Thanks to Steve Basnett for this article and his thoughts, a regular visitor to the island, who enjoys the Madeiran lifestyle.
Madeira is allowing visitors who have had the two jabs to come to the island without the need to test before they arrive. This is a gesture of good faith and decency and trust in those who visit, typical of the Madeiran culture and its welcoming people.
It is premised on the fact that risks are lower if visitors have been fully vaccinated, although as we should all know by now, no vaccine is 100% effective. It is still possible for people who have been fully vaccinated to transmit Covid.
So, Madeira’s gesture still relies on visitors following the guidelines on the island, which are not hugely restrictive, and very well thought through. For example, the wearing of masks while inside publicly accessible buildings, but which you can completely take off, say, while sat down at a table inside a bar or restaurant.
Comments have been heard and read which make various counterpoints to Madeiran measures, including that it is ‘personal choice’ whether you wear a mask or keep a little distance. Although that may be the line being said in England, Madeiran authorities have actually been following the science. And it has worked. Well, at least it has to a greater degree than many other places around the world.
Firstly, respect for the Madeiran people, what they have done, the sacrifices they have made, and the fact that we have an extraordinary destination to return to relatively safely because of their efforts. That should be enough to respect and follow their guidelines.
But if for some reason that is not enough, then for the visitors booked to visit in the coming months. Should individuals take it upon themselves to ignore measures right now, then they jeopardise the wonderful and unique situation as it is, and put at risk Madeira having to shut down their relatively open entry requirements in the near future.
Above all, enjoy the island, the people and everything Madeira can offer right now which other places can’t. When out in the wilds on a levada walk without anyone else around for miles, fling off that mask and breathe in that fresh air. But when close to others, pop it back on. Even if the locals aren’t. Especially so, really. The Indian or any other variant won’t come to Madeira through local transmission. It’ll be from someone who arrived on the island from somewhere else. Like any one of us.
When your opportunity to visit comes, it is because those who went before you were considerate enough and thoughtful enough to abide by the ways, and not bugger the whole lot up for you.