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The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States
Serving our Community for 29 Years!
LUSUS Newsletter
The Online Newsletter of PALCUS
Special Announcement! COVID-19


To Our Portuguese Community,

We are dealing with an unprecedented international epidemic.  In spite of the challenges facing us, we have always been resourceful and resilient as Portuguese Americans and there is no doubt that we will be this time as well.  Even though staying safe during the Coronavirus crisis is of primary concern, we can and should continue on as best we can. Fortunately, technology gives us the means to work, learn and communicate at a safe distance.

Effective immediately, all PALCUS events for the months of March and April have been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date. 

All PALCUS-related travel for PALCUS Directors and Make Portuguese Count Captains is cancelled. We discourage directors and MPC captains from unnecessary travel.

We encourage everyone to follow guidelines from the CDC, and also consult your state and local authorities and health officials for region-specific guidance.

Below are some key sources of information to help us all manage the demands of life over the next few weeks.

Stay safe and we will all get through this!

Força, ficam em casa e lavam as mãos!

Your Friends at PALCUS

#COVID19 #washyourhands #socialdistancing 

Get Real-Time Updates
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
The CDC provides comprehensive information about COVID-19 symptoms, preparing your family, care for older adults and those with medical conditions, and resources for the community. 
 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Embassy of Portugal in the US and 
Consulates of Portugal
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE PORTUGUESE EMBASSY IN THE USA - TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC OF THE PORTUGUESE CONSULAR NETWORK IN THE USA
 
In an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Federal Administration, and authorities in affected States have implemented strong measures aimed at restricting gatherings, movement of people and the normal delivery of services.
 
Given this situation and having as its first concern the protection of users, employees, and their families, the Secretariat of State of the Portuguese Communities, with the agreement of the Portuguese Embassy in Washington, D.C., authorized the temporary suspension of services to the public of the Consular network of Portugal in the United States of America until further notice.
 
The closure is effective as of Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, and therefore all existing appointments are canceled.
 
As soon as it proves possible to ensure the service to the public again, the existing appointments will be rescheduled.

While the consular posts are closed to the public, they will only handle cases in person when they are duly documented emergencies This should be flagged in emails sent to consular posts or the Consular Emergency Office.
 
Issuing travel or identification documents and their delivery, acts of civil registration, and notary services are not considered emergencies in view of the widespread confinement in place.
 
We kindly ask for your understanding, bearing in mind that the only purpose of this measure is to protect the wider community.

Emergency contacts and consulate network in the USA
 
Consulate Emergency Office:
Emergency Contacts (24-hour service)
Phone contact: + 351 217 929 714 | + 351 961 472 706
Email Address: gec@mne.pt
 
Covid 19 Hotline to support Portuguese temporarily travelling abroad
 
Emergency number of the consulate section of the embassy in Washington: 
+ 1 (202) 257-4152
email: sconsular.washington@gmail.com
 
Contacts of the other consulates of Portugal in the USA

Fact Sheet: Department of Homeland Security Notice of Arrival Restrictions on China, Iran and Schengen Countries of Europe

Legislation Being Proposed
The House again passed  bipartisan legislation to provide relief for families facing this public health threat. The bill includes:

  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test , including the uninsured.  
  • Paid emergency leave , with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. 
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance , a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.  
  • Strengthened food security initiatives , including SNAP, student meals, seniors' nutrition and food banks. 
  • Increased federal funds for Medicaid , as states face increased costs.  

This legislation puts families first. It is an important step to provide resources to every American and to ensure our healthcare providers have the tools to fight this disease. 

This information is provided for your information only. However, if you have an opinion about this legislation you would like to communicate to your representative, we encourage that you reach out to them via email or phone. 

How to Contact Your Federal, State and Local Elected Officials: 
https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials 

Supporting Local Businesses
During this time of crisis, many small businesses are in danger of losing significant business or shutting down completely.  Here are a few ways you can help to support local businesses even while practicing social distancing and isolation:

  • Shop online or via phone. While some stores already have online shopping, others will help customers order via phone or FaceTime.
  • If you typically use local businesses to fill wholesale orders, place those requests as soon as possible.
  • Buy gift cards to use at a later date to support businesses now, even if you don't currently need anything or start your holiday shopping early!
  • Order takeout or delivery and tip the same amount as you would dining in.
 
If you would like to support Portuguese-owned businesses specifically, you can find more than 1,000 nationwide in the PALCUS Gateway: https://www.palcus.org/gateway

US Embassy in Portugal
This information is provided via the US Embassy in Portugal's website

On March 12, the Portuguese Government declared a State of Alert for the country of Portugal (Please note that a "State of Alert" is not a "State of Emergency") until at least April 9 and announced extraordinary measures to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 virus, including the following:
  • The suspension of multiple international flights.
  • All land borders with Spain are closed to tourism and leisure travelers.
  • A bar on the entry of foreign cruise ship passengers.
  • The closure of public and private schools and universities.
  • The prohibition on the public consumption of alcohol.
  • The closure of bars, discos, and similar establishments.
  • The closure of all beaches to groups of over 5 people.
  • The suspension of events with more than 100 people
  • Museums, theaters, pools, and other public and private institutions have been closed in many municipalities around the country. Specific information can be found here for Lisbon and Porto .
  • The Portuguese Government regularly updates information on the situation here: COVID 19
 Entry and Exit Requirements:
  • Portuguese authorities announced the suspension of multiple international flights.
  • Portuguese authorities announced that foreign cruise ship passengers will not be allowed to disembark.
  • The Regional Governments of the Azores and Madeira announced that all arrivals must complete a health questionnaire and undergo a health screening, and agree to a mandatory 14-day quarantine before being admitted.
  • The Regional Government of Madeira announced that cruise ships and yachts will not be allowed to dock and that flights from foreign destinations with outbreaks are suspended.
  • The Regional Government of the Azores announced that cruise ships and yachts must receive approval from health authorities to dock.
  • Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice
  • The Regional Government of the Azores has requested that all flights in and out of the Azores be suspended, although at present, this has not yet been confirmed nor implemented.
 Quarantine Information:
  • On March 13, the Regional Governments of the Azores and Madeira announced enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • All new arrivals to the Azores and Madeira must agree to a mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days before being admitted, no matter the expected duration of travel on the islands.
  • Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.
 Resources:  Assistance:

Jobs for Portuguese Speakers
Jobs for Portuguese Speakers

If you want to put your Portuguese language skills to use in your next job, there are many opportunities out there! Visit the  Jobs for Portuguese Speakers Facebook page to see some job openings.

Contact Information

Website:  www.palcus.org
Phone: 202-466-4664

9255 Center St., Suite 404
Manassas, VA 20110
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PALCUS Mission

In order to create a singular voice to advocate  for the Portuguese-American and Luso-American communities at large, the Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States Inc. (PALCUS) was founded in 1991 as a non-partisan, non-profit, organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. 
 
The PALCUS mission is to address domestic and international concerns of the Portuguese-American Community.
 
The Council conducts an expanding program of educational and public affairs activities on issues of interest to the Portuguese-American community and of salience to the Luso-American Relationship.
 
PALCUS is committed to serving the community through increasingly active government relations efforts, the promotion of a greater awareness of ethnic accomplishments and encouraging stronger ties between Portugal and the United States. In this role PALCUS advances the community professionally, politically and culturally while working to ensure that issues directly affecting our community are addressed through our network of government and community leaders.

PALCUS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization under the IRS tax code and  incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia.  Donations are tax deductible to extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged.

Copyright © 2019, PALCUS. All Rights Reserved.