Since the start of the pandemic, the archipelago of Madeira has been considered one of the safest destinations in Europe and has been widely praised for its handling of the Covid-19 crisis. It has recently been named one of the safest destinations for 2021 by European Best Destinations. It has also been awarded the coveted title of Europe’s Leading Island Destination (World Travel Awards) an impressive seven times.
Discover Madeira is delighted that the destination will be removed from the UK Government’s Red List on Friday 19th March. This comes at a time when the international outlook is more optimistic with markets reopening, vaccination programmes accelerating and Covid-19 cases decreasing across Europe.
It is a widely held view that the archipelago, along with the rest of Portugal, should not have been on the red list in the first place, as recently reported by The Telegraph, due to no variant cases or flights to Brazil.
Nuno Vale, Director of Madeira Promotion Bureau said of the UK announcement: “In a year of great challenges for the Tourism sector, Madeira knew how to tread a path of exception, and we are now receiving excellent opportunities ranging from structural work to ongoing promotions. This has been a massive vote of confidence from visitors and tour operators, which Madeira aims to uphold and continue into 2021. Madeira drew up a pandemic response strategy with concrete measures which were both timely and appropriate. This performance kept the pandemic under control, providing the inhabitants of the region and tourists with security in their activities, whether in work or entertainment. This confidence was the basis for a national and international promotion which was recognised by both tourists and operators. These promotions were: “Safest Destination for Travelling in Europe”, “Safest Christmas Destination in Europe” and “Top 10 European Safe Beaches”, among others, such as placing Madeira in the ‘Top 25’ for the “Most Popular Destinations in Europe” on TripAdvisor 2021.”
Madeira has worked closely with SGS, certification company to ensure safe practice across the destination and minimise risk in regard to Covid-19. The certification process is available to all companies in the tourism sector and to date, there are currently 122 certified or audited companies in the process of certification.
Covid-19 cases in Madeira have decreased significantly in recent weeks, with an average of 32 new cases in the last 7 days. 15% of the population has received their first dose of the vaccine and 5% have received both doses.
The green corridor already existed at Madeira airport for those who arrive with a negative PCR test done within 72 hours. Now Madeira is also receiving tourists vaccinated and recovered from Covid-19 (with proof up to 90 days of validity) who want to enjoy the region, with testing for these cohorts no longer required. All other visitors will also be welcomed however, and free testing on arrival will be available.