Madeira says its removal from the UK government’s green list for travel to the amber list – which requires quarantine for those returning to the UK – is “unfair”.
The autonomous archipelago – 1077km away from the mainland – says it has “a unique set of circumstances” and called for an “urgent review” of the decision.
All of Portugal, which had been the only major tourism destination included on the original green list announced last month, was removed from the green list yesterday, effective from Tuesday.
In the past month, the islands have recorded a 45% decreasein Covid infections and reported 150 active cases (22 per 100,000 inhabitants) in the last seven days, compared to 33.7 per 100,000 in the UK – and one of the lowest rates in Europe, with no registered cases of the Nepal variant.
Porto Santo, Madeira’s sister island, does not have any active cases currently and 38% of the population of both islands has been vaccinated, including most tourism professionals.
Eduardo Jesus, regional secretary for tourism and culture said for Madeira, said: “The UK government’s decision is unfair, inadequate, and unfounded. An urgent review is required for Madeira for positive discrimination.
“We are utilising all channels to reinforce this message with the decision-makers in the UK, who will find it hard to encounter an alternative European tourist destination with the same level of security as Madeira and Porto Santo”.
Madeira was the first EU destination with a green travel corridor – receiving vaccinated tourists or those fully recovered from Covid-19 without testing on arrival. Other tourists need proof of a negative test done within 72 hours or to take the free PCR test on arrival, with results in 12 hours, to enter.