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No Quarantine if You Take The Test

Madeira’s Secretary for Tourism, Eduardo Jesus announced this morning that quarantine is not mandatory in Madeira provided passengers carry out the reliable Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test 72 hours before departure.   Contradicting yesterday’s announcement that Madeira would maintain its quarantine rules, the Tourism Secretary stated that quarantine is not mandatory in Madeira, contrary to what many people still believe.  However, quarantine rules will apply to those who do not take the test within the specified parameters.

The PCR test provides a reliable positive or negative coronavirus result and is different from the Serological test, which testifies if a person has coronavirus antibodies.  The test involves having a thin tube with a sterile swab inserted up through your nasal passage to where it connects with the throat (nasopharynx) for several seconds to absorb secretions.  The swab is then placed in a liquid-filled tube for transportation and testing. The procedure is uncomfortable, but the patient can still breathe and talk.

Those who perform the test and have a negative reading will be allowed to travel to their tourist destination providing they adhere to the islands social distancing and safety rules.

Eduardo Jesus stated that Madeira took a significant step when it removed the quarantine requirements between the islands [Madeira and Porto Santo], stating “we became the first national territory where circulation between two different physical spaces takes place without restrictions.  This is because there are no active cases in Porto Santo and Madeira’s numbers of infection have remained steady, without any new cases arising on either island for two weeks. There is confidence, and people can travel without being controlled or subject to quarantine.”

The Tourism Secretary further stated that on the 13th of May, the European Commission (EC) determined that “the re-opening must be carried out, taking into account the epidemiological status of each region.”  As such, the EC “wants to paint Europe in colours.  Namely green for countries like Madeira, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Austria, Finland, where cases were lower, there are no new active infections and where strict measures were implemented to protect their populations.” However, countries such as the UK who are still experiencing high numbers of contagion and deaths have to be dealt with differently.  To compound matters, the EU states that there can be no discrimination between countries, which will be impossible, as the state of each country, will determine the risks involved.

Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed more than 300,000 lives and infected more than 4.6 million people across 196 countries and territories.

To combat the pandemic, governments sent 4.5 billion people home (more than half of the planet’s population), paralysing entire sectors of the world economy, in a “global confinement” that several countries have already begun to alleviate in the face of declining economies and reduced numbers of infections.

Samantha Gannon

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