What You Need To Know Entering Madeira – Returning to the UK Or Your Country of Residence

As Madeira is currently on the green list there is no need to quarantine when arriving in the UK but you must show a negative covid test before travelling to the UK. It can be an antigen or PCR.

On the second day after you arrive in the UK you must do a PCR test. The day you arrive is day zero. This test needs to be booked before your travel back to the UK. In experience from myself and others, it’s best just to book the cheapest day 2 PCR test you can find, you just need the code to put in your locator form. Many people including myself after sending off the test never got any results back, and I emailed the company Danteslabs 4timez and no reply at all.

Note that all Passengers returning to the UK, vaccinated or not, need the day 2 PCR test. This could change soon, but at this moment still stands.

Please fill the passenger locator form before your trip to the UK, this can only be done 48 hours before travel. Fill in your passenger locator form – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Find more about returning to the UK here: Entering the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you travelled to Madeira and did not use the free covid test option on arrival in Madeira you are entitled to a free antigen or PCR test kindly offered by the Madeira Regional Government.

See below how to use this option:

Procedure to request a free Covid-19 test (PCR or antigen test) before returning to the country of origin:

  • Passenger registers on madeirasafe.com;
  • Passenger submits the PCR test, with a negative result, performed at the country of origin;
  • The health authorities in Madeira and Porto Santo validate the test presented.

After validation, an automatic questionnaire is activated with the following questions:


  • Do you need to test for Covid-19 upon returning to your home country?
  • YES  / NO
  • IF YES – Type of test?
  • PCR;
  • Rapid Antigen;
  • Passenger is also questioned about the return date to the country of origin;
  • Madeirasafe.com generates an automatic test reservation, considering the passenger’s return date;
  • A message with the schedule is sent to the passenger (by email);
  • In Madeira, the appointment is scheduled for the Dr. Nélio Mendonça Central Hospital;
  • In Porto Santo, the appointment is scheduled for the Porto Santo Health Centre;
  • The passenger receives, an official document, with the test result in his e-mail.

Consult the list of pharmacies in the Autonomous Region of Madeira where tourists can schedule their appointment for the purpose of carrying out rapid antigen tests, at their own expense.

Thanks to Mike Prior for sending me this information on how he got his Antigen test to travel to the UK.

At 11.30am we had our covid tests at the pharmacy central opposite the Bazar de Povo, (booked for us by the hotel) and by 12.30 we had printed statements to say we were both negative and fit to fly.
If you can’t get a free Antigen test then the cost is 20 euros, most clinics and the private Hospital Particular will do this, no need to make an appointment, you go, do the test and wait about 30 minutes for the results, they can print this out for you.
Please note for everyone travelling to Madeira.
If you have had both vaccines, for more than two weeks after the second, or you have had covid and recovered in the last 180 days you do NOT need to do any testing in Madeira.
When you fill in your Madeira safe form, you upload the proof of the vaccine and get a QR code, this will be light green, once you have arrived in Madeira, and come through arrivals, you will be met by one of the Madeira safe team, who will validate your vaccines and it will turn to dark green and you are free to leave the airport.
If you don’t have both vaccines, you can only enter Madeira with a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. I advise everyone to do this before they come to Madeira, to help keep Madeira safe, and to give you a faster experience through the airport.
If you come without a test and have the free PCR test at the airport, which all airlines should know about and accept, you can do this but you are taken to a hotel and you will wait there for 6-12 hours for your results, if negative you are free to enjoy your holiday. If you test positive, then you are literally locked in a hotel room, and this is where you stay till you test negative, and could mean missing your return flight.
I have confirmation now that any child that is under 12 DOES NOT NEED THE TEST. Anyone that is 12 and above NEEDS TO BE Tested when entering Madeira. Returning to the UK, I believe it’s all children over 4 years that need to be tested.
I hope this makes things clear about entering Madeira for ALL. Also for those travelling back to the UK.
Another thing to please try and do and this is for everyone, try to have everything printed, and any QR codes, take a screenshot and have them in your gallery on your mobile device, this makes the whole process quicker and in case you cannot get WiFi or an Internet connection.
Most questions at check-in are because of this, and people have not done what is asked.
UPDATED 12th July 2021
Just a few points that keep popping up.
When returning to the UK you need to fill out the UK Locator form link above, you Do Not need the Madeira Safe site or app anymore once you have booked your return test if you are entitled to a free one through the site. You can not book your day 2 PCR through this, this has to be done by you to be delivered to your home.
Many of you seem to be having problems with booking a test through the app or site on Madeira Safe, everyone is entitled to a free test, so if you arrive with a PCR test, or Two vaccines, Or proof you have had covid and recovered in the last 180 days, then you can get a free test returning to your country. For England, you only need an Antigen test. Please check what entry requirements are needed for your country.
Thanks to Paul Bosley for sending me this.
I have just come back from the island and have noted on your blog that people that are double jabbed are not able to get a free test to go back to UK……
This is not the case Madeira app has a facility to request a lateral flow or PCR test on the app and will send you a code via email and a list of pharmacies to contact to Book the test with …..As we were staying at Calheta  Beach the hotel staff called the pharmacy for us and booked a time.The pharmacy then sent us an email form to complete and we filled it out, putting the is number received from the app.As we had a hire car we went to the pharmacy and were greeted by other tourists getting the test.My attention was drawn to a couple that were at the desk who handed over 40 Euros and filled out forms. This will be 20 euros for each Antigen test

We were checked in tested and did not have to pay as we had booked the test through the app.

There were other couples that had been sent to the pharmacy and also paid for the test.

It seems that tourists entitled to the free test if doubled vaccinated are missing out.

If a taxi has to be taken on top of the test fee this could be expensive…..

I know Madeira Safe doesn’t seem that quick at replying to emails, so I think getting information from your local Pharmacy is the best advice, and as in Paul’s case, if you are staying at a hotel then they can help book the test.
A list of Pharmacies can be found here.
I have also been alerted to a few people that have ordered their day 2 PCR test for the UK, and when they have come to fill in their Locator form, which can only be done 48 hours before travel, the code was not accepted.
This could be more added stress to a trip, especially as it’s so close to the time of travel.
I’m sure there are loads of scams out there, so I think it’s better to book one from the UK gov site where they have lists of recommended sellers, and the prices are thankfully getting cheaper.
Have you had a problem with this????
If anyone has any other concerns or tips that might help others please let me know and I will add them here, or leave them in the comments below.
Booking your free return test with Madeira Safe.

So I have just booked all my family in for their free tests when returning back home. So I know how this works now, and hopefully this will sort out some of the problems you have been having.

If anyone enters Madeira with a paid for PCR test from their home country, or you are fully vaccinated for more than two weeks, or you have a letter from your doctor confirming you have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 180 days, then you are all entitled to a free return test, PCR or Antigen.
If you did not come with a PCR Test, which is needed to enter Madeira, then you would have had a free one at the airport on arrival, but you are then not entitled to a free return test.
So booking your free return test. On the Madeira Safe site, (not Madeira safe to discover site) you can book your free return test, just request this and you will be given a choice of PCR or Antigen, then click to submit or save.
Then you will receive an email with the details and a ref number, check your spam, as some of ours went to the spam folder. Once you have this you can book your test for free in any of the pharmacies listed, there is a link to these above also. You need to book the test yourself, so chose a pharmacy near you and go in and book.
It’s best to do this as soon as you arrive, a especially if you are staying in funchal, and they are getting fully booked very fast. So you might have to go to other pharmacies if this happens, or there are also a few pop up tents in funchal, one is by the cathedral.
Once you are booked in, they fill in your paper work and then you just wait for the time of your test. Please be on time, as the places are very busy.
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