases, 2 on São Miguel and 1 on Terceira.

Away from the virus, the Maritime Authority has announced that it rescued a 48-year-old man from a cliff in the municipality of Lagoa on São Miguel, yesterday after being alerted at 09.45 hrs. (local time) that morning.  He went ‘missing’ on June the 22nd after setting out on a fishing trip.   Rescue craft including an “SR39” vessel were launched from the Ponta Delgada Lifeboat Station and 40 minutes later, he was found in a ‘difficult to access’ high, rocky area next to the sea.

He was found, conscious but suffering from bruises and he had some difficulties, expressing himself.  Several maritime organisations were involved in the rescue including Ponta Delgada’s firefighters and the Azores Regional Civil Protection Service.

The fisherman was transported by the rescue craft to the marina in Ponta Delgada and then taken to the hospital in an ambulance that was already waiting there.

 

 

 

 

 

Situation Report Azores 23rd June – 24th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Azorean Regional Health Authority reported, yesterday that there had been an increase in the number of ‘positive’ cases of “Covid-19” infection in the ‘Archipelago’ during the previous 24 hours, rising to 3 from just 1.

Both 2 new cases are men, aged 18 and 31, who’d recently landed at Ponta Delgada airport on a flight from mainland Portugal.  One is resident in the Azores and the other, who lives in mainland Portugal, has a second home in the region.  The two men are at their Azorean properties and are in ‘stable’ clinical conditions.

We never stops fighting for every life.

Everyone in the region is hoping that the regional government’s new ‘Arrivals’ policy continues to successfully identify ‘infected’ passengers so that the “Coronavirus” doesn’t get any opportunity to spread freely throughout communities. The cases are being monitored by the Municipal Health Delegation, and ‘prescribed’ procedures for ‘confirmed’ cases as well as ‘surveillance’ of close contacts is taking place.

So far, 150 cases of infection have been detected in the region since the first case was diagnosed on March the 15th.   130 have recovered and one of the ‘positive’ cases was sent back to the continent by the military from where he’d arrived.  Sadly, 16 others died.  2 of the 3 current cases are on São Miguel, the 3rd is on Terceira.

 

Situation Report Azores 22nd June – 23rd June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Azorean football team “Santa Clara” plus their 45 ‘supporting’ technical & training staff as well as club directors have all tested ‘negative’ for “Covid-19” in medical ‘tests’ before their game against “Benfica”, this evening.

The lab tests were carried out on Sunday, in compliance with the recommendations of the Portuguese Health Directorate (DGS), 48 hours before the scheduled start of their match at 18.15 hrs, Azores time, at the “Luz” stadium of “Benfica”.  ‘Cidade do Futebol’ in Oeiras, on the outskirts of Lisbon, is a temporary ‘home from home’ for “Santa Clara” until the end of the championship because of the ‘pandemic’ and its associated travel risks.

“Benfica”, in first place with 64 points (the same as FC Porto), is playing Santa Clara, who are ninth with 35 points, in the 28th round of Portugal’s “Primeira Liga”.

148 cases of “Covid-19” have been detected in the Azores since the “Coronavirus” ‘crisis’ began on March the 15th.  Currently, taking account of all ‘recoveries’ and ‘deaths’, the ‘Archipelago’ has just one ‘active’ case.

Situation Report Azores 20th June – 21st June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The recent changes that came into force last Monday, the 15th June, requiring incoming passengers who haven’t been tested before their departure to be tested here on São Miguel or Terceira, have revealed the first passenger who’s infected with “Covid-19”.

The 24-year-old man who isn’t a resident in the Azores, arrived on Friday, June the 19th from the mainland.  He was travelling with three other people, all of whom have tested ‘negative’ for the virus but are now, like him, ‘quarantined’.  He’s in a stable ‘clinical’ condition and in local accommodation (Alojamento Local), being monitored by the Municipal Health Delegation, and using prescribed procedures for dealing with confirmed cases.  Surveillance of close contacts are underway.

With this most recent case, 148 cases have been detected since the “Coronavirus” ‘crisis’ first began on March the 15th.  So currently, taking into account all ‘recoveries’ and ‘deaths’, the ‘Archipelago’ has one ‘active’ case.

 

Situation Report Azores 19th June – 20th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Government of the Azores has become one of the founding members of the “Future of Tourism” coalition, an international initiative, promoting a ‘sustainable’ and ‘safe’ recovery of tourism as the world emerges from the problems caused by the “COVID-19” pandemic.

With a strong historic commitment to ‘sustainable’ tourism, respecting environmental, social, economic and cultural traditions, the Azores is one of the key ‘drivers’ in of this new global movement, made up by a wide range of government and non-government agencies like “Sustainable Travel International” and the “Global Council for Sustainable Tourism” (GSTC):   https://www.futureoftourism.org/ .

 

Situation Report Azores 18th June – 19th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Government of the Azores said yesterday that it’s pleased to learn that the European Parliament has promised to allocate 8.2 million euros to help tackle some problems, created by Hurricane “Lorenzo” which ‘blasted’ through the ‘Archipelago’, last October, causing severe damage.

Winds, gusting at speeds of up to 204 km/h, ‘battered’ the region including the tiny island of “Flores”, causing flooding in houses & other buildings as well as extremely serious ‘structural’ damage to the port, “Lajes das Flores”.  Other islands including “Corvo” were also, badly hit.

279 million has been ‘allocated’ by the European Union (EU) “Solidarity Fund” to help Austria, Portugal, Italy & Spain repair terrible damage, caused by a series of natural disasters in 2019.

Regarding the current worldwide “Coronavirus” ‘crisis’, the region still doesn’t have any ‘active’ cases of infection, having had a total of 146 ‘positive’ cases since it began on March the 15th.  There have been 130 ‘recoveries’ but sadly, 16 deaths to date

 

Situation Report Azores 17th June – 18th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The president of the board of directors of the regional section of the ‘Order of Nurses’ in the Azores, Pedro Soares says that he’s concerned about the potential impact on health professionals of a second ‘wave’ of “Covid-19” in the ‘Archipelago’.  He reckons that many of them are suffering from serious ‘tiredness’ because of working long hours, some had to work fifteen ‘12-hour shifts’ in a row because of a shortage of nursing staff.  He acknowledges that the Azores isn’t the worst affected area in Portugal in terms of the number of nurses but adds that it’s close to the minimum, required and in some situations, there simply aren’t enough.

The correct number of nurses is ’prescribed’ by law but he says that this now needs to be reviewed, urgently in the light of the “Coronavirus” pandemic to maintain a ‘safe’ nurse/patient ratio.

Currently, the region continues without any ‘active’ cases of the virus, having had a total of 146 ‘positive’ cases since the health crisis began there on March the 15th.  There have been 130 ‘recoveries’ but sadly, 16 deaths to date.

 

Situation Report Azores 16th June – 17th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Secretary for Energy, the Environment and Tourism announced that, as of today, Azoreans can take part in the new ‘inter-island’ tourism campaign ‘Viver os Açores’ which lasts until December 31, 2020.  The slogan for the promotion is ‘ From your island, discover the Archipelago! Come with us, Live the Azores’.

€1,750,000 have been allocated to finance the initiative which is open to all Azorean residents over 2 years of age who live permanently on one of the islands and have the required ID documents.

The offer is for one trip, only, per person and 50% of the cost will be refunded, up to a maximum of €150.00 per person plus an extra 25 euros if a car is hired.  The minimum requirements are as follows:

Visiting a different island than the ‘home’ island.

Passage by air or sea.

Three night stay minimum, hotel, AL, hostel or equal.

Three meals to be eaten, min. €15.00

One excursion, min. €30.00

After returning home, the invoices can be submitted for reimbursement directly to a nominated account.

All information about this special ‘promotional’ offer, aimed at ‘kick-starting tourism can be found here: http://viverosacores.azores.gov.pt/

Currently, there are still no ‘active’ cases of infection in the ‘Archipelago’, having had a total of 146 since March the 15th.  That number was recently adjusted downwards from 147, following the return of a soldier who’d arrived ‘infected’, back to the mainland from where he’d flown.

 

Situation Report Azores 15th June – 16th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

SATA “Azores Airlines” started flying between the Portuguese mainland and the Azores once again, yesterday.  The airport ‘links’ stopped in March because of the “Coronavirus” ‘crisis’ but now there are flights between Lisbon and Porto to São Miguel and the island of Terceira.

SATA “Air Azores” has been set a ‘deadline’ of July 15th for the regional airline’s ‘return to normal’ for flights between the islands of Faial, Pico and Santa Maria and Lisbon, under its ‘public service’ obligations.

“TAP”, the Portuguese ‘national flag’ carrier didn’t stop flying to the region, even at the height of the ‘pandemic’ and they’re continuing to do so.

“Ryanair” plans to resume its flights to and from the Azores later this month.

Currently, there are no ‘active’ cases of infection in the ‘Archipelago’, having had a total of 146 since March the 15th.  That number was recently adjusted downwards from 147, following the return of a soldier who’d arrived ‘infected’, back to the mainland from where he’d flown.

So, the official figures now confirm this.  In summary, there have been 130 ‘recoveries’ and sadly, 16 deaths to date.

 

Situation Report Azores 14th June – 15th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The President of the Regional Government “Vasco Cordeiro” has announced a new program called “Viver os Açores” , “Living the Azores”, aimed at increasing the amount of ‘inter-island’ tourism.  It is hoped that this will help to offset a fall in the number of visitors coming from outside the ‘Archipelago’.

Details about this new ‘bid’ to develop greater ‘domestic’ tourism among locals, encouraging them to visit a different island than the one where they live, are being announced this week.  It’s expected that there will be a wide range of ‘incentives’ to encourage people to travel more throughout the region including special promotions, tied in with flights, transport, accommodation, meals, excursions, culture and entertainment.

Meanwhile, there is more ‘good news’ on the “Coronavirus” front with the Azores, continuing to stay “Covid-19” ‘free’!

Currently, there are no ‘active’ cases of infection, having had a total of 146 since March the 15th.  That number was recently adjusted downwards from 147, following the return of a soldier who’d arrived ‘infected’, back to the mainland from where he’d flown.

So, the official figures now confirm this.  In summary, there have been 130 ‘recoveries’ and sadly, 16 deaths to date.

 

Situation Report Azores 13th June – 14th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Deputy Regional Secretary of the Presidency for Parliamentary Affairs “Berto Messias”, yesterday, outlined how the nine-island ‘Archipelago’ will gradually be relaxing the rules, put in place to combat “Coronavirus”.

There are new regulations for passengers arriving in the region; Options 1) & 2) have changed, the former option 3) has been scrapped but option 4) remains the same as before.  So, now, travellers need to:

  1. Provide ‘paper-based’ proof, issued by an accredited laboratory, confirming a ‘negative’ test in the 72 hours prior to flight departure from the airport of origin. If a stay is for one week only, no further action is required but if it’s a longer trip, an additional test is required on ‘Day 6’.  The local health authority needs to be contacted to arrange the new test and the result will be given within 24 hours.
  2. Be ‘tested’ on arrival in the region by the local health authority and remain in isolation at home or at a ‘chosen’ accommodation  until the test result is made available, after 12 hours in the case of the islands of São Miguel and Terceira.  Again, if a stay is for one week only, no further action is required but if it’s a longer trip, an additional test is required on ‘Day 6’.  The local health authority needs to be contacted to arrange the new test and the result will be given within 24 hours.
  3. Not applicable.
  4. Return to their destination of origin or any other destination outside the region.

For passengers arriving at either one of the airports on “São Miguel” or “Terceira” but with a final ‘destination’ on another island in the region, there are just 2 options:

1) They present proof of having had a ‘negative’ test, prior to boarding their flight to the Azores and, in this case, they can continue their journey to their destination.

2) They have a test on ‘arrival’ in the Azores, in which case, before proceeding to their final destination, they must wait for the result at their ‘own’ place on the ‘landing’ island or at a hotel, designated for the purpose and paid for by the regional government.  Only after obtaining a ‘negative’ result, can they continue their trip.

‘Arriving’ passengers will be given information, explaining the rules, written in English, French, German, Portuguese & Spanish.

The region does not currently have any ‘active’ cases of infection, having had a total of 146 ‘positive’ cases since the “Coronavirus” crisis began on March the 15th.  There have been 130 ‘recoveries’ but sadly, 16 deaths to date.

Situation Report Azores 12th June – 13th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Portuguese “Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere” (Instituto Portugues do Mar e Atmosfera) has issued a ‘yellow’ warning for the islands in the Eastern and Central groups of the Azores, heavy rain is forecast, starting Saturday morning.

In the Central group there will be rain and the possibility of a thunderstorm.  The warning is in place from 06:00 to 21.00 on Saturday.

For islands in the Eastern group, the warning will be in effect between 9 am and 9 pm on Saturday.

80 prisoners in the region have been released on licence because of the covid-19 crisis.  One of them has been returned to prison on burglary charges!

In the last 24 hours, no new ‘positive’ cases of infection have been detected in the region.

There have now been 146 ‘positive’ cases since the ‘outbreak’ began on March the 15th with 130 ‘recoveries’, 16 deaths and currently there are no active cases.

 

 

Situation Report Azores 11th June – 12th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The 28 year-old man who arrived on Terceira, testing ‘positive’ for “Covid-19”, the day before yesterday, has been returned by the military to his home in mainland Portugal.  The decision was taken by the section of the ‘armed forces’ where he works.  It was decided that it would be better for him to recover at his family ‘home’.

Meanwhile, another passenger who disembarked in São Miguel from the same military flight, tested ‘negative’ for the virus but still stays in ‘quarantine’ at military facilities.  There were seven other passengers on the trip; five of them have also returned to the continent while two are staying on Terceira in ‘quarantine’, one at home and one in the military base, there.

In the last 24 hours, no new ‘positive’ cases of infection have been detected in the region.

So, in summary, there have now been 147 ‘positive’ cases since the ‘outbreak’ began on March the 15th with 130 ‘recoveries’, 16 deaths and currently there are no active cases.

 

Report Azores 10th June – 11th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The nine-island ‘Archipelago’ of the Azores has lost its ‘hard-won’ “Covid-19” ‘virus-free’ status with the announcement, yesterday, of 1 new ‘positive’ case of the infectious disease in the region.

It happened on Tuesday the 9th of June when a ‘military’ flight, carrying 9 passengers and originating in mainland Portugal, arrived on the island of Terceira via Ponta Delgada on São Miguel with a 28-year-old man, testing ‘positive’ for ‘Coronavirus’, on arrival.  He’s in a stable ‘clinical’ situation and is being monitored by the health department, there.  People who came into close contact with the man are being ‘tracked’ and ‘traced’.  Currently, tests are being analysed for one of the passengers who disembarked in Ponta Delgada.

So, a 5-day ‘break’ from any infection in the region has now been marred by this new case on the island of Terceira, the only island within the group to have an ‘active’ case.

In summary, there have now been 147 ‘positive’ cases since the ‘outbreak’ began on March the 15th with 130 ‘recoveries’, 16 deaths plus the 1 new case.

 

Report Azores 9th June – 10th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The President of the Regional Government Vasco Cordeiro has announced the ‘go-ahead’ for a six-and-a-half million euros investment in the new “Port of Topo” at the east end of the island of São Jorge.

The ‘works’, to improve the safety and operational conditions of the “Porto do Topo”, will be of great benefit to the fishing industry there as well as to ‘maritime’ tourism.

Improvements include a 60-metre long jetty, a 40-metre long ‘mooring’ area, re-paving of the current pier with the provision of an ‘embankment’ of around 1,200 square meters.

Vasco Cordeiro was in São Jorge as part of his ‘whistle-stop’ tour of the ‘Archipelago’ following the first, successful ‘phase’ in the battle against the “Coronavirus” pandemic.

The Regional Health Authority reports that the 310 tests carried out in the last 24 hours have not revealed any new ‘positive’ cases of “Covid-19” so currently, the region continues to remain completely ‘virus-free’.

 

Situation Report Azores 8th June – 9th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The regional government of the Azores says that it’s very flattered to have been praised for its “Covid-19” efforts by the President of the Republic “Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa” who visited the municipality of “Nordeste” on Sunday the 7th of June.  That ‘Câmara’ has been the worst affected in the region by “Coronavirus” with 54 registered, ‘positive’ cases and sadly, 12 deaths.

The Regional Health Authority reports that the 219 tests carried out in the last 24 hours have not revealed any new ‘positive’ cases of “Covid-19” and the region continues to remain ‘virus-free’.

 

 

Situation Report Azores 7th June – 8th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, valued today the “happy moment” that the Azores live in combating the covid-19 pandemic, presenting no active case, “a situation very rare in Europe and in the world “.

“I was able to follow the path of the Azoreans. Up to this moment, which is a happy moment for everyone, as there is no active case, a very rare situation in Europe and in the world,” said the head of state, speaking in the municipality of Nordeste, on the island of São Miguel.

This municipality, with 12 of the 16 dead registered in the region by covid-19, is today being honored by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who has already promised the locals to return in August, although “as a citizen” and not as President.

“We know that viruses do not disappear. Knowing that there may be a case here if there, this does not prevent steps being taken, as long as they are sensible and cautious, open, both in the economy and in society,” he continued, before praising the added value of the Azores as a tourist spot for the summer of this year.

In total, 146 cases of infection by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, have been detected in the region so far, with 130 recovered and 16 deaths. There were no new cases or deaths.

There were 386 new tests all of which were negative.

 

 

AZORES 7th June – from our volunteer in the Azores

The President of the Portuguese Republic “Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa” is flying to São Miguel, today to visit the municipality of “Nordeste” that recorded the most “Covid-19”cases & deaths, more than a third, in the ‘Archipelago’.  The visit was planned on Friday, the first day that the Azores became ‘virus-free´ in nearly 3 months!

Around 5,000 people live in “Nordeste” that’s ‘home’ to the ‘virus-troubled’ residential care facility for the elderly “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” from where, sadly, 12 old folk died including the first “Covid-19” victim, an 88-year-old  who got infected at the “Divino Espirito Santo” hospital in Ponta Delgada.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, around 25 thousand “Covid-19” tests were carried out, prior to the region having no ‘active’ cases on June the 5th.

Situation Report Azores 5th June – 6th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Azores is “Coronavirus” ‘free’ for the first time in nearly 3 months, namely since the 15th of March!  There have been no ‘registered’ new ‘positive’ cases of infection since the 18th of May and today, it was announced that the last ‘active’ case, a 40-year-old woman on São Miguel, had ‘recovered’ from “Covid-19”.

The President of the Regional Government “Vasco Cordeiro” wrote on “Facebook”, “This is excellent news and I want, first of all, to congratulate the Azorean people and all those who made this extraordinary victory possible”.

Nevertheless, he stressed that while the region has travelled a “long and arduous path” to fight the pandemic, that path “has not yet ended”.  He continued, “It is not over because we must always bear in mind the probability of new cases arising”.

The Regional Health Authority has also highlighted the need to maintain preventive measures because with the ‘re-opening’ of the economy and the return of flight connections with the outside world, clearly there’s an increased possibility of new cases of “Covid-19” arriving in the ‘Archipelago’.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, there have been 146 cases of “Covid-19’ infection on six islands in the archipelago; 130 have recovered but sadly, 16 people have died.

 

Situation Report Azores 4th June – 5th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

Currently, the Azores is considered ‘one of the safest destinations in Europe in 2020’.  It’s been chosen by the travel organisation, “European Best Destinations” that connects tourism offices throughout Europe with the world’s travellers, as one of the best places to visit during the “Coronavirus” crisis:

https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/best-of-europe/coronavirus-safest-holiday-destinations/

This distinction is based on its ‘tourism’ health initiatives like the “Clean & Safe Azores” ‘seal of approval’, given to businesses that achieve a high standard of ‘cleanliness’, the lack of ‘active’ infection cases and the quality and availability of good local health services.

For the Azorean government, this is an extremely important acknowledgement of the measures that have been taken and for the Azoreans themselves, deserved recognition for the way they’ve complied with various new health regulations.

“Taking into account the ‘new normality’ that we live in, being considered ‘one of the safest destinations in Europe in 2020’ is a source of pride in the work, done so far”, said the Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism “Marta Guerreiro”.

She added, “This is one of the best recognitions we could receive this year, motivating us to continue the path we have taken in the fight against the pandemic of COVID-19 and in the resumption of tourist activity”,

She also pointed out that Azorean business people “have shown themselves prepared to receive tourists, interested in the Azores, ‘safely’”.

Another reason why the ‘Archipelago’ has received this international distinction is that the Azores is seen as a perfect destination for travellers who want to ‘connect’ with nature; hiking, enjoying wonderful flora, fauna & unspoilt countryside, dolphin & whale-watching trips, tasting a wide & interesting range of local food and drink plus experiencing ‘real’ & ‘authentic’ traditions.

“European Best Destinations” has previously recognised the Azores as ‘The Most Beautiful Landscape in Europe’ and as ‘The Best Destination for Dolphin and Whale Watching in Europe’.

In total, 146 cases of infection have been detected in the region since the ‘outbreak’ began on March the 15th with 129 ‘recoveries’ and 16 deaths, leaving just 1 ‘positive’ case on São Miguel.  There have been no new cases since the 18th of May, that’s now 18 days-running!

 

Situation Report Azores 3rd June – 4th June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Secretary of Health has delivered new ‘safety’ equipment to the ‘Voluntary’ Fire Brigade of “Angra do Heroísmo”.  It includes 10 pieces of breathing apparatus and a special ‘spray’ cleaning machine for disinfecting the surfaces of ambulances.

Teresa Machado Luciano said these fire-fighters on the island of Terceira are the first to receive this new equipment but there are plans for all 17 fire departments in the region to have it.

Meanwhile “Azores Airlines” has completed a fresh ‘repatriation’ flight between Lisbon and the city of “Praia” on “Santiago” island in Cabo Verde.  Like the ones in April and May, it was a ‘chartered’ flight, carrying Cape Verdean and Portuguese people who’d been stranded abroad because of “Coronavirus” flight restrictions, back to their respective home countries. Medical equipment was also on board.

Staying with “Covid-19” news, there been one more ‘recovery’ on the island of São Miguel, a 45-year-old woman who worked at the ‘virus-troubled’ residential care home “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” in Nordeste from where 12 people, sadly, died.

That means that now, the municipality of Nordeste has no ‘active’ cases and also, the last & biggest, local ‘transmission’ chain has been eliminated.

In total, 146 cases of infection have been detected in the Region since the ‘outbreak’ began on March the 15th with 129 ‘recoveries’ and 16 deaths, leaving just 1 ‘positive’ case on São Miguel, the very last in the entire region!

 

Situation Report Azores 2nd June – 3rd June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The President of the Regional Government of the Azores “Vasco Cordeiro” has started a ‘whistle-stop’ tour of the ‘Archipelago’, now that inter-island flights and several sea connections have been re-established, to discuss plans for ‘economic recovery’ throughout the region with local leaders.

Yesterday, on the island of Terceira, he had a meeting with the President of Angra do Heroísmo, Álamo Meneses when they agreed that, ‘the way the region deals with the “Coronavirus” pandemic is critically important for the safe resumption of tourism’.

In summary, a total of 146 cases of infection have been detected in the region since March 15th.  There have been 128 recoveries and 16 deaths, leaving just 2 ‘active’ cases, both on the island of São Miguel.

Meanwhile, there were another four earth tremors felt, overnight and up until the early afternoon, yesterday, in the municipality of Povoação on São Miguel.

Each one was stronger than the previous; the first at 00.51 hrs measured 1.8 on the “Richter” scale, the second at 02.34 hrs was 2.3, the third at 11.10 hrs was 2.4 and the last, most powerful one at 13.36 hrs. was 2.5.

The epicentres of the first three ‘quakes’ were 7 kms (SSW), 5 kms (SW) and 6 kms (S) from “Faial da Terra” and the ‘origin’ of the last was about 5 km south of Povoação itself:

Earth tremors of this magnitude are common in the Azores and seldom cause any damage.

http://www.ivar.azores.gov.pt/Paginas/home-cvarg.aspx

 

 

 

 

Situation Report Azores 1st June – 2nd June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

 An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.7 on the “Richter” scale was felt, early yesterday morning, on the island of “São Miguel”.  Its epicentre was about 19 kilometres E.N.E. of the “Formigas”, a small group of uninhabited islets between “São Miguel” and “Santa Maria”, popular ‘fishing grounds’ for both islands.

The ‘quake’ was felt most strongly in “Nordeste” and its surrounding eastern towns and villages and less so, in the west.  There are no reports of any damage to people or buildings.   It was a bank holiday here, “Azores Day” so most folk would have been ‘at home’.

Two earth tremors followed. One of 2.5 on the Richter was recorded at 09.31 hrs just of the south coast to the east of the island and another at 9:54 am local time (10:54 am in Lisbon), with a magnitude of 2.4 (Richter) with an epicentre about 4 kms south-south-southwest of Povoação.

There were no damage or casualties reported. Earthquakes are common in the Azores.

https://www.volcanodiscovery.com/earthquakes/quake-info/2816222/M4-Mon-1-Jun-Azores-Islands-Region-Portugal.html

A total of 146 cases of infection have been detected in the region since March 15th.  There, have been 128 recoveries and 16 deaths, leaving just 2 ‘active’ cases, both on the island of São Miguel.

 

Situation Report Azores 31st May – 1st June 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

From today, June 1st, the free ‘Azores Help-line’ for ‘non-medical’ enquiries about “Covid-19”, 800 29 29 29 will only operate from 08.30 am to 6.30 pm, Monday to Friday, inclusive.

As people have learnt more about the virus and its impact, the average number of calls has dropped to just 127-a-day day.

Previously, the line operated daily from 08.00 am to 18.00 pm throughout the whole week and 15 thousand calls have been handled in the region since its creation at the start of the “Coronavirus” crisis.

Also, a total of 146 cases of infection have been detected since the ‘outbreak’ began, back on March the 15th.  There have been 128 recoveries and 16 deaths, leaving just 2 ‘active’ cases, both on the island of São Miguel.

Azores Help-line’ for ‘Non-Medical’ questions about “COVID-19” is ‘Re-scheduled’

 

 

 

Situation Report, Azores, 30 to 31 May – From our colleague in the Azores.

All companies involved in the tourism sector in the region can, from Saturday 30th May, register for the ‘Azores’ version of the “Clean & Safe Azores” ‘approved’ seal, based on the “Covid-19” ‘Manual of Good Practices’.    People, interested in joining the initiative, have to submit a completed form, available at:

https://clean-safe.azores.gov.pt/adesao.aspx

Later, they will then be contacted via email with detailed information concerning their registration.   The company designates a representative to participate in the training who´s then responsible for teaching other employees in the firm.

A total of 146 cases of infection have been detected in the region since March 15th.  There, have been 128 recoveries and 16 deaths, leaving just 2 ‘active’ cases, both on the island of São Miguel.

 

Situation Report Azores 29th May – 30th May 2020 – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Secretary for “Energy, Environment and Tourism” believes that ‘post’ the “Coronavirus” crisis, providing a ‘safe’, healthy environment for tourists will be absolutely critical in building ‘confidence’ in the Azores as a tourist destination of ‘choice’.

Marta Guerreiro was speaking at a web conference, “Azores, preparing for the future”, promoted by the newspaper “Publituris” and involving various tourist organisations including the “Azores Tourism Association”, the “Sata” airline group alongside hotel & tour operators.

The Regional Secretary stressed that business owners should be well-prepared for the resumption of tourism, making good use of the newly-produced “Covid-19” ‘Manual of Good Practices’ with a view to being awarded a ‘Clean & Safe Azores’ seal of approval.

In summary, a total of 146 cases of infection have been detected in the region since March 15th.  There, have been 128 recoveries and 16 deaths, leaving just 2 ‘active’ cases, both on the island of São Miguel.  Since the ‘outbreak’ began, more women (100 or 68.49%) have been affected than men (46, namely 31.51%).

Priority of the Government of the Azores is to receive tourists safely, says Marta Guerreiro

 

 

Situation Report, Azores, 28th May to 29th May – From our colleague in the Azores

Some ‘fresh’ changes to the rules, concerning ‘arrivals’ in the region from outside, that were announced by the Regional President two days ago, ‘came into force’, today.

Up until today, ‘arriving’ passengers could choose one of four options if they wanted to enter the ‘Archipelago’.

One of those, to agree to a ‘14-day quarantine’ in a ‘designated and supervised’ hotel on a voluntary basis at the cost of the regional government, is now ‘off’ the table so the remaining options are:

1) ‘Paper-based’ proof, issued by an accredited laboratory that attests to a ‘negative’ result in the 72 hours prior to flight departure from their airport of origin. Depending on the length of stay, the passenger will have to have further tests on the 5th and 13th days after their initial test.  They must contact the local health authority to carry out a new screening test, the result of which will be given within 24 hours.

2) Be ‘tested’ on arrival in the region by the local health authority and remain in isolation in a hotel until the test result is made available, within 48 hours. Again, depending on the length of stay, the passenger will have to have further tests on the 5th and 13th days after their initial test.

3) Return to the destination of origin or any other destination outside the region.

SATA inter-island flights have also been re-started, today as well as ‘maritime’ connections within the central group of islands.

Restaurants and bars on São Miguel are re-opening, too, today.

Meanwhile there have been four more recoveries in the region in the last 24 hours; a 3-year-old child on Pico and 2 men, aged 27 and 35, plus an 88-year-old woman on São Miguel.

With these ‘recovery’ cases, the island of Pico becomes the eighth island in the ‘Archipelago’ without any ‘active’ cases.

As of today, only 2 people, both on the island of São Miguel, are still testing ‘positive’.  So, it looks like the Azores could soon be “Covid-19” ‘virus-free’, for a little while, at least!

In summary, there have been 146 ‘positive’ cases with 128 recoveries and 16 deaths since the ‘outbreak’ began.  None of the remaining 2 cases are ‘hospitalised’:

  • 2 on São Miguel
  • 0 on Corvo, Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Pico, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

 

Situation Report, Azores, 27th May to 28th May – From our colleague in the Azores

The regional government has come up with a plan, concerning ‘Alojamento Local’, that it thinks will help both the owners as well as families who are looking for properties to ‘rent’.  This relatively ‘new’ and growing tourism sector has been ‘badly-hit’ this year because tourists who’d normally be staying in them, haven’t been able to visit the ‘Archipelago’ as a result of the “Coronavirus” crisis with related ‘flight cancellations’ and ‘quarantines’.  The idea is that the government will lease the properties directly from the owners and then ‘sub-let’ them to the ‘families-in-need’.  The cost will depend on location, size, and decorative order but prospective tenants are being promised a big ‘discount’ on the previous, normal rates.  A ‘selection’ process will take place and successful applicants will be expected to sign a ‘contract’ for a minimum of either 2 or 3 years, still to be decided.

Meanwhile, the Regional Health Authority has reported ‘no change’ to the covid-19 situation in the Azores.

So, in summary, there have been 146 ‘positive’ cases with 124 recoveries and 16 deaths since the outbreak began.  None of the remaining 6 cases are ‘hospitalised’:

  • 5 on São Miguel
  • 1 on Pico
  • 0 on Corvo, Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

 

Situation Report, Azores, 26th May to 27th May – From our colleague in the Azores

With just over a handful of ‘positive’ “Covid-19” cases left on 2 islands in the region, Pico and  São Miguel, the President of the Government of the Azores, Vasco Cordeiro, says that “trust and security” are the ‘keywords’ for the resumption of tourism in the region.  This was echoed by representatives from a wide range of tourist organisations with whom he’d met alongside the Regional department for “Energy, Environment and Tourism”.  However, the local representative of the “Hotel Association of Portugal” (AHP) Fernando Neves expressed concern about the expected ‘lack of business’ this year and said that the government will need to continue supporting the industry, financially, during these difficult and uncertain times.

Meanwhile, the Regional Health Authority has reported two ‘fresh’ recoveries in the 24 hours up until 16.00 hrs. on Tuesday 26/05/2020.  Both of them, a 23-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman, were workers at the “Covid-19” ‘troubled’ “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” residential care home for the elderly in Nordeste from where, sadly, 12 people have died.

In summary, there have been 146 ‘positive’ cases with 124 recoveries and 16 deaths.  None of the remaining 6 cases are ‘hospitalised’:

  • 5 on São Miguel
  • 1 on Pico
  • 0 on Corvo, Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

SATA will start inter-island connections on Friday 29th May, the ferries in the central and occidental group will also start on the same day.  Later on in June, Azores Airlines will start linking the continent and the Azores.

 

Situation Report, Azores, 25th May to 26th May – From our colleague in the Azores

The President of the Regional Government, Vasco Cordeiro has announced that air connections between the islands of the ‘Archipelago’ will resume later this week.  Until now, there have been tight restrictions with ‘special authorisation’ required for ‘travel’ but that won’t be required from this Friday.

Connections to the continent and beyond by SATA “Azores Airlines” will probably start in late June after consultations between several government departments including ‘Health’ and ‘Tourism’.

A new ‘positive’ case arriving in the region wouldn’t necessarily lead to a policy ‘U-turn’, said the president.  He continued that having the ability to identify a chain of contagion; isolating anyone who’s ‘infected’ with effective ‘contact tracing’ and ‘testing’ would, in the end, ‘keep the situation under control’.

Meanwhile, there’s been another small fall in the number of people, suffering from “Covid-19” virus infection in the ‘Archipelago’.  The Regional Health Authority has reported another recovery in the 24 hours up until 16.00 hrs. On Monday 25/05/2020, a woman aged 43 on São Miguel.  This leaves just 8 ‘positive’ cases throughout the entire region.

In total, 20.000 tests have been carried out for “Covid-19” since the start of the outbreak.  This represents 8% of the population although of course, some people, suspected of having the disease, will have been tested more than once.

So far, there have been 146 ‘positive’ cases with 122 recoveries and 16 deaths.  None of the remaining 8 cases, on just 2 islands, are hospitalised:

  • 7 on São Miguel
  • 1 on Pico
  • 0 on Corvo, Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

 

Situation Report, Azores, 24th May to 25th May – From our colleague in the Azores

There’s been a dramatic fall in the number of ‘active’ cases of people, suffering from “Covid-19” virus infection in the ‘Archipelago’.  The Regional Health Authority has reported a reduction of nearly 45% in the 24 hours, up until 16.00 hrs on Saturday 24/05/2020, leaving just 9 ‘positive’ cases throughout the entire region.

This comes after seven more recoveries, a man and six women, all on the island of São Miguel.  It includes 3 users, aged between 95 and 97 years old, from the ‘virus-troubled’ “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” residential care home in Nordeste.  875 new tests didn’t reveal any fresh cases of the virus.

So far, there have been 146 cases of infection since the start of the ‘outbreak’ with 121 recoveries and 16 deaths.  None of the remaining 9 cases are hospitalised and all but 1 are on São Miguel, leaving seven of the nine islands completely ‘virus-free’:

8 on São Miguel

1 on Pico

0 on Corvo, Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

Regional elections

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said today that he will mark the date of the regional elections in the Azores, which should take place in October, due to the evolution of the covid-29 pandemic “in June and July”.

“I did not want to anticipate, because I will receive the parties next month, in June, in the transition from June to July, to hear them about the call for elections to the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Azores,” he said.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa spoke to journalists at the end of a visit to the premises of Banco Alimentar Contra da Fome, in Lisbon, where he made a contribution via the ‘internet’. Due to the pandemic, this campaign did not follow the usual patterns, in which volunteers collected donations from commercial areas.

“We are now going to monitor the health situation and, depending on what happens in June and July, this will be the call,” said the head of state.

 

Situation Report, Azores, 23 to 24 May – From our colleague in the Azores.

Last week there was a big ‘constitutional’ row between the ‘Judiciary’ and the Regional Government of the Azores about people, arriving from outside the region, having to stay 14 days in ‘quarantine’ in an approved, monitored hotel.  Well, it’s now been announced that this week, most ‘arriving’ passengers opted to do just that when given the choice of four different options including tests!   It follows a case of ‘Habeas Corpus’ when someone who didn’t want to be in that hotel ‘quarantine’, successfully got a court ruling that he could leave and ‘self-quarantine’ elsewhere. That went against the government’s health department which had argued that such hotel ‘quarantine’ was a good way to stop “Covid-19” coming into the region from outside.

Meanwhile, the Regional Health Authority reports that 808 “Covid-19” tests were carried out in the 24 hours, up until 16.00 hrs. on Saturday 23/05/2020, revealing no new ‘positive’ cases of the virus.   There has however been one more recovery, a 21-year-old woman from Graciosa, making it the 7th island in the ‘Archipelago’ to be “Covid-19”, ‘virus-free’.

So far, there have been 146 cases of infection since the start of the ‘outbreak’ with 114 recoveries and 16 deaths, leaving just 16 ‘active’ cases:

  • 15 on São Miguel
  • 1 on Pico
  • 0 on Corvo, Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

Situation Report, Azores, 22nd May to 23rd May – From our colleague in the Azores

A new campaign, called “Seguramente Açoriano”, has been launched by the regional government.  https://youtu.be/owtrB70BRPc

It’s designed to encourage people to use more ‘Azorean’ services and products, helping both employment and the economy.  Choosing to support local businesses by consuming regional products and enjoying the flavours of the archipelago’s food and drinks industry, will help to revive some of the sectors that have been damaged by the “Covid-19” pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Regional Health Authority reports that 943 “Covid-19” tests were carried out in the 24 hours, up until 16.00 hrs, on Friday 22/05/2020, revealing no new ‘positive’ cases of the virus.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 146 confirmed cases; 113 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 17 ‘active’ infections:

  • 15 on São Miguel
  • 1 on Graciosa
  • 1 on Pico
  • 0 on Corvo, Faial, Flores, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

 

Situation Report, Azores, 21st May to 22nd May – From our colleague in the Azores

From today, 22nd May, commercial activities on the island of São Miguel are starting again; this is the last island in the ‘Archipelago’ to open ‘commercial’ activity since the ‘shut-down’ began.  However, businesses are required to the follow new, stricter rules about the number of customers being allowed in their spaces, hand sanitizer gel being ‘available’ and masks being worn inside ‘closed’ spaces.  The restaurant and bar sector will not open for another week, the 29th May.

The Regional Health Authority reports that 670 “Covid-19” tests were carried out in the 24 hours, up until 16.00 hrs on Thursday 21/05/2020, revealing no new ‘positive’ cases of the virus.  There have, however, been three more recoveries in the region; a woman, aged 64 and a man, aged 71 on Pico plus another 90-year-old woman from the “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” residential care home in Nordeste on São Miguel.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 146 confirmed cases; 113 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 17 ‘active’ infections:

  • 15 on São Miguel
  • 1 on Graciosa
  • 1 on Pico
  • 0 on Corvo, Faial, Flores, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

 

AZORES

Situation Report, Azores, 20th May to 21st May – From our colleague in the Azores

The Regional Health Authority reports that 513 “Covid-19” tests were carried out in the 24 hours, up until 16.00 hrs on Wednesday 20/05/2020, revealing no new ‘positive’ cases of the virus.  Also, there were no fresh recoveries or deaths in the ‘Archipelago’ within that period.  Currently, six of the nine islands are ‘virus-free’ and the Azorean Health Authority recommends that people should try and avoid travelling to or from the region, complying with new regulations that are in place if they do to avoid triggering any new, possible transmissions.

In summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 146 confirmed cases; 110 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 20 ‘active’ infections:

  • 16 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 1 on Graciosa
  • 0 on Corvo, Faial, Flores, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

 

Situation Report, Azores, 19th May to 20th May – From our colleague in the Azores

Azoreans Filipa Lima and Vítor Sousa have created a free way to help restaurant, bar and hotel customers and waiters stay “Covid-19” ‘virus-free’ when a ‘new’ normal arrives in the hospitality industry.  It’s called “PacMenu” and it’s very easy to use.  Businesses go to www.pacmenu.pt, add their menu image and it gets converted into QR code and stored on the website https://imgur.com/.

Simply, customers then use their mobile phone camera or a “QR code” reader ‘App’ to show the menus on their own smart-phone.  It’ll be safer for them as well as the ‘waiting’ staff because no-one needs to touch ‘previously-handled’ menus and it should save businesses some money, too because they won’t have to print so many of them for their customers! https://youtu.be/oN4xk6o8qaY

Meanwhile, during the 24 hours up until 16.00 hrs Tuesday 19th May and after 529 new tests were carried out, there were no new ‘positive’ case and no more deaths.  There was an unexpected ‘positive’ case yesterday on the island of São Miguel, someone who had been ‘routinely’ tested, in preparation for the planned re-opening of schools, this test proved to be a ‘false positive’ and the woman in question will be tested again in 48 hours.

Meanwhile, there has been two more recoveries from “Covid-19” two men aged 38 and 43 years old, living on the island of Faial.  Faial is now the 6th island to be clear of infection.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 145 confirmed cases in the ‘Archipelago’; 110 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 20 ‘active’ infections:

  • 16 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 1 on Graciosa
  • 0 on Faial, Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

Situation Report, Azores, 18th May to 19th May – From our colleague in the Azores

During the 24 hours up until 16.00 hrs Monday 18/05/2020 and after 856 new tests were carried out, there was one new ‘positive’ case but no more deaths.  The unexpected ‘positive’ is a 40-year-old woman on the island of São Miguel who had been ‘routinely’ tested, in preparation for the planned re-opening of schools.  The health authority is investigating this ‘surprise’ new case, coming after 7 days, without any fresh ones.

Meanwhile, there has been one more recovery from “Covid-19”; a woman aged 57 years old from São Miguel.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 146 confirmed cases in the ‘Archipelago’; 108 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 22 ‘active’ infections:

  • 16 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 2 on Faial
  • 1 on Graciosa
  • 0 on Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

Situation Report, Azores, 17th May to 18th May – From our colleague in the Azores

New Coronavirus rules for arriving passengers

These are the new “Coronavirus” crisis ‘rules’ for passengers, arriving in the Azores from outside the region; now, they can choose to do one the following:

1) Provide ‘paper-based’ proof, issued by an accredited laboratory that attests to a ‘negative’ result in the 72 hours prior to flight departure from their airport of origin. Depending on the length of stay, the passenger will then have to have further tests on the 5th and 13th days after their initial test.  They must contact the local health authority to complete the new screening tests, the result of which will be known within 24 hours.

2) Be ‘tested’ on arrival in the region by the local health authority and remain in isolation in a hotel until the test result is made available, within 48 hours. Also, in this case, depending on the length of stay, the passenger will have to have further tests on the 5th and 13th days after their initial test.  They must contact the local health authority to complete the new screening tests, the result of which will be known within 24 hours.

3) Agree to a ‘14-day quarantine’ in a ‘designated and supervised’ hotel on a voluntary basis.

4) Return to their destination of origin or any other destination outside the region.

Meanwhile, there have been a couple more recoveries from “Covid-19”; two women aged 58 and 60 years old, living on the islands of Graciosa and São Jorge.  It’s the first time that São Jorge has been ‘virus-free’ since the 20th of March, more than 2 months ago!  There are now 5 islands with no infections, whatsoever!

Also, during the 24 hours up until 16.00 hrs on Friday 17/05/2020 and after 668 new tests were carried out, there were no new ‘positive’ cases and no more deaths.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 145 confirmed cases in the ‘Archipelago’; 107 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 22 ‘active’ infections:

  • 16 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 2 on Faial
  • 1 on Graciosa
  • 0 on Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria, São Jorge & Terceira

 

Situation Report, Azores, 16th May to 17th May – From our colleague in the Azores

A court in Ponta Delgada has granted a request for the immediate release of a person who’d been ordered to spend time in ‘quarantine’ in an Azorean hotel.

Since March 26th, all passengers arriving in the ‘Archipelago’ have been obliged to stay 14 days in ‘confinement’ in a hotel as a ‘restrictive’ measure to try and stop the spread of the “Covid-19” pandemic.  Unlike residents, since May the 8th, non-residents have had to pay for that.

Portugal is no longer in an official ‘State of Emergency’ but currently, this legal decision only applies to this one specific case.

The health authority is now testing all the travellers from outside the region who’ve been ‘quarantined’ at several designated hotels, in case this latest legal judgement leads to them all, having the ‘right to leave’ the properties.

There has been one more recovery from the virus, a 75-year-old man who was a user of the care home in Nordeste from where there have been 12 virus-related deaths in the last few weeks. Also, during the 24 hours up until 16.00 hrs. on Friday 16/05/2020 and after 742 new tests were carried out, there were no new ‘positive’ cases and no more deaths.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 145 confirmed cases in the ‘Archipelago’; 105 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 24 ‘active’ infections:

  • 16 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 2 on Faial
  • 2 on Graciosa
  • 1 on São Jorge
  • 0 on Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria & Terceira

In a separate report Lusa news agency reported the following

Options to be given to arriving passengers

The President of the Government of the Azores announced today that passengers arriving in the region will be able to choose to carry out a test on departure, or on arrival in the Azores, comply with a voluntary quarantine period or return to the origin.

“Four options are given to passengers who, as of today, arrive in the Azores: travel already with a negative test done before departure; undergo a test upon arrival in the region and wait for the result; or comply with a voluntary quarantine period of 14 days in a specific hotel, with the costs borne by the Region; or return to their original destination”, declared Vasco Cordeiro.

The measures take effect at 00:00 on Sunday.

The President of the Government spoke at a press conference in Ponta Delgada, following the decision of the Ponta Delgada Court, which granted today a request for immediate release (‘habeas corpus’) made by a plaintiff against the imposition of quarantine in hotels by part of the Government of the Azores.

The measures were taken following today’s meeting of the Government Council, which, under the Legal Regime of the Civil Protection System of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, decreed the situation of public calamity on the islands of São Miguel and Terceira, islands with connections with the outside world, in the context of combating the covid-19 pandemic.

Vasco Cordeiro stated that “if a passenger refuses any of these options, violates voluntary quarantine or prophylactic isolation, mandatory quarantine in a hotel will be determined, assuming, in this case, all the respective financial costs by a decision of his own”.

 

Situation Report, Azores, 15th May to 16th May – From our colleague in the Azores

The number of people, still testing ‘positive’ for the “Covid-19” has had yet another big fall in the Azores as 9 more people, all on São Miguel, have recovered from the virus!

6 of the 8 women and 1 man, aged between 27 and 9 were either users, a close contact or workers at the residential care home for the elderly “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” in Nordeste from where, sadly, 12 people have died.

Also, during the 24 hours up until 16.00 hrs. on Friday 15/05/2020, there were no new ‘positive’ cases and no more deaths.

In summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 145 confirmed cases in the ‘Archipelago’; 104 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 25 ‘active’ infections, the lowest number since March 27th and just a ‘tad’ better than Madeira with just 31 ‘positive’ cases as announced by the regional health authority there, on the 15th of May.

  • 17 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 2 on Faial
  • 2 on Graciosa
  • 1 on São Jorge
  • 0 on Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria & Terceira

 

Situation Report, Azores, 14th May to 15th May – From our colleague in the Azores

Regional Health Authority

The Regional Health Authority reports that the 547 analyzes carried out in the two reference laboratories in the Region in the last 24 hours did not reveal new positive cases of COVID-19.

There were four recoveries of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which correspond to three female individuals, between 18 and 62 years of age, one of whom was an employee of the Residential Structure for the Elderly of Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Nordeste, and one individual male, 66 years old, all resident on the island of São Miguel.

Pandemic prevention and containment measures should be maintained and strengthened, whenever possible, by citizens and public, private and social sector organizations.

Some great news, 4 more people on São Miguel, infected with the ‘Covid-19’ virus, have recovered.  This takes the number of recoveries to nearly one hundred people or around two-thirds of the total number who’ve tested ‘positive’ since the “Coronavirus” crisis began!  They’re 3 women and a man, aged between 18 and 66, one of whom worked at the residential care home for the elderly “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” in Nordeste from where, sadly, 12 people have died.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 145 confirmed cases in the ‘Archipelago’; 95 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 34 ‘active’ infections (thankfully, the lowest number for nearly seven weeks, namely the 28th of March):

  • 26 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 2 on Faial
  • 2 on Graciosa
  • 1 on São Jorge
  • 0 on Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria & Terceira

Azores is preparing a support regime for the temporary cessation of fishing activity in the Region.

The Regional Secretary for Sea, Science and Technology announced that the Government of the Azores is preparing a support regime for the temporary cessation of fishing activity in the Region.

Gui Menezes pointed out that this measure, “which is being worked on in conjunction with the Fisheries Federation and the Azores Fish Merchants Association, provides for financial support for optional temporary stops, for a maximum period of 15 days”.

At stake is the lower demand for fish in the markets due to the situation caused by the pandemic of COVID-19 and the consequent drop in income.

This measure “can contribute to regulate the quantity of fish unloaded at auction, facilitating its disposal and avoiding a decrease in the income of fishermen”, defended Gui Menezes.

The Regional Secretary said that the supply of the market “will always be ensured, as only up to 50% of the fleet of each of the arms ports in the Region will be stopped simultaneously”.

 

 

Situation Report, Azores, 13th May to 14th May – From our colleague in the Azores

The president of Ponta Delgada’s ‘Chamber of Commerce and Industry’ Mário Fortuna reckons that the cancellation of the festival of “Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres” because of the “Coronavirus” crisis, means that between three and four million euros won’t now be earned on the island of São Miguel.  He says that the festivities that were due to start on Friday, attract around 20 thousand visitors a year, spending millions in flights, hotels, car-hire, taxis, tours, shops, bars and restaurants among other things…..

It is the biggest religious festival in the Azores and the high point of the events is the procession of the statue of “Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres” through the streets of the city.  The visitors normally come from all over the Azores, Madeira and continental Portugal, joined by thousands of emigrants, arriving from the United States of America and Canada.

Meanwhile, the ‘Covid-19’ situation has stayed unchanged during the 24 hours up until 16.00 hrs. on Wednesday 13/05/2020.  There were no new ‘positive’ cases and no new recoveries, either.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 145 ‘positive’ cases in the region; 91 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 38 ‘active’ infections:

  • 30 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 2 on Faial
  • 2 on Graciosa
  • 1 on São Jorge
  • 0 on Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria & Terceira

 

 

Situation Report, Azores, 12th May to 13th May – From our colleague in the Azores.

On April 21st, “Azores Airlines” announced that flights outside Portuguese airspace would be suspended until June 6th but this suspension has now been extended until the 14th of the month. Therefore, connections between the Azores and the cities of Toronto (Canada), Boston (United States of America), Praia (Cape Verde) and Frankfurt (Germany) will only be resumed from that date.

“Azores Airlines” flights to and from continental Portugal and the “SATA Air Açores” ‘inter-island’ passenger operation are expected to resume from May 31st.  At the moment, the only flights, being carried out by the SATA group, are between the Azores and Lisbon, ‘shipping’ cargo or in cases of ‘force majeure’, authorized by the Regional Health Authority.

Meanwhile, Tiago Lopes reported that, as of 16.00 hours on Tuesday 12/05/2020, there have been no new cases testing ‘positive’ for “Covid-19” in the Archipelago.  But, there have been two further recoveries on São Miguel, a lady, aged 45 and another 92 year-old user of the “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” care home from where, sadly, 12 people have died from the virus.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 145 ‘positive’ cases in the region; 91 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 38 ‘active’ infections:

  • 30 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 2 on Faial
  • 2 on Graciosa
  • 1 on São Jorge
  • 0 on Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria & Terceira

 

Situation Report, Azores, 11th May to 12th May – From our colleague in the Azores.

“Ryanair”, historically known as a ‘low-cost’ airline, is to be paid 1.1 million euros in a deal to promote the airline’s flights between the United Kingdom and the Azores.  The agreement was signed by the Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism, “Marta Guerreirro” and “David O’Brien”, representing “Ryanair”.  But, it’s still not absolutely clear how that money will be spent.

Meanwhile, sadly, there’s been one more death on São Miguel, a 92-year-old user of the “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” care home in Nordeste who’d been admitted to the “Divino Espírito Santo” hospital in Ponta Delgada.  This brings the total number of deaths in the ‘Archipelago’ to 16, 12 of them linked to that home.

As of 16.00 hours on Monday 11/05/2020, there was also news of 6 more recoveries; all of them women on São Miguel, aged between 51 and 91.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 145 ‘positive’ cases in the region; 89 have recovered and 16 have died, leaving just the 40 ‘active’ infections:

32 on São Miguel

3 on Pico

2 on Faial

2 on Graciosa

1 on São Jorge

0 on Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria & Terceira

 

Situation Report Azores 10th to 11th May  – From our colleague in the Azores.

Another new ‘positive’ of Covid-19 has been identified on São Miguel, a 35-year-old man who’d recently been abroad and who was, for ‘exceptional’ reasons, being ‘quarantined’ at home.

Tiago Lopes told a press conference that the man had arrived in the region on a flight from mainland Portugal at the end of April with two other ‘special cases’ that were excused from ‘hotel’ quarantine.  He explained that such exceptions could be allowed for medical reasons when proper health treatment can’t be provided in an hotel environment.

As of 16.00 hours on Saturday 10/05/2020, there were also 5 more recoveries; 4 women aged between 35 and 91-years-old and a 93-year-old man, living on the islands of Terceira and São Miguel. Two of them were patients at the “Santa Casa da Misericórdia” care home in Nordeste from where, sadly, several old folk have died.

Some more good news, the island of Terceira has now joined Corvo, Flores & Santa Maria, being completely ‘Covid Free’!

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 145 ‘positive’ cases in the region; 83 have recovered and 15 have died, leaving just the 47 ‘active’ infections:

  • 39 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 2 on Faial
  • 2 on Graciosa
  • 1 on São Jorge
  • 0 on Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria & Terceira

Situation Report Azores 9th to 10th May  – From our colleague in the Azores.

The promised “Covid-19” safety kits, containing three ‘social’ masks, will start to be delivered to homes on the biggest island of São Miguel from May 16th.  So far, they’ve been distributed across the four islands of Corvo, Flores, Santa Maria and São Jorge.
Distribution on Terceira Island is expected to happen over the next few days. The production of these ‘social’ masks follows rules, set by the Director-General for Health and the Portuguese Institute of Quality among other groups.

Meanwhile, Tiago Lopes reported that, as of 16:00 hours on Saturday 09/05/2020, there have been no new cases testing ‘positive’ for “Covid-19” in the Archipelago.  There have, however, been 3 more recoveries, all on São Miguel; two women, aged 50 and 77, and a 56-year-old man.

So, in summary, since the start of the outbreak there have been 144 ‘positive’ cases in the region; 78 have recovered and 15 have died, leaving just the 51 ‘active’ infections:

  • 42 on São Miguel
  • 3 on Pico
  • 2 on Faial
  • 2 on Graciosa
  • 1 on São Jorge
  • 1 on Terceira
  • 0 on Corvo, Flores & Santa Maria

 

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