The Government has prepared a diploma, which was published in the Diário da República, which sets out guidelines for services without prior appointment at Citizens shops. Speaking to Lusa, the member of the Agency for Administrative Modernization Paulo Mauritti explained that the objective is, with planning, to return to normality in September, if the evolution of the pandemic and vaccination allow it.

“If the pandemic evolution allows, we are creating ways to be prepared for the return of stores in September with opening hours, and complete and continuous service”, he said. Paulo Mauritti warned that although face-to-face service at the 60 Citizens' shops is important, there are still alternative means of service that should continue to be used.

According to the diploma of the Ministry of Modernisation of the State and Public Administration, by Resolution of the Council of Ministers, which amends the measures applicable in a disaster situation, within the scope of the Covid-19 pandemic, measures were foreseen to apply depending on the progression of the pandemic. Under this resolution, when the level of 70 percent of the population with complete vaccination is reached, the Government must determine the application of certain measures of decontamination, namely that the citizen's stores will start to provide face-to-face assistance without the need for prior appointment.

More than 6.7 million people (66 percent) residing in Portugal have completed vaccination against Covid-19, reveals the weekly report of the Directorate-General for Health published on Tuesday. According to the vaccination report, as of Sunday 6.76 million people (66 percent) had completed vaccination and 7.79 million (76 percent) had taken at least one dose of vaccine.

The diploma now appears in accordance with what is defined by the resolution, anticipating a set of guidelines for the functioning of the Citizen's Shops in this context, considering that the Agency for Administrative Modernization, as the managing entity of the Citizen's Shop network, should consider some guidelines.

In addition to resuming the opening hours and complete and continuous service, it is advised that the service without appointment and the service previously scheduled should be reconciled, so that it is not harmed. On the other hand, the diploma states that the services subject to greater demand must find solutions for greater responsiveness, namely by reviewing scheduling times, affecting workers for sorting or scheduling and highlighting service stations for unmarked service and/or interspersing both the calls.

Citizens who are unable to receive assistance during their journey must be provided with a timely appointment. Entry to these services with companions should only be admitted when indispensable and the number of passwords that can be distributed to citizens without prior scheduling, in each entity, must be communicated to the coordinator/Management Unit of the respective store, prior to the opening, ensuring its publicity.

In Citizen Spaces located in Citizens' Stores that have more than one service point, one of them should preferably be allocated to unmarked service and the other to scheduled service. In the diploma to which Lusa had access, the Government also states that the maximum occupancy of the store must be respected at all times, always considering the information from the people counting system inside the stores that have it. Citizens on hold (with or without an appointment), who exceed the authorised capacity, must wait outside the premises, complying with the rules of social distancing. Those who do not carry out hand hygiene at the entrance or do not wear a mask or a visor will be prohibited from entering the Citizen's Shops.