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Angra do Heroísmo ,  April 08, 2020

Speech by the Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for Parliamentary Affairs

Full text of the speech delivered today by the Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for Parliamentary Affairs, Berto Messias, in Angra do Heroísmo at the press conference on the situation of displaced Azorean students in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: 
“The Government of the Azores has been monitoring, from the very first hour, the situation of displaced Azorean students in Mainland Portugal, acknowledging and praising the effort that the compliance with the recommendation not to return to the Region entailed to them and to their families. 

This recommendation had as its main purpose the protection of the health of students themselves as well as that of their families and the communities where they in the Azores.

We realise the fears and anguish of families and young students displaced at this time, but we are sure that it is still essential to comply with all procedures towards the reduction of mobility to the maximum and, consequently, the potential spread of the virus. 

All the actions and decisions we take in this context are primarily intended to protect the health of our fellow citizens, whether in the Region or elsewhere in the country and the world. 

Hence, taking into account the necessary stay of students displaced from their island of residence in the place where they currently are and all the constraints imposed on mobility arising from the state of emergency declaration, the Government of the Azores moves forward with measures to support these students and their families as well as to determine the overall number of young people in this situation. 

- The Government of the Azores has created the Toll-free Support Line for Displaced Students - 800 24 25 26, available from Monday to Friday between 10 am and 5 pm, as well as the email to which all students must send the necessary information about their intention to return and indicate eventual situations of social and economic need that require support;

- The Government of the Azores provides financial and social support for displaced students in situation of need and precariousness, ensuring the financial costs incurred with accommodation, food and the cancellation of air tickets to the Region, and, if necessary, psychological support is available for students and their families.
This financial support should be requested to the Green Line or at the emails created for the purpose and will be allocated under terms to be defined by the Regional Secretariat for Social Solidarity, once the situation of economic and social need is confirmed; 

- The Government of the Azores provides financial support for students who already had return tickets purchased from Azores Airlines that to be cancelled and transferred to TAP;

In the current context and considering the demand to continue enforcing all measures that minimise the risks of spread and contamination with the COVID-19 virus, the Government of the Azores considers that displaced Azorean students wishing to return to the Region should take the TAP flights to Terceira and São Miguel islands, within the existing availability and complying with all the stipulated safety rules. 

All students choosing to return, like any other passenger, will have to comply with the mandatory quarantine period in a previously defined hotel establishment on the islands of São Miguel and Terceira.

Regarding air transport issues, we will collect all the information provided by students until April 30 through the means made available for this purpose, assessing accurately the overall number of students as well as their islands of origin. After this date, we will analyse the measures already taken and possible new solutions that have to be considered. 

It is now time to continue the effort that everyone has undertaken, so that we can continue preserving the health of all our fellow citizens as best as we can.

The Government of the Azores will continue monitoring the situation and undertaking all necessary efforts to support our displaced students. It will guarantee all the necessary procedures to ensure their safe return as soon as possible, taking into consideration the exceptional circumstances of the moment."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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