Clarification on compulsory use of masks

Exceptions clarified

Mask feturing Madeiran flag

The Diario reports that the Madeira Promotion Association has published detailed instructions on the compulsory use of masks in public places, which comes into effect from tomorrow August 1

APM detail that the non-use of masks can occur where social distancing is observed, such as partaking in sports, on nature walks, using beaches and bathing complexes. I assume that this is a response to a wave of feedback from those few tourists expected in the coming weeks that they are considering cancelling their visit in the light of the announcement.

The organisation clarifies that there a number of exceptional measures aimed at not compromising the enjoyment of outdoor spaces by locals and tourists in situations of outdoor and leisure activities. They are aiming their mmessage firmly at the tourist sector, emphasising that a large part of the activities in this arena are exempt from the compulsory use of masks – such as walking on the levadas, being on the beach, in the pool or visiting bathing complexes, as well as practicing sports such as running, surfing and playing golf, provided social distancing is observed.

“Disastrous Communication”

The director of APM insists that the most contested part of the Governments decision was the disastrous communication.; “we reiterate the importance of communicating that the situation in Madeira is extremelt secure and that the use of masks in public places is a reinforcemnt of preventive measures.

The full statement by APM is here – in Portuguese:

The Regional Director for Tourism later (Fridsay afternoon) issued the following statement:

Exmos. Gentlemen,

One month after the resumption of tourist activity, the Autonomous Region of Madeira (RAM) registers, to date, in total, only 106 cases of infection, of which only 9 cases are active, continuing to be one of the safest destinations to travel in Europe , recognized and the result of effective control of the containment of the pandemic in the Archipelago of Madeira, without community transmission and with the registration of only 90 cases before the sector reopened on 1 July. It should also be noted that there were no deaths.

As a preventive measure in view of the greater flow of passengers that has been occurring since then, the Regional Government of Madeira determined, as of August 1, through Resolution 551/2020 of July 30, the use of a mask in public spaces, guaranteeing, however, some exceptions, in cases where social distancing is respected and in specific situations, namely:

• Children up to 10 years old;
• People with disabilities (due to the difficulty in putting / removing the mask without assistance);
• During sports practice;
• On beaches, bathing areas and complexes and access to the sea, except in sanitary facilities, where the use of a mask is mandatory;
• During physical activity and / or leisure that involves physical effort;
• During recreational and sports activities in the forest and recommended walking routes.

The measure therefore aims not to compromise the comfort and enjoyment of outdoor spaces, by citizens and visitors, in situations of physical activity and leisure, and to continue to allow the practice of most tourist entertainment activities, such as walking foot in the levadas, being on the beach and in bathing complexes; the practice of sports, such as running, surfing, golf, among many others, as long as the rules previously in force are observed, that is, social distance, respiratory etiquette and frequent hand washing / disinfection.

It should be noted that Madeira and Porto Santo were the first national destination to have a Manual of Good Practices, to deal with Covid-19, and one of the only world destinations to advance with the health certification of the entire destination. Another measure was the implementation of the control system on arrival in the archipelago, with free tests at the airport, ports, marinas and in registered clinics on the Portuguese mainland.

Welcoming is part of the culture of the Madeiran people, with a history of almost two centuries of tourist activity, it remains one of Madeira’s greatest assets. Hence, the concern to humanize and make the arrival in the archipelago pleasant was an early effort by RAM, transforming the airport reception into a good first tourist experience. And the reactions of passengers have been very positive with this whole process.

From August onwards, there will be a very significant reinforcement of air connections to the region, reaching around 140 weekly flights, the result of the enormous efforts made by all involved in the tourism sector, despite the many obstacles that we continue to face in the face of the restrictive circulation measures implemented by many countries, and it is certain that the Regional Government of Madeira will continue to work to reinforce the resumption of tourist activity in the region.

Best regards.

Dorita Mendonça – Regional Director
Regional Directorate for Tourism

Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture
Regional Directorate for Tourism
Avenida Arriagan.º18 – 9004-519 Funchal
Tel .: +351 291 211 940 – Fax: +351 291 232 151 –

15 thoughts on “Clarification on compulsory use of masks”

  1. If they think this will make any difference, they are sadly deluded. Looking at the average guest profile in our hotel, there ain’t many surfers, golfers or sea swimmers there… And lying on those pebbles is something that has never attracted me ! What most people do like is to amble around the town, and wearing a mask in the street for two weeks is just not on.
    If they want to avoid mass cancellations, a rethink is required. I can’t see it will in any way threaten the lives of the local population, especially as we are coming from an area with very, very low covid figures.

  2. The Elephant in the room is the fact that these masks provide a false sense of security, and are in actual fact quite dangerous
    The regional health authorities are fully aware that only certified N95 masks are of any use if 100% sealing around them is achieved

    These thin faux surgical masks provide absolutely 0 protection, it would be much better to adhere to correct social distancing measures in order to mitigate close contact with infected persons

    Asymptomatic persons whose immune system has the virus under control are probably not be a vector for contagion as per WHO findings. The WHO originally and correctly outlined that these flimsy masks provide 0 protection, they then backtracked due to political pressure as governments struggles to contain things

    Madeira should not implement mandatory mask wearing as it is 0% effective. Anyone with cold or flu like symptoms should remain isolated as per the flu until their immune system gets things under control

    Unfortunately, the elected officials are cow towing to external pressures and need to be seen to be doing something

    Maybe they should grow a pair and tell it like it really is? Let us NOT adhere to these demands and allow people to breath the fresh Madeiran air into their lungs…

  3. I see British Airways are increasing their flights to CR7 from this weekend to Sat, Sun & Mon from LHR. Later in August they go up to 4 per week then increasing to 6 per week(Wed to Mon).

    From Mon 9th Nov the flights return to Gatwick.

  4. I guess a few deluded individuals thought they was going to board a flight from a high risk virus country such as the uk ?
    arrive in Maderia not be tested on arrival and be allowed to walk around not wearing a mask no social distancing etc spreading the virus then fly back to uk and no 14 days self quarantine

    • Tony, the only deluded people are those who think the answer is to close the airport permanently and keep out all those nasty smelly pestilential tourists (plus Madeirans from the mainland, who have caused most of the covid cases on the island). You would soon be living in a very safe, very bankrupt island. Paradise no more. Most of us are happy to conform to reasonable precautions. Face masks out of doors cannot be termed reasonable.

  5. Mike, rules are rules we don’t always agree with them I would strongly suggest practice wearing a face mask as it is very possible this is the way its going to be for sometime to come if you plan to holiday almost all countries it will become mandatary to wear a face mask anyone who can not wear a mask in public or practice social distancing sould stay where they are.

  6. Perhaps a second public petition could be set up for potential visitors to the island to register their intention not to visit while this regulation/instruction remains in place?
    The email address for the regional director of tourism is at the top of this page. I will be writing to her to express my disappointment.

  7. Mike is absolutely right. We don’t have to wear masks in the street in the UK so why would we want to go on holiday to a place where we are ordered to do so. In fact yesterday I cancelled our trip (arrival date 8 September) and have moved it to September next year. I know of several others who have done the same. Stupid and short-sighted decision by the rulers of Madeira.

    • “We don’t have to wear masks in the street in the UK so why would we want to go on holiday to a place where we are ordered to do so”.

      It is not a coincidence that the mandatory use of mask rule starts on the 1st of August and Jet2 flights to Madeira start on the 2nd. Things are getting out of hand in UK again, Madeira will get flights from regions where yesterday it has been determined further lockdown restrictions where you can’t even meet people from other households. Madeira has been in that situation back in March, we don’t want to go back there, we don’t want to face another lockdown, we don’t want grandparents locked and not being able to meet their grandchildren, we don’t want schools closed nor people working from home just because some people don’t want to wear a mask on a 15 min walk. We will have to live with the few that don’t mind doing that for the safe of everyone.

      • I have spent a little time on the Ritz webcam today. It appears about 60% are wearing masks. And these are not tourists ! (also, taxi drivers think they are exempt )
        It is very,very quiet, and Luis, I have a feeling it is going to stay that way. I saw the report that mandatory masks are costing Madeira €100,000. That, sorry to say, is laughable – you must add at least a couple of zeros to that….

        • It will remain quiet because many people are not willing to travel, with or without mask. As I said, Madeira cannot face another lockdown because people do not want to comply with simple rules. What happened in the UK in the past 3 or 4 month was a genocide of the elderly with 45000 dead and a prime minister proudly saying he was shaking hands of infected people in the hospitals. I’m sorry but in Madeira we are not like that and we are not willing to sacrifice and old man/woman life for a 5-night stay in the hotel. Ironically, the same guy that said that is the same one who finds a small island in the Atlantic with hardly any cases a threat to the UK, forcing quarantine. What kind of joke is this? Are you telling me wearing a mask is a problem? Watch out for Winter, I have many friends living in the UK who are terrified for the winter because some people simply don’t care and think it is easier to breed with a ventilator in coma than with a mask.

  8. Mike, with the highest death rate in the world per capita I’m not sure using the argument of ‘we don’t have to do it in the UK’ is the strongest one to be putting forward!! We’re meant to be coming over to Madeira in September too and haven’t decided whether to go ahead yet or not with this latest development. It does seem a bit excessive with the testing being done at the airport. With no deaths and very few cases though I don’t think we’re in a position to be giving advice on how Madeira should deal with the pandemic!!

  9. A small point. The death-toll figures for each part of the UK are logged separately.

    Now in England the quoted figure of 45,000+ is way higher than the true number of deaths from covid-19.

    How I hear you say? Well, if you caught covid-19 back in March your name is added to the figures. You recover fully and go about your business but then die in a car crash you are still in the Covid death statistics even though you did NOT die from the virus. Consequently many thousands of people who caught the virus, fully recovered and then died from some other cause still get listed as a covid death!! They reckon at least 4,000 maybe more should be taken off the statistics. In Scotland and Wales you are removed from the Covid statistics if you are still alive after 28days. So, their figures are closer to the truth.


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