A strong police contingent has been deployed to Madeira Airport since the early hours of this Monday, to ensure that all disembarked passengers are taken orderly to the resort hotel Quinta do Lorde where they will fulfill their social isolation for the next 14 days, as was yesterday ordered by the President of the Regional Government.
The first of about 80 passengers on the two scheduled flights from Lisbon and Gatwick for Monday morning have already landed, some wearing masks. After filling out the questionnaire from the health authorities, they are gradually taken to the bus.
The ‘overflow’ is made by dropper. Departure from the Arrivals station to the bus, parked directly in front (about 15 meters) is done by groups of 4 to 5 passengers. At this moment, the first group is already on their way to Caniçal heavily escorted by the Police.
Right at the entrance to the Santa Cruz recreational port, at the head of Madeira airport, PSP has positioned two vans with 14 members of the Rapid Intervention Brigade, ready to intervene in the event of any altercation.
Three arrivals are scheduled for today, in an unusual week start due to the specific period in which we live, due to the contingencies imposed by the new coronavirus pandemic. On a normal Monday, 36 flights would be scheduled.
The PSP set up a security perimeter next to the exit door (direct access to the outside) of Madeira airport, creating a corridor from the airport infrastructure facilities exit directly to a bus waiting at the stop. The destination is the Quinta do Lorde resort. Policemen without a mask and only a few with work gloves.
PSP agents are banning any approach or interviewing journalists to passengers on grounds of safety. “They can’t talk to anyone,” warned the agent. In addition to the BIR, special teams from the Special Police Unit, specializing in the search and rescue of missing persons, are also part of the strong police contingent at the Arrivals station.
It should be noted that as of tonight, the Aerobus operation that performs the usual trips between the Airport and Funchal will be suspended indefinitely. The last trip is scheduled for 20 hours. This morning’s travels, in both directions, did not transport any passengers.