Madeira seeks to reopen tourism sector ahead of summer
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 also been awarded the coveted title of Europe’s Leading Island Destination by the World Travel Awards an impressive seven times.
Discover Madeira is also pleased that the destination will be removed from the UK ‘red list’.
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.
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.”
Madeira has worked closely with SGS, a leading 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 seven days.
Some 15 per cent of the population has received their first dose of the vaccine and five per cent 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.