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Portugal Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

May 13, 2004

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to large-scale public gatherings in Portugal in connection with the European soccer championships and other public events in the next several weeks. This Public Announcement expires on July 14, 2004.

On May 13 (as well as the 13th day of each of the following five months), up to 400,000 pilgrims are expected to participate in religious ceremonies in the town of Fatima. From May 28 until June 6, up to 500,000 spectators are expected to participate in the "Rock in Rio" outdoor music festival in Lisbon. From June 12 through July 4, Portugal will host the "Euro 2004" European soccer championship. During this three-week period, soccer matches will take place in eight cities throughout Portugal: Lisbon, Faro, Oporto, Leiria, Aveiro, Guimaraes, Braga and Coimbra. More than one million soccer match tickets have been sold, and as many as three million visitors may travel to Portugal at some point during the tournament.

U.S. citizens planning to attend "Euro 2004" soccer matches should be aware that soccer-related hooliganism has occurred at past European soccer championships, including violent conflicts between fans and rioting or vandalism in stadium areas and city streets. While the Government of Portugal and tournament organizers are taking precautions to help prevent disturbances, U.S. citizens are advised to avoid areas of conflict between fans of opposing teams.

Portuguese authorities also are alert to the possibility that large-scale public events such as these could be the focus of terrorist acts or other forms of violence. U.S. citizens planning to attend or participate in any large-scale public gatherings are advised to use caution and be alert to their surroundings at all times. The presence of unattended bags and any other suspicious occurrences should be promptly brought to the attention of the nearest police or security officials.

"Euro 2004" soccer tournament games are nearly sold out, and tickets for tournament matches will not be sold at the gates of the various stadiums. U.S. citizens are advised that Portuguese law prohibits the purchase of tickets from unofficial ticket resellers within Portugal. Persons attempting to sell or buy soccer tickets originally issued to others may be arrested or fined, and have all tickets confiscated.

U.S. citizens who encounter any emergency situations while traveling in Portugal should telephone the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon at (011-351) 21-727-3300. The Embassy's after-hours and weekend emergency number is (011-351) 21-770-2222. From anywhere in Portugal, the telephone number to reach the police or ambulance services in the event of an emergency is "112." Travelers may consult the Embassy's web site for more detailed information at http://www.american-embassy.pt.

Updated information on travel and security in Portugal may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada, and by calling 1-317-472-2328 from overseas. U.S. citizens should also consult the Department's Consular Information Sheet for Portugal and current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.

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