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Relaxed Stance to New Pandemic Measures

There appeared little fuss during the first day of new containment measures. Although, in-store certification validation seemed relaxed, there was a significant number of people waiting to be tested throughout the capital’s testing centres.  

During their investigation, reporters from the Lusa agency found that various establishments across Funchal were not checking whether their customers had valid vaccination or negative TRag certificates.

In some supermarkets and large supermarkets, Lusa noted, however, that the verification of the test or vaccination certificate was being carried out, and despite a large number of people being corralled together, entry into the stores was relatively quick.

On the other hand, some of Funchal’s Covid-19 testing stations were very busy, especially around midday, where approximately 100 tourists queued outside a testing tent. 

The Government of Madeira (PSD/CDS-PP) decreed new restrictive measures, which came into force at 00:00 on the 20th, including the obligation to present a vaccination certificate or negative antigen test to access most of the island’s public and private spaces.

However, since yesterday, the presentation of just one of the proofs (vaccination or rapid test) only applies to gain access supermarkets and grocery stores, public transport, pharmacies and clinics, churches and other places of worship, and to carry out urgent acts related to Justice and use of other essential services (such as postal services, municipal services or petrol stations).

To enter sports venues, restaurants, hairdressers, hotels, gyms, bars and clubs, cultural events, cinemas, night activities, games, casinos and other similar social activities, it is mandatory to present both the vaccination certificate and proof of test.

The mandatory submission of tests involves the possibility for citizens to carry out quick tests free of charge every seven days, during which time the results are considered valid.

In statements to the Lusa agency, the president of the Funchal Commercial and Industrial Association (ACIF), Jorge Veiga França, highlighted today that these measures “are recommendatory,” therefore inspection is of a supervisory not a “punishment” nature.

He further indicated that, from the feedback he has received, economic agents are complying with the norms of “mandatory use of masks, disinfection and social distancing.”

As for the inspection of certificates and tests, he noted that “it is a very heavy burden in some cases.  Many entrepreneurs, who are already experiencing complicated situations, fear they are going to risk loosing their customers due to an inspection that they believe is not within their competence!”

The president of ACIF underlined that “there must be civic awareness, more than forcing economic agents to assume a supervisory role,” adding that some traders have advised and appealed to citizens to comply with the rules.

Samantha Gannon

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