All airport arrivals to go into mandatory 14-day isolation
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Temperature checks at the airport
The front page of the Diario leads with a photo of arrival at Madeira Airport having their temperatures checked. In view of the pandemic that has spread on a global scale, especially in Europe, the Regional Government wants airports closed to flights from six European countries, but the decision has to go through Lisbon. Meanwhile, passengers arriving in Madeira are subject to body temperature control.
13th suspected case tested
JM report that following an evaluation carried out on the emergency Saúde24 line, there is a new suspected case of infection with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The newspaper learned from a hospital source that a Madeiran man displaying symptoms, already in social isolation as instructed by the health authority earlier, was transported last night to the Dr Nélio Mendonça Hospital in Funchal. The worsening of the symptoms required hospital isolation to carry out an analysis. This is the 13th suspected case of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the Region. The man, whose age has not yet been determined, is resident in one of the higher areas of Funchal.
Last night the health authorities said that two people remain in isolation pending the outcome of tests
easyJet remove change fee
easyJet has announced overnight that they will continue to operate a flight schedule that ensures that those customers who still wish to travel can do so, where travel restrictions allow and in line with guidance from health authorities. Customers who currently have a booking with the airline but would prefer not to fly at the moment can now change their flight online and easyJet will waive the flight change fee.
Pingo Doce to close at 7:00pm “at the latest”
From next Monday, March 16, the Jerónimo Martins group stores in Portugal (including Pingo Doce and Recheio) will have reduced opening hours and half of the employees the central offices will start to work from home, on a rotating basis.
“In times of crisis, food supply is of strategic importance, so the objective is to keep the logistics chain in operation, ensure the availability of products in stores and reduce the risk for employees and customers” said the Group’s President.
“Pingo Doce stores will close at 7:00 pm and Recheio stores at 16:00,” said Pedro Soares dos Santos.
“In this way, it contributes, on the one hand, to contain the spread of the disease and, on the other hand, it ensures that there is always, in each unit or area, a team ready to move forward if another team has to be isolated ”
Italians get PornHub free
One of the strangest stories to come out of the COVID-19 saga is reported in Madeira by FN and in the UK by The Sun:
A press release shared on Thursday read: “Forza Italia, We love you! PornHub has decided to donate its percentage revenue from ModelHub platform from March to help Italy during the outbreak. “To help you during these weeks at home, for the whole month you can access PornHub Premium free of charge, with no need of using your credit card”. The porn site is offering free access to its premium service to people who live in Italy until April 3.
The website is the world’s biggest porn site and was used 42 billion times last year, with 115 million daily visitors. According to Pornhub’s year in review, Italy ranked seventh in Pornhub’s top 20 countries by traffic in 2019. It also noted that the average Italian spends around 10 minutes and 5 seconds on the site. The US, Japan and the UK take the first three spots.
Madeira Casino has announced that it will close for 14 days
The Diario reports that Madeira Casino will close for 14 days. The management announced that “in view of the current situation, we call on our employees, customers, partners and suppliers to adopt a serene, responsible and supportive behaviour and, above all, we advise you to follow the recommendations decreed by the Directorate-General for Health.
Farmer’s Market unusually quiet
The Diario reports that contrary to what is usual on Saturday mornings, Mercado dos Lavradores has only seen a few customers buying vegetables and fruits. On the contrary, a supermarket in a well-known chain in the immediate vicinity is completely full.
They comment that this is typical of what has been happening in recent days, the Madeirans continue to acquire food and other items in large quantities, due to the fear installed by COVID-19 and against the advice of the authorities, who find no reason for this rush to supermarkets, since the supply to Region is being carried out in a normal way, despite the dockers’ strike in Lisbon.
6,230 teachers and 45,000 students off school
The Diario reports that as of Monday and during the next two weeks, 6230 teachers and 45,000 students will be affected by the suspension of teaching and non-teaching activity in the Region, according to data from the Regional Secretariat for Education, Science and Technology.
At least until March 27th the students and also teachers “are exempted” from attending schools, informed the secretariat headed by Jorge Carvalho.
As teachers are not required to report to schools until Easter, the Diario asked the Department of Education if they could be absent from the Region over the next two weeks. Here is the response from the secretary’s office: According to the statement, yesterday, of a situation of alert throughout the territory of the Autonomous Region of Madeira in the next 30 days, the Regional Government reiterated the recommendation to postpone until March 31, travel, for any reason and by anyone, of the Region to the outside and from outside to the Region, except those absolutely essential.
UK flights to Spain turn back mid-air
The Daily Mail reports that UK flights to Malaga and Alicante turned back mid-flight this morning after Spain declared a state of emergency yesterday. Tourists there have been advised not to act as if they are on holiday.
All arrivals at Madeira airport to go into 14-day quarantine from tonight
“Any passenger disembarking in Madeira and Porto Santo is to go into quarantine or compulsory social isolation. This is an ethical imperative for the Region” said Miguel Albuquerque, at a press conference that took place this morning at Quinta Vigia. The measure takes effect from midnight today.
This mandatory quarantine arises as the Regional Government awaits authorization from the Republic to cease flights at the airports of Madeira and Porto Santo.
Miguel Albuquerque also said that other measures will be taken to avoid contamination, which are included in the declaration of the state of alert. Security forces will oversee:
– Reduce the capacity of establishments
– Prohibit consumption outside establishments
– Reduced hours
– Temporary closure of game rooms
– Reduce public transport capacity
– Police authority can order the immediate closure of establishments that do not comply with these measures
Access to Porto Santo will be limited to residents.
The full official text sent to the blog from Gabinete do Diretor Regional do Turismo reads
His Excellency, the Regional Secretary for Tourism and Culture of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, Dr. Eduardo Jesus, informs you that under the state of alert determined for the Autonomous Region of Madeira, the Regional Government through the Regional Health Secretariat and Civil Protection added several guidelines, including the implementation of mandatory quarantine / compulsory social isolation for all passengers disembarked at airports in the Autonomous Region of Madeira as of 00:00 hours on March 15, 2020.
This measure will remain in effect until March 31, 2020 (meaning mandatory quarantine to be in effect until April 14, 2020 for all passengers arriving on the last day of the deadline).
Please note that the quarantine period is mandatory for 14 days, regardless of the length of stay planned by the passenger disembarked in this Region.
This measure will also be subject to reassessment according to changing circumstances.
We would like to thank you for your attention and the disclosure of this information to the entities that they deem appropriate, keeping us available for any further clarification.