“It’s bad news”, that’s how Pedro Calado summed up the UK’s decision to remove Portugal, including Madeira and the Azores, from its green list. “In the period when we were all prepared to make the economic recovery, when we are already receiving many tourists from the United Kingdom, this news could not have come at a worse time”, pointed out the vice-president of the Regional Government.
For the Madeiran vice president “Madeira and the Azores, unfortunately, are trailing behind a bad image that mainland Portugal has given in recent days”. And this bad image, in his opinion, is linked “with the sporting events and with the increase in the number of cases of covid-19”.
It was at the end of the religious celebrations of Corpo de Deus, which took place this Thursday afternoon, at the Cathedral of Funchal, that Pedro Calado made a point of stressing that “Madeira does not have the same reality as the mainland, fortunately”. And he clarified: “We have had a very small number of cases, not even ten daily, and we are prepared to continue the good work we have been doing.”
For now, and as already revealed by other members of the Regional Government, Madeira is already working and asking the United Kingdom for “positive discrimination”. And the vice-president explains on what basis this action with the British government is based. “Because our reality, being completely different from that of the mainland, we are already prepared even to receive cruises, we have operations set up with tour operators, we have the Island prepared”.
This positive discrimination must also be accounted for by the fact that the Region currently has more than 40% of the population with at least one dose of the vaccine against covid-19 and more than 20% already with both doses. “We are at a very high rate of vaccination. And things are going well. Therefore, there is no reason, at this moment, to have Madeira together with mainland Portugal”, defends Pedro Calado.
“And it is this positive discrimination that we are going to ask for Madeira, I hope it will be met by the United Kingdom, because we have corridors and green lines that can operate between the United Kingdom and Madeira, without going through the continent”, pointed out the government official.
Hoping that “this won’t last long”, Calado believes that “it’s a matter of the authorities reviewing the process and looking at Madeira with the positive specificity that Madeira has right now”.
“Right now, the hotels have a good occupancy rate, we have everything prepared for this recovery.” In addition, “a good summer is in sight”, so the vice-president of Albuquerque is hopeful. “It’s a setback, but it’s a small setback, and I hope that within a very short time we can have Madeira once again integrated into the British green list”, stressed the official.