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News from afpop - Friday 2nd of December 2022

Michael Reeve - 09-12-2022

News from afpop - Friday 2nd of December 2022

Included in this Member Briefing: 1. TAP strike 2. Health Centres with extended or complementary hours 3. COVID tests 4. COVID Booster 5. IMT notifications 6. Comércio Seguro Operation 7. Fraud attempts against EDP customers 8. Slow March EN125 9. Public Holiday 10. Satellite offices

Good afternoon to you all and as we enter December I wanted to take this opportunity to remind Members that this is also the time when opportunist thefts and scams increase each year. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, if you’re out in the shopping areas then you’re potentially a target for the thieves. Last year around this time, we advised you of our old friend Victor, who scammed people out Christmas shopping by stopping his car in front of them and reminding them that they used to be acquainted and now he works for children’s charities, before relieving you of 20 or 30 euros and driving off. If I remember correctly he was arrested in Lagos and whilst he was harmless enough, the reason he got away with his scam is that the people he approached just weren’t alert and were pulled into his patter before they realised what was happening.
Sadly not all of the thieves are as benign as Victor and my thanks to a fellow Member who this week sent me information about a team of robbers who were arrested in Almancil. Of course I have no desire to spread alarm and that is not why I mention this, but I do want to invite you all to just make sure your awareness levels don’t drop while you’re out shopping. Keep your handbags closed and your wallets in inside pockets, pay attention to who is around when you’re at the cash machine and put the money away before you walk away. Those behind you can wait 30 seconds while you make your money safe. 
I know that we all know these things and I don’t want to come across as a nag, but every year at this time petty crime increases and it’s mostly because the thieves are paying more attention than we are.  There is some GNR news later in this Briefing about this too. 
A short note to anyone who was trying to pay their IMI or IUC on the Finanças website before the deadline on the 30th of November. We’ve just been informed that there was a problem with their website apparently and the 30th of November deadline has been extended until the end of today, so you can still make those payments without penalty…
… and now to the Briefing:
TAP strike
We remind you that the Portuguese airline TAP announced a strike which is scheduled for the 8th and 9th of December. People who have booked a flight for those days will be able to reschedule the dates of their flights between the 28th of November and the 19th of December, free of charge, according to TAP. To avoid uncertainty about which flights might be affected, TAP decided to cancel all 360 flights scheduled for the two days of the strike. The process of cancelling flights and informing passengers has already begun. If your flight is to be cancelled, you will receive a specific email with the alternatives. TAP recommends that you always check the status of your flight here.
Health Centres extended hours
In an effort to respond to greater demand from the population in the autumn/winter months and to reduce the demand for emergency services in non-emergency situations, 176 health centres are operating with extended opening hours (weekdays) or complementary opening hours (weekends and holidays), providing a response close to the community in non-emergency health situations. 
You can find the locations and opening hours in these links: 
For better service and advice, it is advisable to call SNS 24 first (808 24 24 24), for screening and appropriate referral of each situation, for a faster response and also to help the SNS provide the best service to patients.

COVID tests
COVID tests are no longer recommended for people without symptoms and patients hospitalised with COVID are now able to receive visits. This also applied to visits to nursing homes providing protection is worn during the visit.
People who have obtained a positive result in a self-test must take measures for infection prevention and control by keeping their distance for 5 days, wear a suitable mask for 10 days from the onset of symptoms when in the presence of others and wash and/or disinfect their hands frequently.
COVID Booster
The Booster vaccination campaign has been extended to 5-11 year olds with an at risk disease. These vaccinations must be scheduled in advance at any vaccination point or Centro de Saúde.
If you are 60 and older, you can go to the Casa Aberta (Open House) at your local vaccination centre without appointment. All others between 50-59 years of age have to wait to be contacted by the SNS with an appointment, you can find further information in our Factsheet FS/26.
IMT notifications
On the 30th of November IMT began a direct communication service to drivers with expired, or about to expire, driving licences, advising them of the need to proceed with their revalidation.
This information service will be carried out, in a first phase, for drivers with the light category (B), through the following communication channels:
  • SMS
  • E-mail
  • Post
The information to be sent will be adapted to the validity of each driver's driving licence and will be carried out progressively during the month of December. Instructions how to proceed will be on the notification. In case of doubt you can contact the IMT call centre: through 210 488 488 or by filling in the form on the IMT website
  • If you have already renewed your driving licence, you should ignore the communication received.
  • If you do not intend to renew your driving licence, you do not need to do anything.
  • The payment of fees related to the revalidation of the driving licence will not be included in this communication but will be requested at a later stage. 
Please find more information about driving licences in our Bulletin P04
Comércio Seguro Operation
Further to Michael’s message above, the "Secure Shopping 2022" operation by the National Republican Guard (GNR) is taking place between the 25th of November and the 31st of December, and you should be noticing more police patrols in and around those centres. The GNR campaign is also highlighting some preventive measures to take, such as safeguarding your bags or briefcases and also checking your pockets if you are bumped into by someone in passing.
Fraud attempts against EDP customers
EDP is advising customers to pay extra attention to text messages or false invoices in the company’s name. EDP state that they never proactively contact their customers to collect bank data information. The company also warned that the payment entities it uses are 20174 or 23013, for residential customers, and 12223 and 21196, for business customers.
If you suspect that you have been the target of a fraud attempt, contact EDP on 213 53 53 53 (weekdays from 9h00 to 20h00) or go to one of their stores. Further details in this link (in Portuguese but you can use the translator in your browser to change the language).
Slow March EN125
If you are intending to use the EN125 on the 8th of December, be aware that a ‘Slow March’, a protest action with vehicles idling along the EN 125, has been organised, starting in Luz de Tavira (Largo da República), at 15h00 and ending in Tavira, next to Câmara Municipal.
The initiative is from the Via do Infante User Commission (CUVI) as a protest to end tolls in the Algarve and for the total requalification of National Road EN125.

Public Holiday
A reminder that Thursday the 8th of December is another public holiday (Dia da Imaculada Conceição) and authorities, Banks, Mercados and some offices and shops will be closed and the afpop office will also be closed. As usual we will publish the yearly 2023 holiday calendar in the December UPDATE Magazine.
Satellite offices
Please note that due to the Christmas holidays, there will be no Satellite Offices in December. afpop staff will be on hand in the Satellite Offices again in January 2023. If you need advice or assistance, wish to introduce a new Member to the Association, need to renew your subscription or just have a general query, please pass by and see us. Please contact the afpop office to make an appointment on 282 458 509 or    
The next dates of the Satellites are: 
  • Lagos - Thursday 26th of January between 10h00 and 12h30 (premises of MediLagos on R. José Ferreira Canelas, which is behind the Câmara building- Please remember to bring a mask as it is a health facility)
  • Almancil - Tuesday 31st of January between 10h00 and 12h30 (offices of MEDAL Seguros)

Alliance Partners
  • Medal Insurance
  • Algarve Resident
  • Blevins & Franks
  • Turismo de Portugal - Algarve
Associate Partners
  • Toldolanda
  • Golf for Greys
  • NCA Portugal
  • Mestre Raposa