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Lunchtime Review of Pandemic Measures

Pedro Ramos, the Regional Secretary for Health and Civil Protection, announced today the new approach to combating the pandemic, which will come into effect from midnight tonight. The reason, he said, that measures could be lifted were due to the lower severity rates of the Ómicron variant, which has a prevalence of almost 100%, the high numbers of people who are vaccinated, and the number of hospital admissions.

Today’s changes include:-

People who have not yet completed their vaccination schedule no longer have to undergo a five day isolation. However, in all confirmed cases a test must be carried out on the fifth day.  Those who are fully vaccinated will not have to undergo isolation or testing.

Only 2% of the population will undergo testing, which is approximately 5,000 people throughout the island’s municipalities. However, testing is recommended to all those who develop symptoms and/or have a temperature in excess of 38 degrees.

Free rapid test will only occur in cases of outbreaks in the education, social, public health sector,  senior citizen homes and those whose temperature exceeds 38 degrees.

Following EU recommendations all passengers entering Madeira either by airport or port are required to provide their Covid-19 proof of vaccination or recovered certificate.

All those who are unvaccinated or whose vaccination schedule is not up to date, and want to enter a restaurant, bar, club, gym, sports facility or attend other cultural, social and similar activities must present a paid antigen test.

A fourth booster jab is imminent, and the Health Authority are waiting for European Medicines Agency approval. The priority will be to vaccinate all immunocompromised, oncological, dialysis and transplant patients.

Reiterating his earlier announcement (25.01), children who have been in contact with a positive case within the scope of their school activities do not have to self isolate. However, if students test positive, they must remain in isolation for five days, after which they can return to school without being tested.

So there we have it…

Samantha Gannon

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