the arrivals area of Madeira Airport, the atmosphere was calm today, only a few people wandered around the area, the restaurants were almost empty and the information board contained some flights already canceled.
In the meantime, a plane from London Gatwick airport and carried a maximum of 15 people, followed by another from easyJet, with a reduced number of passengers, some of whom were wearing masks.
Before leaving, all passengers are screened, with elements of the health sector taking the temperature, filling out a questionnaire, one of the questions is whether they have been in contact with someone who may be a suspicious case, and are informed of the obligation quarantine or social isolation.
Among the passengers, a young Madeiran who studies at the University of Cambridge, Iara Silva, told the Lusa agency that she agreed with the measure declared by the Regional Government that covers everyone who arrives in the region since 00:00 today.
“It is better to be safe than sorry and it is a way to prevent a greater evil”, she said, stressing that Madeira “does not have the same facilities as other places”, and said that he preferred to anticipate her return to Madeira “because it is better to be with the family than alone in the UK”.
Iara’s mother, Susana Gonçalves, stressed that “she was very concerned” about the fact that her daughter “was alone in a foreign country” and also mentioned “agreeing with this decision” by the Madeiran executive “at this early stage when Madeira has not yet had any cases of infected people “.
“It was a necessary measure to be able to control this situation. It is not a perfect solution, mainly because of tourism, but it is essential to control it, because there are no cases of the disease on the island”, said a German tourist who was departing today from the region, after a week of vacation.
Another English couple arrived in Madeira on Friday and classified the Regional Government’s measure as “sensible”, adding that it is not covered by the mandatory quarantine, which allows us to “enjoy the beauty of the island, because the preference is rural and coastal zone “, disliking” gatherings”.
From the flights scheduled for today, TAP cancelled the two flights from Lisbon and Porto just after midnight to protect the respective crews, preventing them from being covered by the quarantine.
At 12:00, the information board for arrivals at Madeira Airport also cancelled Lufthansa Munich, Binter de Canarias (16:15) and TAP 1693 connections, with a landing at 00:45 on Monday .
In the cafes on the arrival floor there were mainly airport employees and police. The chairs that are usually full of people waiting for their trips or waiting for someone were completely empty and silence prevailed instead of the buzz characteristic of the movement of an airport on an island that has tourism as the main economic sector.
On Saturday, the President of the Regional Government of Madeira decreed that all passengers who land at Madeira and Porto Santo airports will be in quarantine and compulsory social isolation as of 00:00 today, a measure that will be monitored by security forces.
In Portugal, the number of confirmed cases of infection with the new coronavirus, which causes Covid-19 disease, rose today to 245, 76 more than those recorded on Saturday, and the suspected cases are now 2,271.
According to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), of the 2,271 suspected cases, 281 are awaiting laboratory results.
There are still 4,592 contacts under surveillance by health authorities, less than on Saturday (5,011).
In Madeira, 17 suspected cases were registered, 16 were negative and one is awaiting the results of the analyzes.