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The Portuguese vacation island of Madeira will be re-opening for international visitors from July 1st, 2020 and has announced free-of-charge COVID tests for tourists on arrival.
The autonomous region along with its sister island Porto Santo is located off the coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean and offers beautiful beaches and mountains.
Under the islands’ plans, to ensure the safety of both tourists and residents, all visitors will have to either present a negative COVID-19 test done within 72 hours prior to the departure or be tested upon arrival.
The tests on arrival will be conducted free of cost and will be funded by the Madeira government.
Eduardo Jesus, the regional secretary of tourism and culture of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, said, "Madeira and Porto Santo will reopen to tourism on July 1, the date when the mandatory quarantine is eliminated.”
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"The reopening will be carried out safely and aiming to recover the confidence of both travellers and locals.”
"Madeira Islands has had very few cases of COVID-19 and acted quickly to control the virus on the archipelago,” said Jesus.
The Madeira government is working with certification firm SGS to ensure good practice to minimise risk amid the coronavirus pandemic. The certification process is available to all companies in the tourism sector.
The Atlantic island archipelago was a pioneer in the whole of Portugal in developing a safe tourism document on good tourism practices to deal with Covid-19.
In a statement, the tourism board said, “These three initiatives, to cover testing costs, partner with SGS in certification and develop a good practices document, underpin the destination’s determination to ensure a safe tourism location for all visitors...The Portuguese outpost of Madeira has had very few cases of COVID-19 and acted quickly to control the virus on the archipelago [Portugal has been widely praised for its rapid response]...It is an island in the Atlantic, with relatively low visitor and transit numbers, which makes Madeira an exceptionally safe holiday option.”
Only two-and-a-half hours away by ferry, Porto Santo was the first beach in Europe to officially reopen after COVID-19 and has the added benefit of therapeutic sands—with scientifically proven properties to ease all manner of ailments.
"There are currently no restrictions to travel between the two islands,” added the tourism board.
Till date, Madeira has reported 90 coronavirus positive cases with 67 of them being recovered and no deaths.
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