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Tighter Supervision Called For

While attending the 8th anniversary of the Banco Alimentar – Mão Solidária, in Santo António, Funchal, the President of the Regional Government, Miguel Albuquerque, stated that “he did not approve of the images he’d seen of groups of people gathering together as they had at the Calheta Rally last weekend, some of whom did not comply with social distancing requirements and the wearing of masks. He added that at the moment the pandemic is still very real and that we do not live for ‘games.’  And for this reason, tighter rules will be implemented for the Madeira Wine Rally in order to minimise the risk of any further pandemic outbreaks in the Region”.

He went on to say that “I want to point out that what happened in some of the bars will not happen again and the situation will be controlled by the PSP and the GNR. This is a public health situation; we are not going to play games. In our discussions with the Madeira Wine Rally management team we must emphasise, and in fact, insist on greater control.”  He added that the government does not wish to take punitive action, and they will continue to rely on people using their ‘common sense’ to behave appropriately.  “We are not trying to stop people from enjoying themselves, but everyone, including young people, must  realise that while they can have fun everyone must realise that this is possible within current social distancing parameters. But if people fail to comply, I will not hesitate to take the necessary measures. What I don’t want to do is to clamp down and forcibly cancel social events such as the rally, but I will do what it takes to keep people safe, and that the rally, or any other event, will not be allowed to jeopardise the public health of Madeira.”

Even so, Miguel Albuquerque does not intend to suspend the rally, as he believes that “everything can be done as long as people comply with the rules.”

The Madeira Wine Rally will take place between the 6th – 8th August.

Samantha Gannon

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