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.
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:
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.
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
www.madeira.gov.pt – [email protected]