Madeira has insisted that it “deserves” to stay on the UK government’s green list of quarantine-free destinations because of its remote location and “unique set of circumstances”.
People returning to England from the Portuguese islands after 4am on Tuesday (8 June) will have to quarantine for 10 days when Portugal, including Madeira and the Azores, will be officially moved to the amber list.
But officials in Madeira said being included with mainland Portugal was “unfair” because the island is more than 1,000 kilometres from continental Europe and only has 150 active Covid-19 cases, including no registered cases of the new Indian or Nepal variants.
Eduardo Jesus, Madeira’s regional secretary for tourism and culture, said: “The UK government’s decision is unfair, inadequate and unfounded.
“An urgent review is required for Madeira for positive discrimination. We are utilising all channels to reinforce this message with the decision-makers in the UK, who will find it hard to encounter an alternative European tourist destination with the same level of security as Madeira and Porto Santo”.
Currently there 22 direct flights per week between Madeira and UK airports. The archipelago does not require Covid testing on arrival for vaccinated visitors or those who have recovered fully from the virus.