Dear 20/21 Exchange and Erasmus Students
Partners and Colleagues
The International Relations Office (IRO) hopes this e-mail finds you in perfect health and good mood!
We are very happy that, despite the pandemic crisis, many students, coming from partners all over the world, choose the Polytechnic Institute of Beja as the “host institution” for their Erasmus and exchange experience. However, we would like to point out some important information on the current situation in Portugal. The main purpose of this e-mail is to support your decision and travel arrangement details.
Current situation in Portugal
As most of the European countries, Portugal is facing a sudden increasing of the Covid-19 numbers and the “National Emergency state" is in force till 30th of January, with the strong possibility to be renewed afterwards. According to official sources, Portugal is nowadays one of the countries with the highest covid transmission rate. This means that the virus is everywhere and all the persons may be infected, despite asymptomatic. To avoid the spreading of the virus, the Government strengthened the national measures. Resuming, the main impact and restrictions are the following:
- Mandatory all over the country: general lockdown: “stay home” as much as possible; teleworking; use of facemasks indoor and outdoor; washing hands frequently and social distance (2mts);
- Not allowed: Parties, events or team/sport activities, indoor and outdoor;
- Shops, restaurants and bars: closed, except for take away (eg. Lunch/dinner to go)
- Schools, including universities, will remain open, as much as possible, and classes are delivered face-to face;
- Supermarkets, pharmacy’s, health services and appointments, schools, basic services: open;
- The circulation of people on the public road is quite limited and forbidden between 23h00 and 05h00;
Travels and tourism:
- In the majority of the districts, it's forbidden to travel outside the districts (there are exceptions: work, study, hospital, etc);
- Touristic travels are forbidden or quite limited;
- Hotels: open;
- Travelling to Portugal: As far as the information available, the national borders will remain open to European citizens.
Travelling to Portugal, until current date:
- Air traffic to and from Portugal of every flight from and to the European Union countries, Schengen associated countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) is authorised;
- COVID Test isn't required, at least till now, if you are coming from EU countries. Please confirm the situation before departure, https://reopen.europa.eu , and next to the air company;
- Flights between Portugal and other destinations, third countries different from those mentioned above, are only permitted for essential travel. In this case, passengers must present a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before departure;
Additional information and advice
We advise students to follow the development so the situation in the following websites:
- Re-Open EU: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/PRT/7001
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en
- Portuguese Border and Foreign Services (SEF): https://imigrante.sef.pt/en/covid-19/faqs/#1596230931926-35f82bfa-7209
- Portuguese Covid Measures: https://covid19estamoson.gov.pt/new-state-of-emergency-measures/
- Website of the Portuguese embassy in your country
- Videos general measures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTkjcWNuTIw&feature=youtu.be
Situation at IPBeja and classes
At IPBeja we are still with face-to face classes and the students have access to most of the facilities and services including labs. Anyway, as you know, the situation is changing every day, and despite we are following quite restrict measures to control the spreading of the virus, we cannot guarantee that the current conditions will remain after the arrival of the students. It depends, off course on the development of the situation. A sudden shift to "distance learning" is a possibility, as it happened at the beginning of the pandemic crisis.
IPBeja is planning to start the Spring-Summer Semester on the 1st March. Since October until the present date, the campus maintains the usual activities and classes are still delivered face –to - face. However, considering the current uncertainties, students and teachers should be prepared to shift to on line and distance learning at any time. Therefore, to follow classes and perform the academic activities, we recommend all Erasmus exchange and mobility Students to bring their own laptop/ PC.
Arrival to Beja
Although, the welcome session is previewed to take place at 23rd of February, considering the circumstances, its attendance is recommended but not mandatory. Classes will just start on 1 March, so students are free to arrange and decide on the date to arrive, as long as they are in Beja on time for the classes.
Please, keep the IPBeja buddy, IRO and academic coordinator informed on your arrival plans and details.
We are suggesting our outgoing students, and I suggest the same to incoming students as well, to be updated and to follow the developments by checking regularly official websites. We are also advising students to postpone, as much as possible, the purchase of the travel ticket and other bookings involving payments.
Please note that some host organizations/companies, especially for those who are coming for traineeship, may require a negative covid test with a maximum of 72 hours before starting the mobility.
Don’t forget to bring your laptop/PC.
We have tried to cover all the topics and we hope you are more informed on the situation in Portugal.
We understand the pre-departure student’s uncertainties and we will support your decisions.
Please, feel free to come to us when necessary.
I kindly apply to all that we deal with these matters with patience, understanding and flexibility.
Be happy and stay healthy!
Com os meus cumprimentos / Yours Sincerely
Maria Cristina Palma
Coordenadora / Coordinator
Gabinete de Relações Internacionais / International Relations Office
IPBeja - Instituto Politécnico de Beja / Polytechnic Institute of Beja
Rua Pedro Soares, Campus do IPBeja, Apt.6155, 7800-295 Beja (PT)