Portugal: Madeira imposes new rules for August – but remains exempt from ‘air bridge’ list

Portugal, Madeira and the Azores are favourite holiday spots for Britons. The country and its surrounding islands offer Britons great food, culture and stunning beaches. But while Madeira and the Azores are both exempt from the Foreign Office’s (FCO) advice against non-essential international travel, anyone travelling there will have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return.

The FCO says “this is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

Portugal reported having 50,613 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,725 deaths.

But the country experienced a spike in cases in the capital of Lisbon.

This meant that Portugal remained exempt from quarantine-free travel for Britons.

And now, the island of Madeira has put a major new rule in place.

From August 1, wearing masks in public will be compulsory all times, according to the local government.

According to local news outlet JM Madeira, the face coverings will be mandatory on the beach and in the mountains.

Madeira is the first region in the country to put this measure in place.

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The region’s general health secretary, Pedro Ramos said: “The use of the mask is exactly to show those who visit us the reason why we have these results.”

Currently, using masks in closed space and on public transport is compulsory on the island.

But now it includes walking around on the street.

So far, the island’s coronavirus case rates have managed to remain surprisingly low.

As of yesterday, the country has only had 105 cases, 97 of which have recovered.

Madeira and Porto Santo Islands reopened to tourists on July 1.

Last year, Madeira had around 1.5 million visitors from across the world.

So far, the country has only had 258,000 arrivals.

However, Britons have remained largely exempt from the figures due to having to self-isolate on their return to the UK.

Madeira has its own rules in place for arrivals.

Passengers flying to the Madeira archipelago have to present a negative coronavirus test carried out within 72 hours before embarkation or they will be able to take it upon arrival.

The tests are free to visitors and are paid for by the Madeira Government.

All passengers must complete a Regional Health Authority’s (IASAÚDE) form.

The form should be filled before the trip, between 48 and 12 hours before boarding.

The survey is available at the Regional Health Authority’s website and will also be accessible through airlines’ websites.

Alternatively, the completion of the survey, on paper, can take place on arrival at airports in Madeira.

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