In 2019, more than 180,000 foreigners obtained Portuguese nationality, more than double the number of babies born in Portugal (81,351) over the same period. The number is a record high and reflects the growing impact of the current immigration legislation that has increasingly opened the country’s doors to migrants. The majority of applicants come from Brazil, Cape Verde and Israel. On average, there are almost 15,000 foreigners per month who are approved for Portuguese nationality.
In 2020, Portugal ranks first among the most peaceful countries in the European Union as reported by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The worldwide classification is led by Iceland, which holds the top spot since 2008, followed by New Zealand. The Ministry of the Interior expressed its satisfaction with the maintenance of Portugal’s third place. In 2014, the country ranked 18th. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the regions of the Middle East and North Africa, home to three of the five least secure nations (Iraq, Syria and Yemen). Afghanistan continues to be the most dangerous.
“In the employment support programs, there will be specific measures to combat youth unemployment and in particular that of qualified young people,” said PM António Costa, stressing that “young people are essential in the recovery of the economy”. According to the estimate of the National Statistics Institute, the youth unemployment rate was above 20% in April, being the age group most affected by the pandemic crisis.
Turismo de Portugal continues with online training actions for the Clean & Safe” Seal. This initiative is aimed at Tourist Enterprises, Local Lodging Accommodations, as well as Tourism and Travel Agencies that want to know the control measures for cleaning, hygiene and basic COVID-19 prevention.
Registration is certified and free of charge. The training sessions last a total of 2, 3, or 4 hours depending on the type of activity. With a limit of 500 participants per session, there are several times available during the coming weeks. The training will provide participants with an overview of the internal protocol related to their organization during the COVID-19 outbreak .
The 2020 State Budget update allows independent workers on green receipts who fail to make their first two payments on account of the year in July and September due to breaks in their business activity. If they reactivate their regular business invoicing by the end of the year, they may settle in December the total amount owed without fines or charges.
The Portuguese government is creating a specific programme of €4.5m to encourage “AL” holiday lets to be transformed to affordable rents for young people. The purpose of the programme is open more affordable housing for urban youth that is accessible and with better conditions. The government also proposes to make available non repayable grants to subsidise the income of the most needy families who cannot cope with these rental expenses.
After months of delay, Lisbon Council is to sublet 1000 flats currently available only under Local Lodging (“AL”). With a budget of €15 million to be spent over five years, the City expects to sublet one thousand apartments currently let short-term as Local Lodging to be made available at affordable prices to Lisbon residents. Given the historic drop in “AL” bookings in the new Coronavirus era, the programme would appear to have an uphill battle to achieve its goals.
The attribution of the “Clean & Safe Seal”, already available for Local Lodging accommodations (“AL”), will be extended to restaurants and cafés. Completely free, voluntary and automatically issued on the spot, the “Clean & Safe Seal” visually reflects the operators’ commitment to the guidelines from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).
4 out of 5 Local Lodging establishments in Portugal saw reservations cancelled in the 6 months between March and August. Due to quarantines and more restrictive measures in force to mobility, Madeira and the Azores suffered the highest number of cancellations.
The hotels in the Algarve recorded a global average occupancy rate per room of 1% in April. According to the largest hotel association in the region, the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), the impact of the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus began to affect tourism in March.