Travel latest: entering and leaving Madeira

Latest requirements to enter and leave Madeira

Arrivals and Departure signs denoting entering and leaving Madeira

Following on from the UK’s latest announcement today, it may be useful for some visitors to understand the exact procedures and requirements when entering and leaving Madeira and returning to the UK.

As rules change this post will remain updated – so if anybody has a question or wants to add some advice please feel free to leave a comment below.

Arriving in Madeira

1. All visitors must register on madeirasafe.com prior to entering and leaving Madeira.
This can be completed in the 48 to 12 hour period prior to boarding and must be done, individually, by each passenger, except for dependents up to 12 years old, whose registration must be included in the survey of one of the accompanying adults.  
After completing the registration, the passenger receives a notification, via e-mail, with his access code for the madeirasafe.com platform. The passenger should log in to his madeirasafe.com account where he/she will find the respective QR Code, to be presented upon arrival at Madeira Airport. The PCR test result can also be submitted in advance on the platform.
Bear in mind that there are reports that the associated app itself does not always work as well as the Madeira authorities would like, and it can be helpful to have the website open in a browser as well, and the completed form and QR code printed out.

2. Thermal screening:
All passengers who disembark at airports in the Autonomous Region of Madeira are subject to thermal screening, without exceptions.

3. Testing for COVID-19:
All passengers who, upon disembarking at the airports of the Autonomous Region of Madeira who carry a negative PCR test for COVID-19, carried out within 72 hours prior to boarding, in laboratories certified by national or international authorities, can proceed to their destination.
Passengers who have not undergone PCR testing at their location of origin, or who do not meet the exception criteria in 4 below, will do so upon arrival at the airport, then proceed to their destination, thus having to fully self-isolate in their accommodation until a negative test result is obtained (normally well within 12 hours).

4. Exceptions to Testing: Vaccination Certificates and Recovered COVID-19 Patients 
Exceptions to the submission of a PCR test for COVID-19 or undergoing testing upon arrival at airports of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, include: 
• (This will apply to most UK visitors) Passengers carrying a document certifying that they were vaccinated against COVID-19, with the Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen, Sinovac, Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines, according to the recommended plan, and have respected the activation period of the immune system as provided for in the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) (14 days);
• Passengers with a medical document certifying that the bearer is recovered from COVID-19 disease upon disembarking in the territory of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, issued in the last 180 days;
• Passengers with the European Union Digital Covid Certificate, according to the information laid down in Resolution No. 694/2021 (Portuguese version). UK nationals with residency in Madeira who have been vaccinated there can access this on the SNS 24 app.

5. Onward travel to Porto Santo
Over and above the requirements for entering and leaving Madeira, this normally requires additional testing which is detailed on the visitmadeira website here.

Returning to the UK

Passenger Locator Form

Passengers travelling back to the UK must complete a passenger locator form online before arriving. You must complete the form even if you are only transiting through the UK.

You can submit the form any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. It’s free to submit the form. You will most likely have to show a copy of this prior to boarding a flight back to the UK.

Testing

Pre-departure tests prior to October 4

Prior to today’s announcement, upon leaving the Autonomous Region of Madeira, should there be a need to present a new test when entering the destination country, the expenses for carrying out a rapid antigen test or a PCR screening test for SARS-CoV-2 are being borne by the Regional Government.

For this purpose, travellers must request the registration of an appointment to carry out the PCR test for screening for SARS-CoV-2 infection on the online platform www.madeirasafe.com, at least 4 days (96 hours) in advance, or, alternatively, perform a TRAg (Rapid Antigen) test for SARS-CoV-2, at participating pharmacies, attaching the result of your test for this purpose, by completing a survey in madeirasafe, expressing the need to perform a new test at the exit of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, according to information contained in Resolution No. 694/2021.

The detailed instructions for requesting the free application (PCR or antigen) before returning to the country of origin can be found at the bottom of this page: In reality, a lot of visitors book an appointment at any pharmacy in the belief that they are free, but end up being charged €15-20 because it has not been done through madeirasafe

Pre-departure tests no longer required after October 4

After today’s announcements, fully vaccinated travellers returning from non-red countries will no longer need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test before they depart for England from 4 October. In addition, they’ll only need to take a cheaper lateral flow test on arrival to England from later next month under an overhaul to the ‘traffic light’ travel system. Eight destinations will also come off the red list from 22 September. 

However, fully vaccinated visitors to Madeira returning to the UK will still be forced to take Covid tests despite the Government finally scrapping the much-maligned traffic light system.

Day 2 PCR tests upon return continue into next month

On Oct. 14 the government said that from Oct. 24, the start of school half-term holidays across much of England, fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18 arrivals from countries not on the red list could take a lateral flow test on or before day two of their arrival, rather than a PCR lab test. Lateral flow tests are cheaper and provide a faster result.

The government said passengers must use lateral flow tests purchased from a private provider listed on the government’s website, rather than free ones available as part of the government Test and Trace scheme, and passengers must upload a photo of their test and booking reference to verify the result. Anyone with a positive lateral flow test will be provided with a free confirmatory PCR test through the National Health Service.

Prior to Oct. 24 the more expensive “Day 2” PCR tests will still be required for fully jabbed travellers returning from Madeira and other non-red countries. These “Day 2” tests need to have been reserved prior to returning to the UK and travellers must carry proof of their booking.

The 18% of the British adult population who remain unjabbed will lose their right to quarantine-free foreign travel as the green list disappears. On any foreign travel, they will have to take a pre-departure test before arriving back, and self-isolate for 10 days on their return with two PCR tests on days two and eight. They can still pay for a test on day five to be released if negative.

The UK and constituent countries

Please bear in mind that the new measures announced yesterday currently only apply to England. Other home countries are expected to follow suit shortly.

Update 24.9.21:

The BBC reports that Scotland has announced it will follow England in easing Covid rules for overseas travel. Passengers will no longer have to take a test before arriving – if they are fully vaccinated. From 4 October, people arriving from non-red list countries will no longer need evidence of a negative test – as long as they were vaccinated in a country that meets “recognised standards”.

Scotland will also “align with the UK post-arrival testing regime” but has not announced further details.

Northern Ireland and Wales haven’t yet announced whether they will be changing their rules for travellers.

Update 8 October: please refer to the latest update – PCR tests are being dropped for return to the UK “before 22 October” (half-term) in favour of the cheaper Rapid Antigen tests.

Part of this article was used by the copyblog the day after being posted here

COVID-19 in Madeira: daily updates can be found in an earlier post

Vaccinations in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

43 thoughts on “Travel latest: entering and leaving Madeira”

  1. Frustrating that they still want a pcr test on Day2 but it looks like it will change to an antigen after half-term, around Nov 2nd.

    Other than that the only difference for many of us is the dropping the need for the antigen test before flying back. This could be a stumbling block if the check-in staff at CR7 still expect people to have a negative test report. I suggest people returning after Oct 4th grab a print from gov.uk where is states the test is not required. They can then show it at check-in.

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  2. The Telegraph has a report that even the lateral flow and rapid antigen tests can cost as much as £150 – which tells you that there are still unscrupulous companies out there making a killing out of the pandemic!

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  3. A bit desperate otherwise I wouldnt normaly bother with somthing that I doubt you can help with, unless there is a precedent and you know the solution. Madeira Safe!! I am a resident and used it to come over from England in July. I intend to return next week but Madeira safe will not allow me to enter any details . My wife managed fine but when I tried to sign in all it wants me to do is re-register and then doesnt recognise the details. Ive tried all methods including alternate e-mail address and changing the password. Wits end really otherwise how can I enter the country. Full vaccinated etc, all I want to do is enter details and obtain the QR code. Is there a solution that you have encountered. Apologies but as I said a bit desperate. Many Thanks.

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  4. The entry procedure at Madeira airport is pretty slick – they have been doing it for some time and all the staff are very friendly. The biggest problem seems to be at passport control when a few planes land at the same time.

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  5. Thank you for posting this blog. This clearly explains what the Covid entry requirements are for Madeira. I found that the ‘visitmadeira’ official government site was quite confusing as to whether you had to have a PCR test or not, if you were double vaccinated. Looking forward to my first visit to the island next week

    Reply
    • Sumita, if you see section 3, copied here, you will see that vaccinated or recovered patients are exempted pcr testing upon arrival. I hope this is clear for you–

      3.Vaccination || Recovered COVID-19 Patients 

      Exceptions to the submission of a PCR test for COVID-19 or undergoing testing upon arrival at airports of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, include:

       

      • Passengers with a medical document certifying that the bearer is recovered from COVID-19 disease upon disembarking in the territory of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, issued in the last 180 days;

      • Passengers carrying a document certifying that they were vaccinated against COVID-19, with the Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen, Sinovac, Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines, according to the recommended plan and have respected the activation period of the immune system as provided for in the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) (14 days);

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  6. Something needs to be done about Passport Control at the airport. On Monday there were 5 flights to the UK mid-morning with hundreds of passengers. There was only one desk open for UK Passport holders and the queue went twice the length of the Passport Control hall.
    My flight was an hour late leaving, waiting for passengers to clear Passport Control.
    Who wants to come back to Madeira with such poor organisation. Travelling is stressful enough already.

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  7. I uploaded my vaccination certificate to Madeira Safe – but it still hasn’t validated my certificate. My friend who’s going with me has had hers validated. There is no guidance on Madeira safe as to what to do if you encounter problems and no contact or help section. I’d really appreciate some guidance on who to contact for help on this

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  8. There is some incorrect information in this posting.

    Firstly, you do not need to be within 48 hours of travel in order to register on Madeira Safe. You can do it any time.
    You might want or need to upload your proof of vaccine or test later, but that’s not a requirement.

    Secondly, you say that you need a code number to complete registration and get a QR code. Not so. You do not need a code to register or to get a QR code.
    The code number is used when you arrive in Madeira to book a test for return.

    Reply
    • Happy Traveller
      The advice from the official Visit Madeira website regarding madeirasafe is that: “the completion can be done in the 48h to 12h prior to boarding …. after completing the registration, the passenger receives a notification, via e-mail, with his access code for the madeirasafe.com platform. The passenger should log in to his madeirasafe.com account where he/she will find the respective QR Code, to be presented upon arrival at Madeira Airport”.
      As I understand it the code has been replaced by a link sent to your e-mail address to activate your access to madeirasafe. Likewise, if you forget your password a reset link is sent to reactivate your account rather than a code.

      Reply
      • Admin,
        The advice on the Visit Madeira website is incorrect then.
        The registration can certainly be done at least a week in advance (I know, because I’ve done it) and I’ve heard that some people have registered several weeks in advance.
        I didn’t get a link by email to activate access either.
        Perhaps your instructions need updating.
        There is a lot of confusion already around this issue.

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        • I have just done our registrations 10 days in advance. As Happy Traveller says, you don’t get sent any codes by default. You do get a welcome email and once you have added all your details you can upload a .pdf file of your vaccination certificate. If you have test results I.e. you are not vaccinated you can upload those. Next you can get your QR code which if all is ok will have a light-green boundary which means follow the light-green line at the airport. This may turn to dark-green as you arrive in the terminal in which case you follow the dark-green line for rapid processing.

          After you arrive at your accommodation you can log in and request your free antigen test for return( no longer needed for return to the UK).

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        • Just tested it – you do get an e-mail link to register. Should be no confusion – just remember to have the madeirasafe website with your QR code open in a browser when you arrive on the island – the smartphone app is unreliable. I have been through the process very recently and can vouch for this.

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  9. We love Madeira and have visited about 15 times, but we will be holidaying in the UK so long as all the useless (well, harmful actually) mask-wearing and the testing rigmarole continue in Madeira. I suspect we are not alone in this view and it’s so sad to see Madeira shooting itself in the foot.

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  10. https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/2021-09-24/new-rules-for-portugal-from-1-october/62585

    as u see now anyone can drink freely any place, like before.
    no covid passport req. it is abolished as a terrorist rule/behaviour.
    no maskaras, except a few places.

    In Funchal the flower parade will be free of maskaras,,, needed for the participants.
    mention many times before, maskaras are idiocy except few places, like hospitals or nursing homes or even grocery store.
    but forcing children to play football/soccer with maskaras is a sin.

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  11. How long are the queues to check in when leaving Madeira – I had heard reports that they were quite lengthy? Do you need to leave more than the normal two hours?

    Reply
    • I’ve heard that too. For those returning to the UK—

      Apparently is down to people not having all the relevant papers ready to show at check-in. As well as passport you should have; vaccination certificate(Or pcr test results), proof of Day2 test booking, proof of UK plf filled in.

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  12. When we flew back at the end of July, apart from passport and booking / boarding pass, the only other documentation required was – certificate of negative pre departure covid test ( no longer applicable from 4th Oct. )and your completed UK passenger locator form. I don’t recall them wanting to see our Vaccination certificates.
    On arrival in the UK, Border Force were only interested in our passports presumably because the onus of pre departure checking had been put on the airlines and their terminal check in agents.
    We flew on a Saturday so it wasn’t too busy but I could imagine Monday departures may need to allow more time although in theory the procedure should be quicker with the changes due to come into effect next week.

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  13. RE Queues – we left Madeira on 20th September. Yes there were queues, but nothing more than the usual at CR airport. In fact Jet2, or their agents, were well organised, and at least 6 desks were open. Staff were around to assist, and the whole thing went very smoothly.
    Security was very thorough so make sure you have NOTHING remotely metallic on your person !
    And returnng to Edinburgh – had copies of everything on our phones – but Immigration checked the passport and waved us through, saying ‘everything’s online’ !
    But the goalposts are being moved so rapidly it could be even easier very shortly. Now if they could only remove the necessity to wear masks on the plane……..

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  14. I have received a email from the Madeira safe, saying that my application is invalid, but I’ve been fully vaccinated, and sent my Covid19 certificate to them, my partner received a email saying valid, I can’t seem to log back in and re submit. We fly out Saturday 23/10/21 . What do I do it doesn’t say why it’s invalid. Help!

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  15. I had similar experience when going to Madeira with my husband 2 weeks ago. Got my go ahead but husband had same experience as you. Went to gatwick and explained situation at check in. Staff reluctant to let him fly even though both of us jabbed. Eventually they called a portugese member of easy jet who said there is often a problem with the site and would be rectified at Madeira airport. Allowed him to fly and was dealt with very quickly at Madeira – no problem with signing in there and through very quickly with help from staff there. All very stressful. Madness.

    Reply

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