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photo: Janine Langner

Covid – the arrival procedure at the airport

By Janine Langner

Our flight to Madeira had been planned for a long time. Therefore, we were very happy when the flight took place on July 2nd as scheduled, despite Covid.
We had regularly informed ourselves in advance online and already installed and filled in our data in the “Madeira Safe to Discover” app. Furthermore, it was recommended to fill out a health questionnaire online shortly before the trip so that it was ready after landing in Madeira.

When departing from Düsseldorf Airport and on the plane, everything went in conformity with the regulations. The minimum distance was kept as far as possible, a mask was required in the airport and in the aircraft. Larger hand luggage had to be handed in when checking in.
The aircraft was 80% full and there were some special measures, such as how to get in and out, and there was no queue in front of the toilet. We filled out the “Public Health Passenger Locator Form”, with personal information to enable tracing and tracking in the event of illness.

After landing in Madeira, a warm welcome awaited us. A reception committee greeted everyone with a flower, a banana, a small bottle of Madeira wine and water.
We was passed individually along a thermal imaging camera for temperature measurement. Since we already had installed the app before the flight, we were led by friendly staff and clear arrows on the ground and barriers along the intended route to various stations for all passengers.
Passengers who did not have the app and the filled questionnaire, were supported by employees to install the app and complete the information.

We then received a QR code via the app, with which the respective data was checked at another station before being asked to enter one of the 25 test booths. There the PCR test was done by a friendly nurse, but of course, this did not make the procedure more pleasant. Tissue samples were taken from both nostrils and the throat using long sticks. This was uncomfortable, but of course necessary and also done quickly.
After the PCR test we had reached the end of the route and continued our journey.

After about 12 hours we received an email with the negative test result and were then able to move freely around the island.
We receive a daily request via the app whether our state of health has changed since the last notification. This is answered quickly; the requests will continue for the next 14 days.
In addition, we received an email from the “Public Health Authorities” with recommendations for our stay on the island and a telephone number which we should contact in case of questions or if we develop symptoms.

In general, we had a good and safe feeling on arrival. The Madeiran system seems to be working well and all the rules are being followed carefully by the residents. We definitely enjoy our stay here on the island!

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