News from afpop - Friday 6th of January 2023
Michael Reeve - 09-01-2023
News from afpop - Friday 6th of January 2023
Included in this Member Briefing: 1. BLiP Exhibitor offers 2. Documents and Visas 3. Government maintains fuel support 4. Train strikes in Portugal 5. Rules for smoking 6. UK Citizens - New Residency Card - payment after appointment 7. ADvantage Directory 8. Satellite offices
Good afternoon to you all and Happy new Year. First of all thank you to all who sent us their good wishes at the end of the year. The gang here are essentially refreshed after a few days rest and family time and are now busily responding to your enquiries, normal service is resumed I am delighted to say.
I wanted to take a moment to address an issue that was raised by someone after the last Briefing from 2022. Normally I don’t respond to issues publicly because I feel they are best dealt with individually, but I think that this needs clarification in case there is anyone else who is of the same opinion about what we try to do, not only with these Briefings but also generally – in all the information that we send out to Members.
The information that we provide in these Briefings is simply that, information. We do not include our opinions or base the information on whether we think an issue is right or wrong, we certainly do not produce the Briefings to either promote or oppose any government decisions or announcements. Specifically with respect to the COVID situation, the vaccinations and boosters, we have no comment to make about whether they are right or wrong, or whether they are effective or not. We have no scientific knowledge about them and even within the afpop team, opinions are mixed about the whole COVID situation and have been since the start of it all. The information that we provide in these Briefings simply relates to the information that the government issues or regulations it brings into force. What Members do with that information is of course a matter for them personally.
I’m reluctant to say “don’t shoot the messenger”, but I think I should point out that we are only the messengers, trying to help Members obtain accurate information; which is surely why people join afpop in the first place.
Fortunately there is nothing in this week’s Briefing about any of that, so here’s what we’d like to inform or remind you about this week.
BLiP Exhibitor Offers REMINDER
We invited the Exhibitors that participated in our BLiP EXPO this year to make special offers or business announcements to afpop Members as we believe that it is important for your Association to continue to provide support and a channel of communication for businesses as a benefit not only to them but also to you. Please have a look at the latest additions to the website: https://betterlivinginportugal.com/index.php/en/offers
Documents and Visas
Due to the backlog caused by the COVID pandemic, documents and visas relating to stay in national territory, whose validity expires from the 1st of January 2023, or in the immediately preceding 15 days, are accepted, under the same terms, until 31st of December 2023, and after 31 December 2023 as well, provided that the holder proves that they have already scheduled the respective renewal.
Government continues fuel support
Some good news that the government has decided to continue the reduction in fuel taxes to help support citizens by reducing their fuel costs in January.
Train strikes in Portugal
A train drivers' strike which is scheduled to occur between 00h01 on 3rd of January 2023 and 23h59 on 8th of January 2023, will mean there may be disruptions to train services, particularly between the end of 3rd of January and the beginning of 6th of January. Customers who have tickets purchased to travel on Alfa Pendular, Intercidades, International, InterRegional and Regional trains can get a full refund or change their journey to another date and time for free for another train of the same category and class.
More information you can find on the CP website: https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/train-times/Alerts/strike-3-to-8-january-2023
Rules for Smoking
A reminder of the article from our August 2022 edition of UPDATE that smoking will now only be allowed in restaurants, bars and clubs with an area equal to or greater than 100 square metres as of the 1st of January 2023. You can view the original article here https://afpop.com/en/page?publications=update-magazine after logging in to the website.
UK Citizens - New Residency Card – payment after appointment
We have had several Members who have reported that after their appointment, they were not able to issue the payment document (DUC) on the SEF Brexit portal, they get a message saying “No active or pending payment documents (DUC)” highlighted in yellow.
We have contacted SEF about this and they explained that it is due to the process not being fully completed by SEF. People should keep trying but if the DUC still does not appear, you should contact SEF on the email email@example.com to report the situation.
We have included these two short notices to remind Members that the Advantage Directory is there for all Members to use and also to invite you to recommend services or organisations that you think would add Benefit to the Directory. We would like to include as many services that can be accessed by members wherever they are in Portugal or the islands, as is the case with the two we highlight here.
We are pleased to inform Members that the afpop Member discount on Intercidades and Alfapendular trains with Comboios de Portugal (CP) has been renewed and afpop Members are entitled to a 15% discount on 1st class tickets purchased for those routes. The discount is applicable on single tickets only, but sadly can’t be added to any other discounts. However, the cost of two single tickets with the afpop discount is cheaper than a CP return ticket in most cases.
You will need a specific code for the booking and bring your valid afpop Membership Card + ID on the train, please contact the afpop office for more information.
A reminder also of the 10% discount with Abreu travel agents for their Mediterranean cruise as advertised in the December edition of UPDATE Magazine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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)