covid test in Madeira: friendly procedure

Even Ronaldo uses a mask!

Article updated on February 28, 2021. Many who wish to travel to Madeira are full of questions about how Madeira has organised things are organised exactly concerning the compulsory covid test, either before departure or upon arrival, or if proof of vaccination is accepted, which it is. Of course, all this information is available online, but it is very scattered and it is difficult to get a clear image of what to expect. Time, I thought, for a step-by-step description, giving my readers a clear view of what it entails and how it works.

Personally, I don’t have the experience as we arrived here in October 2019, long before the sh*t hit the fan, and we certainly do not plan to go back to The Netherlands as long as people persist in irresponsible and stupid behaviour. I am sure it is not much different in many other countries.

going back home

This article is about getting to Madeira. Returning to your country of origin is a different matter and it is a good idea to get the relevant information on this before you book your flights. We know that it is compulsory from mid-January to have a negative PCR-test result when travelling back to the UK. Peter Marsland has written about this in his Madeira Island Direct news blog, and I don’t feel like inventing the wheel when someone else did it before me!. So here is the link. From early January, it is also compulsory to have a negative PCR test and a negative antigen test when travelling to the Netherlands. If you have no such test result on you, you will be forbidden to board the plane to Amsterdam.

jump to comments

If you have already read this article and you just want to check for new comments, jump to the comments section here. Remember there are a lot of relevant questions in the comments, and therefore a lot of useful answers. If you really want to know what it’s like, you have to sit down and take your time reading through everything on this page.

whatever you do: don’t worry

This was the advice that our friend Yvon would like to give you. After her arrival back here after a necessary visit to the Netherlands (which she and her husband cut as short as possible), she said: do not worry about the procedures. Everything sorts itself out, and if there are things you don’t understand, there is a large number of hosts and hostesses that help you and guide you through the process. The organisation is amazing and the number of people recruited for this purpose is incredible.

before you travel

Before you travel, you must register on the website madeirasafe.com. I write  ‘must’, but if you don’t there are no sanctions. But it will speed up the whole procedure considerably upon arrival in Madeira. All questions are simple enough. I registered myself, not because I plan to travel but because I wanted to be able to tell and show you how it works. I entered a date for my flight in autumn next year, which I can change when I really will travel. It is a straightforward process, apart from one or two details which I will point out later.

Remember that Madeira loves to see you arrive. Tourism is their lifeblood and they put their act together accordingly. The fact that they offer a free covid-19 test is a costly affair, but they put their money where their mouth is. Investing in keeping the island a safe destination and making the tourists feel welcome is a very clever idea.

Register before you do anything else.  It makes for a smoothe corona test procedure

separate mobile phone numbers and separate email addies

Before you start, make sure everyone who travels with you has his or her own separate email address. Also, having a separate mobile number for each one of you makes life easier. The email address will be linked to your data and that is were the test result and other communications will be sent. Using one email addy for several people upsets the system and will cause you headaches getting your test results. So do yourself a favour and create a free Gmail or Hotmail account. Make sure you have access to these new accounts once in Madeira.

registering at madeirasafe.com

After these preparations, you can start the process of registering. You can do this even if your trip isn’t imminent. You start by choosing your language. Then, start entering the details the system asks. It’s quite simple. When they ask if you travel with dependent people, they mean children under 12. They do not need a covid-19 test, by the way. Where you need to fill out your cellphone number, click on the Portuguese flag. That will open a pull-down menu where you can choose the relevant country code. I found that just typing the code doesn’t work.

When they ask you if you have been in an area with covid cases, just tell them the truth. There are no consequences and anyone with a TV knows that most countries outside Madeira are covid-infested.

Madeirasafe is about safety in corona times
Madeira wants to stay the safe destination it is. No expense spared.
Tell the truth. Everyone knows most countries are covid infested.

Work your way through all pages. Of course, you can only enter your seat number after having checked in. But that will be at a later moment than when you first registered. Therefore, do check-in online, so that you can enter these last details before you leave for the airport. Just go to madeirasafe.com, log in and tap/click ‘add trip’. This button should be called ‘add or edit trip’ but it isn’t. No matter, you will land on the page with your travel dates and, after checking if everything is still correct, you can use the ‘next’ button (twice) to get to the page where you can enter your flight and seat number.

tell us how you feel

That is also a good moment to go to the page ‘tell us how you feel‘ from the main menu, to answer the last health questions before you leave on holiday. You need to do this in a time slot between 48 and 12 hours before you board the plane.

after finishing registration, this question will be asked at regular intervals.

tested negative?

Should you have a negative covid-19-test report, which may not be older than 72 hours at the time of boarding the plane, you can upload it here. There is a place where you can upload additional documents, like proof of the test appointment time and date. It seems that the test results you receive are sometimes quite rudimentary and do not state the time and date of the test. Therefore you need to have separate proof of that. If you have already been vaccinated, you can also use the Madeirasafe site to upload proof of that.

QR-code: passport for a speedy procedure

Finally, click/tap ‘QR-code’. The code appears. You can either print it and take it with you, but it is more practical to go to madeirasafe.com in your smartphone, allow the app to install and hey presto, you can display the QR on your Phone. Very handy when you arrive at Madeira airport. The QR code links to all your information and speeds up the whole process considerably.

End Session to start registering other family members.

After you finish your registration – even if there are some details that you don’t have yet like seat numbers – click or tap ‘end session’. Only after you have done that you can start the process anew if you want to register someone else travelling with you.

test before departure?

free tests in some countries

TUI Netherlands offers a free covid-19 test to all who book a flight to Madeira with them. TUI Belgium only offers free tests to people who book a package to Madeira with them. We have heard of test possibilities in other countries, but not for free. When you book your flight, it may be worth checking with the airline. Problem with many tests taken by public health institutions is that they won’t provide you with a test report. Therefore, their reports are useless if you want to avoid a test being taken again at Madeira airport. If you decide you are going to take a private test, make sure to take the test less than 72 hours before the moment of boarding. And, keep proof of your appointment and hang on to the test results.

find out if you can get a corona test in your country

You will understand that I really am not able to find out all the possibilities and also the obstacles to getting a test in your country of origin. Too many different countries, too many national rules and regulations, too many different availabilities of the necessary resources. So if you consider having yourself tested before you come to Madeira, find out how it works in your country and make sure you have an appointment that falls into the time slot of 72 hours before boarding.

the journey

If you haven’t been on a plane since the outbreak of the covid-pandemic, you may find that some things you were used to changed quite a bit. Things may differ from airport to airport and from airline to airline, but here is an infographic from Gatwick. We suspect other airports will have similar rules in place.  Depending on the country and airport you fly from, you will probably need to wear a face mask everywhere at the airport.

Like anywhere else, people wearing face covers at Gatwick.
Gatwick under a grey sky. Come to Madeira. Covid test included.

carry-ons

Many airlines do no longer allow carry-on cases in the cabin. It makes sense: we all know the chaos when people start looking for their carry-on after landing and you will find someone else’s face closer to yours than you would like under the circumstances. So, depending on the airline’s policy, your carry-on case goes into the belly. Handbags and other small stuff will still be allowed, so make sure and put everything you will need during the flight in there. Your laptop has a lithium battery and has to stay with you in the cabin for security reasons.

face covers/masks

On the plane, you have to wear your mask. There may be an exception for children, but then again, there may not. You have to check this with your airline. For those who object to wearing them: stop moaning and get used to it. In Madeira we use them without a problem and – honestly – the figures prove us right.

If the airline hands you health forms or passenger locator forms to fill out, yes, you have already done that when you filled everything out the madeirasafe.com pages. I would not waste any energy convincing the crew you are exempt, just humour them and get it over with. Nothing else to do anyway.

Madeira at last!

And then, before you know it, you have landed and you can get off the plane. You still have to keep your masks on though. First, as always, to the luggage conveyor belt to get your bags. You may find the baggage claim area busier than usual. Makes sense, many who would normally take their carry-ons as hand luggage had to check them into the belly.  This is one of the few areas where social distancing is not very well respected and people may get too close for comfort. Keep that in mind and don’t worry, your bag won’t go anywhere without you!

infrared

Once you have your bags, it’s on through the customs ‘nothing to declare-passage’, in a single file, as the airport has installed infrared sensors here (zone 1) that will check all passengers for fever. You might not even notice it, but anyone who is ill and has a fever will be singled out. And transferred to the health authorities.

an army of kindness

Once passed the infrared sensors, you are awaited by a small army of hostesses and hosts.  (zone 2). You can easily recognise them. Super kind, super helpful. They are wearing shirts with a big orange splash on it asking you if they can help you. They will first ask you if you have rented a car at any of the companies having their desk in the arrivals hall. If you have, go and do the rental car’s paperwork now and come back. The other question is whether or not you have a negative covid test report. If you have, it’s the right lane with the green dots. If this is you, you can jump to the relevant section of this page.

an army of kindness.
waiting for your covid-test in Madeira? An army of helpeers, you can easily recognise them

not tested yet: you get a free covid test in Madeira

If you have no test done before departure, you can follow the left alley with the blue dots. At the next stop (zone 3) you will be asked if you have a QR-code. If you have (and after what I told you, you should) you can go on to zone 4. If you don’t have one (shame on you) a host or hostess will help you to go through the process of registering in madeirasafe.com until you do. Armed with your newly acquired QR code you, too, can go on to zone 4. That’s where your QR code is scanned and your cellphone number and your email are thoroughly checked.

validation

Your Phone now receives a validation code which you have to tap (you can do that later as well) after which your QR code has been successfully linked to your Phone and email. This is extremely important for later communication, that’s why their checking is so meticulous. Now, you will be given a small label, actually two, with a bar code and a number, which you will need at the next stop. Keep them safe.

Keep this safe. It will be attatched to your swabs and you keep one for reference.
the blue route is for those getting a covid test in Madeira
Our friend António bravely undergoes the corona test!
the green route

the corona test

Now it’s on to zone 5, where finally the actual covid test is taken. You are almost done. A nurse is waiting for you and sits you down. She will take one of the two labels that you received at zone 4. Just relax and lean your head against the wall. The nurse will take two nasal and one throat swab and you’re done. If you are lucky, there will still be a ‘welcome to Madeira’- present left. If there isn’t, the important information in it I have worked into another article you may find useful here.

Welcome to Madeira pack
The contents: a mask, a pen, a desinfecting tissue and a small flyer
the flyer
the informatiion and a QR code opening an app

For a story telling about an actual trip from London to Madeira, including the covid-test, read this article. There is a video registration you may like.

messages

From now on, you will regularly receive an email or a text message asking about your health. It will ask about your body temperature and possible covid-19 related symptoms. If nothing has changed since the last message, you only have to tap or click ‘unchanged’ and you’re done. Nothing to worry about. This stream of messages will continue for two weeks, or shorter when you leave before two weeks have passed.  

the route of the covid-19 test at Madeira Airport. Very schematic, the reality may slightly differ. But you get the idea.

on the move at last

Now, it’s time to collect your rental car or, if you use a car rental company outside of the airport, to find your transfer. They are all waiting for you when you get out of the test alley. If you have a transfer to your hotel, someone will be waiting for you here as well. Travelling by rental car, you can now continue to your destination. You are required to self-isolate until you have received the (hopefully) negative test report. If you are in a hotel, you will be looked after, and they know you are not supposed to go wandering around the island just yet. You will probably be allowed to sit somewhere quiet in the garden, or you can go to your room and relax.

food shopping before you have your test result.

If you have rented a house or an apartment, all this is different. You have no-one to take care of you. I have now altered this paragraph, because as Steve B. correctly pointed out: you would not want to start a chain of infection on an island that tries to take such good care of you. So as opposed to what I wrote here before: NO food shopping until you get a negative test result. If you have good contact with the owners of the house or apartment you rented, you can ask if they can provide you with the necessary groceries to tide you over. In these times, that is not an uncommon thing to ask, and everyone is prepared to help you.

If this is not an option, bring whatever you need from home. Make sure and buy a nice bottle of something at the airport before you leave. It will make time fly and before you know it you will have your results emailed to you. In the great majority of the cases that result will be negative. In the less likely case you would test positive, you will be contacted by the health authorities to see what the best way to proceed would be for you.

test result

The rules say you will get your result within 12 hours. Usually, you will. But if many planes arrive at the same time as yours, it may sometimes take a bit longer. This is what the message may look like:

our friend's test result. The number corresponds with the one on the two labels that you were given in zone 4.

no results?

If it takes far too long, there are some telephone numbers you can call. No need to add country codes for a number in Madeira. The 291 number is a landline, the numbers starting with 9 are cellphones. People will speak English. Keep your registration label (the one you received at stop 4) at hand, you will need to tell them the number printed on it.

Should anything go wrong with your test result, call one of these numbers.

you arrive with a negative covid-19 test or you have already been vaccinated?

If you arrive and you have taken a test or received the vaccine in your country of origin, you probably have done your homework and uploaded the test results or the vaccination proof plus the additional documents, like a proof of your test appointment stating the time and date, to your space in the madeirasafe.com website. The test result should have been validated in the meantime, and you should be in possession of a QR code.

green dots

You follow the lane with the green dots until you get at a desk (zone 6 in the floor plan)  where you will be asked for your QR code. They will scan that and check your ID, and the other details like your cellphone number and your email. Sometimes, it happens that the validation of your test results has gone wrong. Therefore, make sure and carry the report on you, and the additional documents, because they can correct the data in the system accordingly. If all else fails, they won’t send you back home, rest assured. You will be directed to the blue lane, however, to get a new test taken.

validation

When that is done, they will validate the data you entered in your madeirasafe.com space. After that, the system sends you a text message for authentication, tap the link and you are done. They will send you regular messages asking you how you feel and how your body temperature is during two weeks after arrival. Should you leave Madeira earlier, they will stop sending messages, obviously. It’s all very simple: if nothing has changed since the last time they asked, just tap or click ‘unchanged’ and you are done.

To test or not to test

Some airlines say you need to have a test taken before you are allowed to travel to Madeira. This is not true. The choice is yours: you can have a test taken before you leave, or on arrival. But don’t think that you can skip registration at madeirasafe.com if you have a valid negative test report. All tests taken beforehand must be checked for validity and all other details of the traveller have to be linked to a person known in the madeirasafe.com website. Perversely, the waiting line of people arriving with a covid-19 test is often twice as long or more than the waiting line of people who are waiting to get tested. This is probably because all these people with a test think that is all they need.
Well, not. Therefore, register and give madeirasafe.com all the details they want.

advantage

The advantage of arriving with a valid covid test is obvious. You are almost 100% certain to be covid-19 negative. You do not need to wait in self-isolation for a test report.
And there is more: If you arrive without a test, there is always a chance, albeit a small one, you may test positive at the airport. In that case, you will be placed in quarantine until you recover and test negative. Quarantine usually means you are being put up in a dedicated hotel unit. You will be properly looked after, but you can’t leave your room.

horror stories

Some horror stories go around Facebook (yes, I know) about a couple of which he tested negative and she tested positive. After a week she still tested positive, he tested negative still, and they gave him an hour to leave the hotel to be better able to help her from the outside. After another week they were scheduled to fly back home, and he had to, while she had to stay and take unpaid leave because she ran out of days. Again, it’s Facebook and we should not take it at face value, but still, you get the point.

facebook aside, sh*t happens

As an average, some five to ten people a week test positive upon arrival. That is a very small percentage. Still, it happens. And let’s be clear, (especially young) people who operate in partying circles and whose motto seems to be ‘f*ck the covid’ run a much higher risk of testing positive than really careful people, who have taken little risks especially in the weeks running up to departure for Madeira.

on a positive note

Or not quite so positive. Should you test positive, you will either have to stay in isolation in your room or in the apartment or house you rented. If only one of you tests positive, he or she may be transferred to a specialised hotel unit to await his or her recovery. The Madeiran government kindly pays for your stay there, so that is one worry less. Of course, you will be in contact with the health authorities, so any questions about where to stay until recovered you can discuss with them to find the most adequate solution.

home or hotel: no clear criteria

It was almost impossible to get the clear criteria on which the health authorities would base a decision whether to move you to the dedicated hotel or to let you stay in isolation at your own residence if you have one. In the comment section, I received some questions about this, and I tried to get some answers from official sources. However, it was Luís Fonseca’s comment that succeeded in clarifying at least a part of the issue. Read it here.

really ill? There is a special unit in the Funchal hospital.

Should you really fall ill from covid-19, you will be treated in a special unit of the Funchal hospital. It is well equipped and will keep you isolated to avoid any new chain of infections. Those who have worries about the financial aspects of falling ill with covid-19, bear with me. I am currently extending my knowledge in that field, but it may be some days until I get my answers. Meanwhile, if you have any doubts about your health where covid is concerned, the Madeiran covid-hotline is depicted below.

your turn

If you have travelled to Madeira recently, do share your experiences with us in a comment below. If you find my information incorrect or if you find certain things lacking, I would be grateful if you’d tell me. Are you planning to come to Madeira and you have any questions that aren’t answered in the article? Ask away. But please do so in the comments section below. Jump to the comments text field and tell us what you think. Some people email me, but I don’t answer questions by email, otherwise, I end up answering the same questions over and over again. I don’t know everything but I will try to help and send you an answer in any case. If you think this article may be useful for anyone you know, please use the buttons below to share. The more the merrier!

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By Peter Groen

Peter was born in Amsterdam in 1949. He has a history in PR and copywriting. Now, part time resident of the Island of Madeira of over 10 years, he writes about Madeira, its culture, its overwhelming nature, its food and drink, and about everything concerning travel to and on this beautiful island.

410 comments

  1. Hi all, we are coming back to our home country and se are transiting via the Netherlands. Unfortunately they decided that everybody must have negative PCR test. Do you have any tip for a place in Funchal or near where we can get a test? For how much? Thanks.

    1. This question has been asked before, try this place:-

      Hospital Particular da Madeira offers this service. You can make an appointment phoning (+351) 291003300. Getting the result takes 48 hours, so time your appointment carefully. The cost of a covid-19 PCR test is € 150,-.
      The Hospital Particular can be found in Funchal, Rua do Amparo 143.

      1. Hi Peter, the test actually costs Euros 125 and results are issued within 24 hours. They’re very busy, so people should make sure they book online as soon as they can.

          1. Hi Ernesto, I am not sure, but I believe to have read somewhere that they do not accept online bookings. It would make sense, if you open a service for online bookings you are also prone to bot-bookings or other false messages. You had best simply phone them and find out. Having said this, every Portuguese official service I have tried to contact electronically turned out to be extremely slow in processing my messages, if they were processed at all. I am still waiting for a reply to a pertinent question I sent to the Madeiran ministry of tourism. I have mailed three times (with a week’s interval) and I have given up. If you want to make sure you have an appointment, call. They will find someone who speaks English if you don’t speak Portuguese.

          1. Finally, we did the test in the above mentioned hospital. The cost was EUR 125 per person. Result in 24 hours (or more, based on the number of other people who are doint the test). We were lucky as we booked it upfront, as the others cannot book (5 days delay) or they had no test on the aeroport so the aerolines have not allowed them to check in and fly… The aeroplane was almost empty as the majority of passengers had not test..

            1. Thank you Pavla, for sharing this. It is a very valuable information. I assume it was the Transavia flight you were on. The demand for a test on travel to the Netherlands is brand new and is also quite controversial, as they even demand Dutch nationals to carry a negative test result upon return to their home country. A lawsuit is underway, as a judge in the Netherlands has already stated that there is no legal basis to demand a covid test of Dutch subjects to enter their own country. I did wonder about your need for a test if you are just in transit at Schiphol airport.

          2. Hi Peter, we had it this morning just after 9 am. The drive in starts at 10 am. Pretty painless and quick! Will pick up results tomorrow morning, as we need a hard copy for Egypt. Let’s hope they’re both negative . Cost is Euros 125.

            1. Hi Peter, we actually received the results around 1 am this, so less than 24 hours. We were able to pick up printed copies at reception as we need hard copies. Just hope that we don’t run out of time now as 9ur flight is delayed. We’re on the 6.45 am flight to Lisbon with connections to Frankfurt and Cairo. The last Lisbon flight tonight was cancelled, hence the delay to our flight. We’ve had a very enjoyable 3 weeks here though. Beautiful island, lovely people and amazing food. Many thanks, Peter & Co., for all your help.

              1. Good to read you had a good time here. in spite of the increasing number of covid cases, you can still breathe here. Fingers crossed for your flight time in relation to your test result. Very annoying that the weather now threatens to complicate things. Let me know how things work out eventually. Safe landings and stay negative!

  2. Hello,

    first of all thanks a lot for this information. I was looking quite some time for something like this and couldn’t find it.

    I am flying from Germany to Madeira on Sunday.

    Does anyone know whether the health authorities in Madeira require the PCR test be carried out in a certified laboratory or have some standard accreditation of the test?

    And also I was wondering what the 72 hours condition means? I was informed that the test centre where I would like to take the test does not note the exact hour on the certificate but only the day. Would this still be sufficent to validate the test when I arrive?

    1. Hi Ernesto, indeed, the test has to be a PCR test, and it has to be done by an official lab. I don’t think an unofficial lab could execute this test anyway. The 72 co0ndition means that the test must not be older than 72 hours at the time of boarding the plane to Madeira. If it is older, it loses its validity as the risk of an infection after being tested grows too large. If the test report does not show the exact time the test was taken, do keep proof of the appointment, time and date. You have to register at madeirasafe.com, as described in my article, and you can do that now already. It really is vital that you do that, do not wait, do it now. When you get the test result, you upload that, and you also upload the proof of time and date of the appointment as an extra document. When your registration is done, you can already download the QR-code from the menu, even before the test has taken place. After uploading that, they will proceed and validate it, but sometimes they are too slow and they validate when you arrive at the Christiano Ronaldo airport. The QR code is your key, it gives the staff at the airport access to all your relevant covid-19 data. They will also start sending you messages enquiring about how you feel. Always answer. If you travel in company, make sure every one of your company has an individual account with Madeirasafe.com, using all a different email address and a different mobile phone number. It all looks daunting, but it really is quite simple if you follow my article to the letter. Again: register now, don’t wait until the last moment when travel stress hits 😀

      1. We have been here two weeks and still have to login every day to tell them how we are. It only takes a few keystrokes and you are done.

      2. Thanks a lot for getting back.

        I once more checked with the test centre and they said that they will not print the exact hour when the test is taken, but that it would be sufficient if the day is there. Unfortunately, I will not have any proof of when they will take the test as it is just a walk-in test centre.
        I could potentially show the opening hours and from this it can be concluded that my test would not be older than 72 hours.

        Also, I was trying to ask for this concretely via [email protected] and [email protected]. But I haven’t got any reply yet, even though I would think that they will stick to their official statement.

        Does any of you have experience on how strict the 72 hours are handled in reality, i.e. would they go with the data rather than the exact hour?

        Ahh, one more thing: I already registered on the website some days ago. I understand that I can go ahead and already print the QR code as this will not change any more, even though I put in more data (like seat in plane). However, with the app that I downloaded today I was bit irritated as it doesn’t yet seem to be working as long as I am not in Madeira.

        Thanks a lot!

        1. I have no personal experience with that, Ernesto, but you’d best assume they will be strict. It will be a matter of good planning. As for the QR code, yes, that will always remain unchanged, as it serves to give the airport staff access to your details concerning covid. So, well done that you have already taken care of that.
          As for your test: worst case scenario would be that your test will not be validated and you have to undergo another test upon arrival and wait for the result in isloation. Officially, that should be within 12 hours, thoug they have taken more time in some cases. On the positive side: you will have no fear of testing positive, as you have a negative result from Germany. As for receiving an answer to your mail: I wouldn’t hold my breath. All official instances here have an extremely bad track record where answering mail is concerned.

      3. Day 16 and ……. no email from madeirasafe! They have either forgotten us or lost interest. I am bereft 😉

        1. Ahhhhh. Poor you. You lost your daily fanmail. But seriously, after two weeks they are supposed to stop sending these mails, as you are considered free of covid if you still have no complaints after this time. So the system works in this respect.

  3. Seems like it’s an ongoing problem. I‘ve been waiting for 20 hours now to get my result. Still nothing validated until now.
    My boyfriend got his result after 15 hours, but only because we called one of the numbers and found out that they made a mistake with his email address. Somehow it was spelling mistake, even if the one at the Safe Madeira Site was spelled right and they scanned the QR Code from there. Actually his test result would have been validated after three hours in the night already.

    Concerning my result, they only say I should wait… anyone facing the same problem?

    1. It happens more often now, Gloria. We have had several comments on this. Unfortunately, once people do receive the result, they don’t tell us here.

        1. I have given this some thought, Gloria, and I start to think that it was a coincidence that your result came soon after sending a mail. Madeira official bodies have a very bad track record where answering mail is concerned. We can only hope they do read them. I’m not convinced.

          1. Hello there,
            I’d like to write here shortly my experience in case it would help someone.
            I’ve been waiting today for 20 hours for my test result. My boyfriend got his result after 15 hours.
            I have sent an inquiry to the email [email protected] and coincidently, the same minute I’ve sent it I received my negative results!
            Good luck to everybody else!

              1. It’s not like they replied. The resulst came from the email [email protected], and I received 24 identical emails one after another.
                It really lookes like they have technical problems.
                Sending an email to them as I did logically shouldn’t have any influence, but I guess in desperate situations it’s worth a try.

      1. Peter I came back to tell you, got my result after 72 hours but had to ring countless times and get a few different depts involved to get it over the phone. My Madeirasafe never updated incidentally

        1. Thanks for that, Paul, 72 hours is way too long and I hear this complaint far too often lately. Well, at least your waiting time has come to an end, I hope they get a little more capacity, now that the afflux of travellers has lessenend somewhat.

          1. Peter sorry I wasn’t clear. I was talking about my experiences when I came in early November. I meant at the time I updated here when I finally got my result back in relly to you saying most never let you know.
            Thanks, we had 6 wonderful weeks but home now since December 5th
            Btw this blog is so helpful, you are very good to have both written it and keep it updated

    2. Hi, it can happen as a lot of tests are being carried out. All you can do is keep checking on madeirasafe and calling the three numbers.

      1. Thank you for the quick reply. We found out an email address as well, but we don’t have high expectations of getting an answer anytime soon.
        It‘s a shame that they repeat many times, even when they do the test at the Airport, that it will be ready in 6-12 hours. This should be written down and corrected on the government websites, too.
        I‘ll post here as soon as I get the result.

      2. As I have said before, the system is good, but not flawless. It seems that imposing a second test on migrants and residents returning has caused an increased number of tests getting very late results. That’s a shame, as it really worked very well untill late November. Thanks for keeping us posted when you finally get your results.

  4. Hi Peter! Me and my boyfriend have a flight booked tomorrow Amsterdam-Funchal. We’ve booked the flight months ago; however, we are thinking of cancelling it because before boarding on our return flight to Amsterdam, we need to present a negative PCR test. We might go anyways if we can find a place to do the test in Madeira. Any idea where we could do a PCR test including certificate and how much it would cost? Groetjes van Amsterdam!

    1. Viktorija, this has been posted here by Peter:–

      Hospital Particular da Madeira offers this service. You can make an appointment phoning (+351) 291003300. Getting the result takes 48 hours, so time your appointment carefully. The cost of a covid-19 PCR test is € 150,-.
      The Hospital Particular can be found in Funchal, Rua do Amparo 143.

    2. Like Maurice said, it is possible here, and the address given is only one of the possibilities. Maybe just phone soon, to make sure you can fly back to the Netherlands after your stay. Good luck, and let us know how you fare!

  5. Hello! I will be arriving in Madeira later today and will do the PCR test at the airport. Can I then take the airport bus to my accommodation or do I need to take a taxi? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mel, as far as I know, you can. But things are changing rapidly so I may not be correct here. Here is what I would do: go to the Aerobus-stop and try. Do respect the mask and social distance rules. If there is a reason you shouldn’t use the Aerobus, it has not been published anywhere, so just try. If the driver or any other official says you can’t you can always take a taxi.
      Did anyone else try this? If yes, please comment!

  6. Hey folks, Steph here. Just provide you with update: my friend is still waiting for his test result. It‘s now 48 hours since our arrival. We were told again and again to wait as there are many many people coming and local cases are increasing. They said that it is impossible to guarantee 12 hours testing result. This is something they should have told everybody before!!! Any ideas what we still could do?

  7. Hi everyone! Please help! We were told that it is totally safe to travel to Madeira and the Corona testing at the airport convenient. That‘s why we decided to travel here. What fools we are! My test came after 10 hours and negative. My friend is still waiting as the status on the website is „not validated yet“. Now it is already 36 hours since our arrival. We ringed many times the three numbers you posted here – it is very hard to get through and if we were told to wait. What is going on here? What else can we do? Our hotel reception is also already annoyed by us asking them to call there too. We are really mentally broken down as it surely seems to be a system error but no one cares …

    1. Hi Steph, very annoying but we have heard of longer delays before. Of course, the number of passengers arriving has been increased this past week so delays happen. Keep ringing them, as the system is good, but, like any system not infallible. Ring them very often to keep them on their toes. Let us know how things progress.

      1. Thanks Peter for the quick response. I called them already 5 times today and the last time I confronted them with the possibility of system error – but they denied and told us to wait … I can‘t hear this word anymore. It is just a nightmare and I think should be more transparent to other travellers. They definitely should get a test in their home country. Any other ideas what we can do to put pressure on?

    2. Yes Steph have you any update on this? Currently waiting results for over 24 hours. Can’t get through to speak to anyone? No reply emails or phone calls.

    3. You’re not alone. I’m in exactly the same situation as are others in my hotel. My partner received his negative result last night. I got through on the phone number, and was told it’s just down to sheer numbers at the airport yesterday, and the lab has not yet processed my test. It’s not possible to call the lab or to speed things up. The lab works 24 hours. They say it’s impossible that the test is lost, so we can only wait. Good luck. Hopefully not much longer now.

    4. @Steph ok its not an official site but a quick read of this would have told you not all tests come in within a few hours. The option to take a test before arriving instead was also always there if people didmt want to wait. Mine took 72 hours and endless gone calls to come back and that was in early November when, as far as I know, there was a lot less coming in and, of course, no compulsory double testing for residents and returning residents which is slowing down results I imagine.
      I understand your frustration having been there but I’m afraid wait and keep ringing is all you can do.

  8. Hi All,

    Regarding Maurice’s (and Peter’s own comments) on the number of flights and people coming in, I have a suggestion, if anyone is able to feed back to someone connected with the Madeiran authorities? There have been reports that the pre-tested queue at the airport has been longer than the tests needed queue. In terms of planning the balance and capacity needed to handle each queue, the numbers for this should be predictable using data captured via the Madeira Safe website/app. In fact, it should be possible to know the exact numbers on each incoming flight, just via a simple interrogation of the data. It might be that this has not been realised, or made clear to the airport testing planners for each day.

    Think I’m a bit late on this one and the horses have already bolted, but just trying be helpful. In an unhelpful after-the-fact kind of way.

    Feliz Natal/Boas Festas to everyone

    Steve

  9. Good Morning, Peter

    Very good article, so many thanks. We’re flying to Funchal tonight from Cairo via Frankfurt. We filled in the form on Madeirasafe yesterday and attached negative PCR results, but haven’t received a code at all, so quite worried now. The QR code is there, but that’s all. Do you have any advice please?

    1. Anne, if you filled in all your details and uploaded Covid test documents you can either print the QR codes or have them available on a smart phone. The test reception will scan this code to bring up your record. The check a few details, give you some barcode labels then you go to the test booths as Peter describes above.

    2. Anne, in our experience we did the following only. We each printed the QR code. This automatically links you to your information on Madeira safe. At the front of the protested queue we had to place our QR code against a Perspex safety screen and it was Zapped….that’s all we did. I received a validated message from Madeira safe , my husband’s was later but we both went through quickly.

    3. Hi Anne, sorry for the delay, the website needs heavy maintenance and preparations are well underway but are very time-consuming. You do not ‘receive’ the QR code. It is all in the article here (click). As soon as your account in Madeirasafe has been made, the QR code is there. Just log back in again and click on the menu button ‘QR code’. That’s all. You can either print it or open the menu on your smartphone or tablet and save it there. And yes, as a visitor, things usually go very smoothly. As a returning migrant, of a resident, it has become a different matter with the special Christmas rules (click) that seem to be applied randomly and chaotically. But you should be fine.

      1. Peter, this weekend 19/20th there are 57 incoming flights roughly 11,500 people which is going to slow down the testing system. The results will probably take much longer than previously and people must be prepared to wait a couple of days rather hours for results. With the double-testing of local citizens the lab is going to be overwhelmed in the run-up to Christmas. We got here just in time!

        1. Yes, I know, Maurice. Yesterday had 22 planes, almost normal if you can remember that far back…. But I have not heard any complaints yes, maybe IASaúde has upped the capacity? It was to be expected, many want to celebrate Christmas here in spite of the measures put in place. Expect my update on the Christmas measures on Monday, as there will be new ones issued. Mind, we see Albuquerque returning to his default settings: chaotic and not really competent. Up to two weeks ago he seemed to do what IASaúde boss Pedro Ramos said, but now he is adding to it before checking if everything he wants is indeed doable and logical. Those who were promised the 72 hours of early testing on the mainland would be deducted of the 5 to 7 days period before the second test would be done have been disappointed, they have to wait out this period anyway, so yes, another broken promise can be added to Albuquerque’s long list. Let’s wait and see what nonsense he will add to things the day after tomorrow.

  10. Having read various forums and government guidance we decided to have a PCR test within the required 72 hours, this was done, as expected, negative results came through by email within 24hrs . It was NHS certified but not UKAS certified. We uploaded the results onto our Madeirasafe pages straight away. Mine was validated by Madeirasafe within 24 hours, my husband’s wasn’t so prompt and his didn’t show validated until we landed in Madeira. Our travelling companions were not able to have PCR test within the required time but took a LAMP test at Heathrow Terminal 5 the evening before flying, they too were negative, as expected , and they uploaded their results that evening, no validation for them arrived before our arrival in Funchal. We had decided to advance test as the quarantine restrictions for those testing on arrival are not very clear, with regards to exactly where and with whom you can quarantine.

    We were flying BA and received a message inviting us to check our hold luggage the evening before the flight. This was fairly straight forward once the ground crew person accepted (with the help of a supervisor) what we had been sent regards early bag drop. At bag drop we were asked if we had our QR code from the Madeirasafe registration and told we would have to show it on our return to Terminal 5 the next day….this never happened ….and we were given paper boarding cards….we were never temperature tested (to our knowledge). Boarding was by row starting from the back of the aircraft….no distancing by many people eager to board. All in all a good experience.

    On arrival in Funchal we passed through passport control, collected our hold luggage and passed through customs, checked in for car hire and headed for the test confirmation area. Two queues were forming, to the left for testing on arrival, to the right for pre-tests with negative result (obviously or you would not have flown). We knew out PCR tests had been validated so went to the right, our friends with their unvalidated LAMP test results joined us….partly chancing acceptance of this test…at the desks we showed our QR codes and were all validated….and told we were free to go.

    1. Excellent story. Thank you for sharing this. I’m sure many will take heart from this. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the Christmas time, which may not be quite as exuberant as other years. But still a lot less grim than in most countries.

    2. Dear CD – W
      Could I ask you a question – how was your test NHS accredited? I am tested at work every Friday (health worker) and receive the results on Monday, however we do not receive certificate, just text message and I am wondering if I could use the test instead of private next week? Thanks so much for giving your experience, its so good to know what to expect reading from someone who passed through it!
      Best wishes
      An

      1. The test we had was private and was only accredited by the NHS and not UKAS as most blogs say is required. We received a certificate which we had to show in Madeira.

  11. My problem in completing the madeirasafe form is my telephone number., as well as my husband’s on his form. Right now we have Canadian phone numbers, but are planning to buy Madeira Sim cards and phone plan—possibly at the airport. Would it be wise to not suspend both phones before leaving Canada, but have the suspension date later and just pay the Roaming charges for the first few days in Madeira? We are staying in Madeira for a month or more. That way I could give the Canadian number or numbers on the form so that we could be contacted for the covid test results. Unless, of course, we could buy the Sim cards at the airport and enter thise new Madeira numbers on the form. We have separate email addresses; maybe they would use those instead of the phone? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Catherine, Sorry this reply comes later than it should. For unknown reasons, your question landed in th trash. It is a flaw in the WordPress software. It happens every now and then and it happens randomly. Anyway, I have read your question and yes, I think it’s wise to keep the Canadian numbers going, Nice idea to get Portuguese SIM cards, but you can only go out to do that after you receive the results, so you need means of communication to either read your texte messages or emails or, possibly, receive a phone call.
      I am not an expert on roaming costs, as in the EU these have been banned now for a number of years for inter-EU countries-calls. Would it not be enough to just switch your phones off once you have a Madeiran number? They can’t very well charge you roaming costs if you don’t use the phone to call or receive calls. You could even just take the SIM-card out and put the Portuguese one in. I’d check with your Canadian phone company. We have a practical subscription with the Portuguese Vodafone, giving you a Portuguese number. You have to load the SIM card with some money, we did 20 €. They charge you €0.50 per month to keep the number. The calls are at the normal Vodafone rate, but the first call per day has a surcharge of € 0.27. No such charge for being called. And nowadays, most people use free services like WhatsApp. I don’t know if they still do this deal, but if they don’t there is bound to be another. If you come back to Madeira regularly, the advantage is that you keep your number as long as the card has enough credit to allow for the €0,50 monthly fee. I hope this is helpful and reaches you in time. Again, sorry for the delay.

  12. Flying out on Monday 14th Dec so registered both of us on madeirasafe. A very straightforward procedure and as I had our seat numbers was able to complete the whole process, receive the welcome email and print QR codes. Wasn’t sure what the best size was but they are about 5cm X 5cm and have copies of the .png files on my tablet. Once we get to the apartment I’ll add an update as to how the airport procedures and covid test and finally how long we had to wait to get results

    1. Great Maurice! You can also put the madeirasafe app on your smartphone. You can then copy the QR code into your phone to be scanned upon arrival. Looking forward to read your experiences! Bon voyage!

      1. Smartphone? Ours are antiques 2G ones calls & text only! I have got the QR codes on my Android tablet though.

    2. We are here! We landed one hour late due to baggage problems at Heathrow. We had Airport Assistance booked as my wife has troubles walking. She and 3 other pax were taken off in the lift from the plane. I went ahead to passport control. Very long queue but it was constantly moving even though there were only 3 immigration staff. The e-gates were switched off. I guess because with people wearing masks the system couldn’t match them to their passports. The immigration person asks you to pull your mask down so they can match your face and passport photo.

      Having bad legs is no fun but the man pushing Shelagh along blithely pushed her wheelchair to the front of the queue to get the lift down to baggage reclaim. He then pushed through the crowd to the reception desk where I proffered up the QR codes and passports. The young lady confirmed various details such phone number and email addresses etc. And then whoosh the wheelchair guy pushed through to the testing booths.

      The test is exceedingly uncomfortable! The swab seems to go quite deep into your sinuses. Then the mouth swab goes across the top of the throat and back of the tongue which almost makes you want to vommit! Thankfully it is over quickly. Now comes the wait for the results.

      As today was a busy day at CR7 I doubt we will hear until sometime early in the morning. Fingers crossed and whatever the Dutch and Portuguese equivalents are 😉

      1. Welcome back, Maurice! I knew that being in a wheelchair does speed things up considerably. A friend imported one for his aunt here, and the easiest way to get it here was using it as if he needed it. Cheeky monkey. But he told me exactly the same you just did, minus the hurting legs which he hasn’t. And yes, the test seems to be uncomfortable. That is probably depending on the person. As for fingers crossed: the Portuguese wil no doubt take refuge in prayer, seeing the ever lasting influence of the church, in Dutch we would say ‘duimen’ which is a specific movement we make with our thumbs and index fingers. I am afraid I’ll have to demonstrate it when we meet – hopefully – but as for the effect, it is bound to be the same as praying or fingers crossed: none.

      2. Woo hoo, both tested negative(as expected). My result came in at 00:43 And Shelagh’s at 05:29 – a bit like when you fly. You reach check-in and a case goes on, weighed & labelled, then 2nd case goes on, weighed & labelled and off they go together into the baggage system. You get to the other end, get to the baggage claim and locate the carousel. Bags start appear and you see one of your two followed by 300 other bags going round and people taking them and leaving finally a few more bags appear and your second bag is there and you think, they went on together why do they not arrive together? 🙂

        Anyway, we are free so I can hit the mean streets of downtown Funchal and go to Pingo Doce.

        1. Excellent, Maurice, and welcome back! It’s like the CTT a couple of years ago. When we sent boxes to ourselves in Madeira from the Netherlands, the second and third box arrive in 10 days, the first one takes 3 weeks. Anyway, you are free to enjoy the island now. Do take good care of your protection, as it’s not quite as relaxed as it was two months ago.

          1. Hit a problem with the madeirasafe site when I tried to log in to say how we feel. I am using a Samsung Android tablet & Samsung Internet browser which had been fine but during the day they updated the browser and now it crashes trying to login. It is ok on other sites, I am using it now. Luckily I have Firefox and was able to use that with no problems.

            Not sure what happens if you fail to report in each morning. Do they phone you?

            1. Annoying when stuff fails because someone sees fit to launch an insufficiently tested update. I am forced to renew my complete website (watch this space) because WordPress did the same.
              As for what would happen if you don’t ‘check-in’ when you should: nothing much. I know that some people didn’t bother and nothing happens. I think they have other priorities.

            2. The report is used for two cases:

              1) for people who are on active or passive surveillance by authorities. This could be for instance because they were close contacts to someone who tested positive that was sitting nearby on the aircraft or if you are in confinement determined by authorithies.

              2) it is a tool so you can communicate with local authorities if you are not feeling well while you are in Madeira. If you develop Covid-19 type symptoms while in the island you can report the symptoms and they will contact you back to guide you on what to do.

              If you do not fill any of these criteria you do not need to fill the report. Nothing happens.

          2. BA cancelled our return flight for Jan 7th but managed to re-book for Jan 9th. So, two extra days I even remembered to login to madeirasafe and change our departure dates.

            Pity the weather is looking wet over Christmas.

  13. Goodmorning Peter.

    After reading your blog on traveling to Madeira and what to expect at the airport, I’m hoping you can assist with a question that does not seem to be covered, or give us advice on who to contact.

    Some back ground:
    Our son and his wife from South Africa will be coming to visit with us for Christmas. They will be required to get negative Covid tests in Cape Town, 72 hours before traveling.
    They are traveling with Lufthansa Cape Town/Frankfurt/Lisbon. They unfortunately have to overnight in Lisbon. Flying EasyJet, to Madeira, the next morning. (By then their test will be old) So assuming they will be tested on arrival Madeira.

    Our question:

    1. As they are not going to commercial accomodation, but to their parents home, will that be an issue?

    We realize that we have to take precautions for our sake as well as theirs. The intention is to leave our 2nd car at the airport for them to drive themselves to us in Prazeres. Once they get in, they will go directly to their room, Which is separate from our accomodation, stay there until the results are received.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give! Great blog by the way!

    Regards. Pete and Ann

    1. Hi Ann, excellent question. Yes, if your son and daughter-in-law have a covid test result that is older than 72 hours upon boarding their plane to Madeira they may have to test again upon arrival. Maybe not, it depends on how the health authorities look upon a stay in Lisbon. If they consider it part of the whole voyage or an interruption. Anyway, if they count on a second test they won’t be disappointed. As for staying in your home, that is no problem. They have to give all the required details in the Madeirasafe.com website, make sure they upload the SA test result, providing proof of time and date the test was taken. You never know. As for giving them your second car, excellent solution. When friends of ours returned from the Netherlands, we brought their car to the airport, stayed with it until they arrived as we left the key inside it. If you think going to the airport with two cars is a bit of a hassle, you could consider using Pearl of the Atlantic, they have decent prices, they take us from the airport to Fajã da Ovelha for €50 all in. Anyway, your plan is flawless. Maybe see you around in the area. Enjoy your son’s stay!

      1. Good morning Peter. The children finally arrived yesterday and had a very good experience at the airport, just as you described. This morning our daughter in law received her negative result, great news but our son has not received his, except for an email to say, “have you checked in today” ?? Have you any advice for us? I tried calling the numbers you have on your blog to check but without any luck. When he goes online it said result not validated…. he is stressing a bit. They both had negative results from South Africa. Thanks in advance for assistance. Regards Ann

        1. Good morning Ann, this was to be expected. An exceptional number of planes has arrived over this past weekend and the labs are doubtlessly stretched to the limits of their capacity. That doesn’t make it less annoying for your son. You can’t do anything but keep calling the numbers, and yes, it has been loudly criticized by some politicians that they are very slow to pick up the bl**dy phone. the system is good but not flawless, and your son’s test must have landed in a different batch that was sent to the lab. Keep phoning them and if they pick up and have no answer, keep pestering them until something happens. As you may have read in these comments – yes I know there are too many now to keep track – you are not the first one to whom this happens, but again, that does not make it less annoying. As a last resort, you can try calling the emergency number of SRS24 Madeira: 800 24 24 20. It is the number you are supposed to call if you think you ave covid, but since they do not pick up the normal numbers, I wouldn’t hesitate and simply tell them you have to call this number as no-one else picks up the phone. That is typical for Madeira: extremely sketchy communication.
          The email he received is automated, but he could add to the answer that the result of his test hasn’t come back. To get their attention, maybe write something along the lines of ‘i don’t feel well at all because the promised result withing 12 hours has not arrived and nobody picks up the phone’. Just a suggestion, I don’t know if it will work, but it surely is something I would not be able to resist.
          Meanwhile, do not overly worry, as he was tested negative in SA. Enjoy being together, even if he has to stay at home for now.
          Merry Christmas and stay healthy.

  14. Hi Peter,

    Over three hundred comments – outstanding effort on the blog, updating it, and the support you are offering in answering questions.

    I am returning to Madeira as a resident on the 10th December. The resident two-test trial is not slated to finish until the 11th. My first and more important question is if you or anyone else can confirm where the second test takes place? Is it back to the airport, do they come to your residence, or do you have to go to a specified medical centre? (I live in central Funchal.)

    I am from the UK, but will be returning to Madeira flying with Binter from the Canaries (the island of La Palma, where active Covid cases have been only a handful while I’ve been here.) On the Madeira Safe form, it asks for country of origin. Do you think it is more important to put the country you are travelling from or the country you are actually from? If it is country travelling from, Spain (in any language form) doesn’t appear to be on the list.

    Thanks again

    Steve

    1. Bear with me for a little while, Steve. I am working on an article covering exactly that. I’ll put you on the subscribers list so you’ll get an email when it’s on. Cheers, Peter.

  15. Hi Peter Delighted to have found your threads on the internet. We’re scheduled to fly from Edinburgh to Funchal Madeira on Dec 28 ‘20. We are both opting for COVID testing on arrival. We are 2 adults travelling. Do we BOTH have to register with Madeirasafe with SEPERATE email addresses? Trusting all will be ok Many Thanks for your advice Peter
    Sincerely Geraldine O’Neill

    1. Hi Geraldine, yes you both need to register and separate email addresses are needed and two mobile phone numbers so you can see who the text messages are for. If you only have one email address it doesn’t take long to set up a hotmail or gmail account. Once you have filled in all the details print off the Qcodes to speed thing up at the airport. Enjoy your trip.

            1. Thank you both I am not 100% sure if we will receive a QR code before travelling if opting for a Covid test on arrival ? Thanks again G

              1. Yes you should. You hand them the printed code which they scan to bring up your record on the madeirasafe site. It saves time if you each have your own code.

  16. thanks Peter for great info.
    I’ll be travelling with my mum who has no smart phone. If I print her Qcode, and have a separate email and phone number for her (on an old not-smart phone) is that enough ? the only bit that she won’t be able to do is tap the message linking test info to Q code ? can she do it on a tablet? can I have 2 accounts on my phone?
    thanks for any thoughts/advice kt x

    1. Hi KT,
      yes to all, except for your question on having 2 accounts on your phone. accessing two accounts of email is no problem, obviously, but I wonder about two Madeierasafe-accounts. If you install the Madeirasafe-app it will relate to your main smartphone email account as far as I know. But since your mother has a tablet, that problem is solved, as she can youse that to access her madeirasafe-account. Or you can do it for her. But since there are separate places/machines for you both to access both email accounts and Madeirasafe app/website, I see no problems. Keep an eye on my blog, or, better still, subscribe, as new covid measures for the coming period have been announced and I am working on a new blog article. As always, I have to wait for the dust to settle and for the general moaning (especially by the immigrants) to stop to see clearly. As I want to give clear information I always take a little more time than the more sensationalist media. You can subscribe scrolling all the way down and simply entering your email.

      1. Great blog, Peter. May I just clarify , I have read the comments but cannot recall if anyone has given info on the following….we are going as a group of four friends (2 couples) . Could somebody clarify, if this possible , if one of us tests either positive on arrival or the test is inconclusive does that mean that all four of us will be restricted in our movements? TIA

        1. Hi Carol, For unknown reasons your question landed in the trash folder, I found it after you sent me a mail. It’s a good question. I can’t give you a conclusive answer. As there are so many different situations, the authorities do not give adamant rules and look at each case separately. You will be contacted by someone of the health authorities in case one of you tests positive. It is thinkable that they isolate only that one person. If your accommodation allows for isolation of one person you could all remain there, for instance. It will depend on the facilities. If you are in a hotel, it is very likely that the person who tests positive will be moved to a dedicated hotel, where a retest will take place after one week. I am sorry I can’t give you a more reassuring answer, but even though Madeira is still relatively safe where covid is concerned, there are always risks if you travel here or anywhere else. In the meantime, be very careful and see that you don’t get infected and everything will probably turn out fine!

      2. Hi Peter. I have a question. My daughter has been refused by Sata to board a flight from Funchal to Porta Delgada Azores as her negative test result would be 75 hours old on arrival. This appears to be a new rule as the Azores allow testing on arrival. They have changed her flight to 2 days ahead and told her to go and get a test. Do you know where she can do this? Huge expense all round with new accommodation etc… and she is very upset

        1. Suzanne, Peter posted the following info which may help”–

          Hospital Particular da Madeira offers this service. I phoned them to check on this (remember, I check everything) and indeed, they offer a covid-19 test. You can make an appointment phoning (+351) 291003300. Getting the result takes 48 hours, so time your appointment carefully. The cost of a covid-19 PCR test is € 150,-.
          The Hospital Particular can be found in Funchal, Rua do Amparo 143.

        2. I am sorry for the inconvenience your daughter suffered, Suzanne. However, I can’t stress enough that you have to inform yourself of the covid rules that are in place in your destination when travelling. Every region tries to keep the virus at bay and put rules in place to help them do that. If you haven’t informed yourself thoroughly and then encounter a problem because of that, I am sorry to say that it is really the passenger’s own responsibility, Thumbs up for SATA to change the flight for your daughter. They could also not have done that, as there is no obligation for an airline to offer an alternative flight if the passenger does not meet the legal requirements, as seems to be the case here. I have no information about the rules in the Azores, and frankly, I have more than enough work keeping track of the rules for Madeira. As for the test facilities, Maurice already pointed you to the information I posted earlier.

          1. Hi Peter. They changed the rules on Friday apparently just didn’t inform the passengers. Thank you for answering

  17. Hi Peter – this is a very useful post! Thank you! My husband is transiting through Madeira (ultimate destination Lisbon) on a direct flight from Scotland – do you happen to know if he needs to submit test results or take a test on arrival if he is not leaving the airport? It is difficult to find any information specifically about passengers in transit on the airport site/ Covid Madeira sites… Any help you can offer much appreciated!

    1. If you don’t mind me saying but, it is most odd to fly to Lisbon via Madeira if coming from Scotland. Now flights from Scotland are international whereas flights to and from Lisbon are Domestic. I would guess that he’d pass through immigration on his way to the baggage hall. Are his bags going to be booked through or just to Madeira? Then proceed to check-in on the other floor.

      I reckon it could just be a case of suck-it-and-see

      1. You can’t book your bags through with low-cost airlines, and Jet2 is one, and it’s the only airline flying from Scotland to Funchal. You can book two separate flights, but remember that you lose the onward flight in case of Jet2 arriving late. It is quite a risk. He will have to go through immigration, then pick up his bags, go through customs, then through arrivals, back into departures, check-in his bags and then on to security and the gate. That is a lot of movement for someone who may carry the virus and will not be tested. I think the best thing to do is to get a test in Scotland and upload all the necessary information including the test and proof of date and time onto madeirasafe.com as I described.
        As Maurice states rightfully, it is a peculiar route to get to Lisbon. Tell us more, as it’s intriguing.

      2. I think we will never know why this route was chosen. However, I do have my suspicions. Could it be that flying via Madeira would be useful on the way back, in order to avoid quarantine in Scotland? But alas, my question was ignored so we will never know.

    2. Hi Peter. They changed the rules on Friday apparently just didn’t inform the passengers. Thank you for answering

      1. Annoying, but a change was to be expected, in the light of the national government announcing new rules for the coming weeks. Madeira also changed the rules last week, but most of them won’t affect tourists. As some of them are not very clear and seem to not have sufficient legal basis, I am still working on a new article about that. I hope the test facility mentioned can do the job in time.

  18. I would advise anyone to get a test before they come we have been in the COVID “prison” for 20 days now. The system here is crazy I tested inconclusive then allegedly positive but they will not give me the test results. Now they say I am still positive but I can fly home

    1. I would not agree that the system. Is crazy. But for you it did not work out the way you would have liked. If you arrive without a test, you know that you run the risk of testing positive. I am very sorry for you that that’s what happened to you but you can’t blame the system. I do marvel at the fact that you can travel while still covid positive. About paper test results, many countries only give an electronic message or a voice mail, unless you have an expensive private test. They want to limit the cost of free testing by not adding a lot of staff to deal with paperwork.

    2. What really is crazy is flying abroad without knowing what are the local rules regarding considering when a person no longer represents a threats to others. Each test, the accomodation, the meals, etc, cost of lot a money to the local government so you were not “allegedely” positive, you WERE positive. I have heard of people from the UK saying that after 7 days without symptoms they are given as “cured” even if they test positive. I just don’t know why the procedures in the UK should be relevant for authorithies in Madeira…

      1. I totally agree with Luís. If you decide to travel in these covid times, you have to be aware of the risks you run, and most certainly of the rules in place in the country that you intend to visit. It is a very good thing the UK rules have no relevance here in our safe island. One look at the mess over there tells you all you need to know.

        1. I also agree with Luis. I think couldn’t fault all the protocols in place both at the airport and in the resorts. However, whilst there are many problems in the UK, it isn’t wholly comparable. Having closed the port, the airport is the only access to a small island so it is much more manageable. I live in a medium sized village and, together with the surrounding areas we have nearly as big a population as the whole of Madeira.

          1. No, you are right there, Mary, the situation in Madeira is certainly not comparable to the one in the UK. Having said that, I still think the UK, many of its subjects not missing a single opportunity to proudly tell us non-British that they have a right to be eccentric as they live on an island :/ could have done a lot better than us continentals, not having any land borders with free traffic of people and good, as in the Schengen treaty. But in all fairness, they have slacked in the beginning and now it is too late to repair that.

        2. I do not want to sound rude and not expressing sympathy to the ones who are put in this situation. I think at this point the test at the origin is a risk free option but that comes with a cost (150 or 170€). I do not blame people who decide to have the test at arrival but there is a risk associated to it which is having a positive test. If I had to decide this for my self if I was travelling to Madeira I would put it in these terms: if I have an active life (work at the office with many people, meet different friends frequently, use public transports, was at a party) I would not risk travelling to Madeirs without a test unless I am willing to quarantine there as long as it takes. If I dp not have an active life, meet only a few people know during the week, respect the social distancing and where mask, etc) I would probably travel to Madeira and have the test there. There are pros and cons in both cases but I think people must really think of all the options.

          1. I agree, again. The only ‘but’ I have here, is that in many places, a covid-19 test for travel purposes simply isn’t readily available. In an ideal world, everyone who wishes to board a plane, ferry of long distance train, would have a quick test just before boarding. They will be available in the near future, but they are not at present.

  19. Hi, I posted weeks ago to say that the code is the last 4 numbers of your phone number. When I was being registered in the airport just before the tests, I received a text and the lady registering me and giving me the sticky labels said that the code was the last 4 numbers of my phone number, which it was! Hope this helps. Thanks for all your hard work, Peter

    1. Thanks Mage, I did see your previous comment and tried that then but it didnt work.
      Thing is my wife never entered a code either but got her result and the authorities just say mine isnt back yet so don’t think it’s anything to do with the code unfortunately

  20. Thanks Peter for your reply, yes I’ve tried all the numbers the only one that picks up speaks, I say do you speak English they say “covid? momento” put me through somewhere ( I assume) then it just rings for hours.
    my wife got no validation code either but got her result last night.
    Guess I’ll just keep ringing and see if anyone answers
    Thank you

    1. You did register separately I hope, Paul? Because if you register with the same email address you upset the system and your result may not come through the way it should. I would keep trying the phone number and, if all else fails, call the covid emergency number. I am sorry I can’t be of any more help here.

      1. Yes Peter we used two separate email addresses. I got the email to say my test had been associated at the time of taking it to my email address, just nothing since.
        Authorities just say it’s not hack yet, they don’t all only take up to 12 hours so I must wait.
        A warning to anyone only coming for a week, I’m in day 2 and still apartment bound
        Thanks

      2. Peter you seem to be a font of all knowledge so I am seeking your help please.

        I am in my hotel room. The hotel tells me my COVID test at the airport is non conclusive – I have not heard that officially. I have heard nothing.

        Anyway no one seems to know what I am supposed to do apart from stay in my room which is a very nice room but not why I came to Madeira !!!

        Any suggestions of help please.

        Nancy

        1. Is your partner negative? Is so you should be ok. They will contact you daily to check up on you. You can log back into the madeirasafe site and click on “Tell us how you feel”. If you have a thermometer you can post your temperature.

        2. That is extremely annoying Nancy, though I have heard about this happening once before. To my best knowledge, the lady in question needed to be tested again. I’d do two things. First: call the reception of your hotel. If they have information about your test that you don’t have, ask them how they came by it. If they got a phone call, they must know from whom. It seems strange that they have information about your test, that you do not have. Check your email and phone for text messages.
          Second: If there is nothing there, call one of the three numbers I mentioned in my article, the Airport Operations of IASAúde. It’s in the blue square. They are the ones responsible for what happens to your test result, not the hotel. I even wonder if the hotel should have this information in light of the EU privacy laws.

          anyway, I’ll repeat the image with the relevant phone numbers here:
          291 208 700 / 969 320 327 / 969 320 235

          1. Thanks for such a prompt reply.

            The hotel reception and TUI rep have called the airport numbers numerous times. The answer is always the same “wait”.

            I have offered to go to the airport or to the Hosptial at my expense for another test. The response is …. “wait”.

            I have checked my emails. Texts. And junk. And nothing.

            The room is not looking so attractive now!!

            Any other suggestions please

            Nancy

            1. I would not accept the hotel’s answer. If they have information about your test, it is in violation of the privacy laws. Especially since you don’t have it. If they tell you to wait, I start to suspect they mean you have to wait for the test result. That is quite something different from the result being inconclusive. ‘WAIT’ can only be said if your result hasn’t come back yet and that information is not sent to the hotel but to you. I start to think the hotel is talking rubbish, or rather, guessing and not being able to express themselves very well in English. In case the test is inconclusive you must be tested again and the health authorities would not want to delay that. If I were you I would at least demand reception and/or the TUI representative what exactly it is they tell you to wait for.

              1. Hello Michelle Is it Anita from TUI?

                I’ll keep you posted on what I find out (my hotel is chasing the numbers Peter gave us). Maybe you could do likewise and let me know how you get on.

                Hope you have plenty of books. I’m following the American election so that’s keeping me very busy!!

                1. Hi Nancy
                  Carrie from TUi following it up. Hotel also called the lab no result as yet told to wait. I just want out of this room….
                  Will let you know as soon as we have anything x

          2. Hi, we arrived 32 hours ago, I got the result after approximately 9 hours, my wife is still waiting to get hers. We were tested nearly simultaneously. Nobody answers when calling the above numbers. The hotel reception asked us to wait until tomorrow morning. Very annoying situation.

                1. Hi Peter, apparently a technical glitch on the Madeirasafe site. My wife´s result could not be updated and it still shows “not yet validated” but finally the result was communicated to the Hotel reception and we were released from room confinement. It took the hotel staff 2 days to get through and get a response from someone who was able to confirm it was an internal error. A pity we lost 2 days of vacation and suffered more or less mental torture. Hopefully the rest of our stay will get better 🙂

                2. That’s a relief, Luke. As I have written in my article, the system is great, but, like any other system, not flawless. But I am sure you will enjoy the rest of your stay. Madeira is a fantastic place. I wish you a beautiful stay!

            1. Have you logged back into the madeirasafe site to check there? Also, look in your email junk folder in case the message is there.

              1. Yes logged into madeirasafe site, over and over. Airport test result still shows “not yet validated”. Emails went through so far, the only email missing is the one with the test result. But even without the email the madeirasafe site still shows “not yet validated”.

                1. The are three phone numbers to try, Peter posted them a little way up from this point. Bloody frustrating when this happens.

        3. Most important of all: how long have you been waiting for? You sent this post at 4pm. 12hrs prior to that gives 4am… So, when did you arrive Madeira? Yesterday?

          The hotel does not have access to the test result. Inconclusive is a different thing to not available. It is the authorithies who contact you if the test is inconclusive.

            1. Sorry I had not captured that. Yes, something is defintely not right. Even if the test was inconclusive you should have been contacted by authorithies at least this morning to make another test. In your MadeiraSafe app have you ticked the box where you allow authorithies to contact you?

              1. Sorry I’m not the one who had the inconclusive from my hotel. I’m in an apartment, I rang and was just told not back yet and I’m to wait.
                It’s now 36 hours since my test I’ll rimgctjem in the morning again

                1. Hi Paul

                  Are you still waiting ? I am. I see my Madeira safe has been updated re the number of days since my test but no other comment.

                  When are you due to go home ?

                2. Still waiting 48 hours now since the test . Rang them again just told test not back yet and to continue waiting

                3. Call them every half hour just to keep pressure on the paper-pushers. And start getting angry. Time to wake them up, 48 hours is not realistic anymore.

                4. I agree 48hrs is not realistic anymore. Interesting that all these cases seem to be related with one flight. I follow Peter,’s advice, ring them more often and make sure each of the person that answers the phone realizes you have been waiting for 48 hours.

                5. Luis I think its people from more than one flight looking at test times and my wife and others on my flight got their results . I’m wary of getting too irate with them on the phone incase they just hang up but yes it’s a bit of a joke at this stage

                6. Next time you ring tell them they can find you getting drunk in the nearest bar and going around hugging & kissing everyone

                  Only joking but this is getting beyond a joke!

                7. Michelle I haven’t heard anything from TUI today have you ?

                  Maurice I like your idea but will just to have to have another drink in my nice room!!

                  Our hotel has contacted the number and been told they are looking into what to do. But nothing concrete.

                  I assume everyone effected is still just staying in their room and being patient.( rather than trying to get back to the airport for another test )

                8. Hi Nancy
                  Still waiting…we were told we could not get another test. I am getting rather annoyed with everything.

            1. Michelle I have just set a message to TUI using the app. They said they should respond in 30 mins. Will keep you posted.

            2. Michelle. Who told you weren’t allowed another test? I’m thinking if this is the case we will be faced with prospect of staying in our rooms until
              Our flight home.

                1. Hi Michelle I heard from TUI. They said the resort rep has escalated this to the relevant departments

                  No name of rep or which department but I’ll wait a couple of hours then chase.

                  Have you made any progress?

                  We are only here for a week so if we don’t hear this week I’m not sure if we will be forced to stay another 7 days or leave and break the rules by leaving our room.

                2. I’m not breaking any rules but only here for a week too. Considering my flight is with Easy jet who are cancelling most flights except mine due to the UK lockdown I dont see what I cam do but go for my flight. I can’t be stuck here for maybe months until flights resume. Really wish we hadn’t come. Waste of money to sit in a room for days and so stressful. Dont think we will ever bother with Madeira again after this fiasco

                3. Hi Nancy my husbands result came back as negative earlier this evening. Apparently we were told by hotel that there was some system down at hospital and they were unable to confirm results earlier…..the local rep we have been dealing with is Christine who is German. I hope this is solved very soon for you. Please let us know how you get on. Take care Michelle x

            3. That’s great news. Enjoy your holiday.
              I will keep You posted and if I get out of the room before we go home maybe we can meet for a celebratory drink!!

              1. But just to be clear I will check with the authorities before taking any action of course, I wont endanger anyone.
                Great news you got yours, nothing here yet.
                I hear Tui are cancelling too will that affect either of you getting home?

        4. I tested inconclusive on the 16/10 my wife was negative I had another test on the 17th and was told I was positive and my wife was still negative I was quarantined with my wife until the 19th then moved to the COVID case hotel tested 26th me positive wife negative tested again on 2/11 and told I am positive still but I can fly home. I have asked for my test results showing positive as my insurance and airline requested it but they don’t appear to want to give them to me. I asked if I could stay for another week to have the holiday I came they said no straight to the airport only. I have had no symptoms or been unwell at any point

    2. Ok update finally got through, apparantly according to them everyone who speaks English (or so it seems) was in a meeting so no one answered the phones. Person checked and said it’s not back yet, had no explanation as to why just said it happens when it’s busy. Person couldn’t explain why my wife’s taken at the same time (consecutive test numbers!) came back last night but mine is still not back. She just said it happens so be warned the 12 hour return rule is not actually true in all cases. So now we wait………… Thanks for the reply though

      1. Very annoying, Paul, and yes, it happens, though not very often. Remember it is quite an operation, the airport testing, and it is fantastic but indeed not infallible. At least you got through. The fact that the lady who answered the phone and tried to put you through may well not have been informed about the meeting. Very Portuguese and hierarchic: the lower echelon does not need any information. Quite irritating but recognisable here. Did they at least give you a clue as to when you’d get your result?

        1. Ah totally I’m not complaining just warning others that 12 hours max might not be the case. No she just said no idea when just wait.
          Nice room though to wait inand a lovely view

          1. Still, as Nancy says, it’s not why you came to Madeira. It does happen, when many planes arrive in the same time slot, the lab can get extremely busy. They send the swabs in batches, and if your swab has ‘missed’ the batch your wife’s swab was sent with, you get the result later.

            1. Agree, at first I said the same thar we must have been sent in different batches. If that was so though I wouldn’t expect to he still waiting 22 hours after she got her result
              Ah well ar least the sum is out now and the sea looks lovely from my window, even a rainbow to look at

      2. Paul have you had results back yet?
        My husband and I arrived yesterday from London Gatwick had tests at 12 30. I got my results at 8pm last night and nothing for my husband as yet. Hotel reception keep trying to call lab and nothing..having read your experience it seems it will be yet another day..

        1. Were you on the TUI flight from Gatwick leaving at 7.50 am?

          My husband had his test result too. Negative. And I’m still waiting.

            1. At long last, Paul, and thank you for letting all of us know. Enjoy whatever is left of your stay. And brace for the storm coming in this Friday. If you can, maybe it’s a good idea to stay a bit longer.

              1. Yes sorry I forgot to update here before.
                We’ve decided to do like you did and extend our stay, here until 5th December now.
                Thanks for the warning about the storm and for all your help. With an apartment and no rep we had no idea what to do until I found this post

  21. Hi Peter I have completed registration on Madeirssafe for myself & my wife, we check in every day but have not got our qr code yet we arrive on 29th of November, will it be sent automatically or am I doing something wrong?

    1. You should have your QR code, James. If you log onto Madeirasafe, you get into the main menu. I have made a screenshot and in it you will see the menu item QR code (where I clumsily put a red arrow). You can either download it or, better, download it into your smartphone where you can pull it up anytime.
      You will need to login back after you have your flight and seat number, you add these details by clicking on ‘add trip’. Stupidly named, the button, it should be called ‘edit or add trip’.
      Please let me know if it works because it should.

      1. Hi Peter
        Thank you for the info, on both of our registrations I have tapped the qr code button & all that appears is the black symbol looks like a maze, arrow in top left hand corner with QR CODE, when tapped on this it just returns to home screen.

        1. Hi James, as Steven just said, that is exactly what a QR code is. It’s like a more sophisticated evolution of a bar code. You can either print it and take it with you to show the host or hostess upon arrival, or you can take a screenshot and store it on your smartphone. Alternatively, you can install the app on your smartphone giving access to all your madeirasafe details from your phone, including the QR code. The QR code contains all relevant information concerning your trip to Madeira, including your contact details where they will send things like test results and small messages inquiring about your state of health up to two weeks after your arrival, unless your stay is shorter. Yoour QR code will stay active as long as the madeirasafe.com website is in function. If you plan a future trip, you change the details clicking ‘add trip’ (which should be called ‘add or edit trip’) but the QR code is personal and stays the same. At the Madeira airport, they will scan the code and all your most recent travel details appear.

          1. Thank to both Peter & Steven, you guys have been so helpful, think I have things sorted out now have both codes now on my phone & cant wait to see our favourite island once more arrive 29th Nov. Think we have been around 100 times over 20 years, & never get tired of visiting.Thanks again guys. James.

      2. Hi Peter We have not chosen our seats on the flight before flying with Jet2 and will therefore be allocated seats I presume on the day of departure . Do we need to in order to receive the QR code before travelling ? Many many thanks Geraldine

        1. Hi Geraldine, you can tell them your seat numbers when you arrive. They just need them in case somebody tests positive then they will contact the passengers who sat nearest to that person. They will be contacted often to check to see if they have developed any symptoms. As far as I know there is almost zero risk of cross-contamination.

        2. It is like Maurice said, Geraldine. But please, please do read the article better. It is really all there spelt out for you… The QR code is there when you have registered and only serves the airport staff to give access to your details. Download it now and have it at the ready when you arrive.

    2. James your qr code is there, when you log in and go to gr code you will see it. You are good to go and will be well looked after at the airport. I have gone through the process today and am awaiting the result.

      1. Would you just confirm that this can be a simple one-step process? Even though my trip isn’t until 8th November, I have completed my trip details and there is code in the bit highlighted by Peter. However I am confused by the mention of receiving a code within 72 – 48 hours – do you get something else just before you travel? (I have carried out a similar procedure in Greece recently and received a code by email the before travel). The Madeira process I have just followed seems a bit too simple!

        1. That is indeed confusing, Elizabeth. Once the code appears after clicking QR code in the menu, it is there and you will keep the code for as long as the system is in place. If you make a second or a third trip to Madeira, the code will always remain the same, but you have to add the details of your upcoming trip, obviously.

          1. Dear Peter

            Great blog! Thank you so much; it is incredibly helpful.
            We are travelling to Madeira on Mon 28 Dec so have take the Covid test on arrival.
            I have successfully completed the Madeira Safe form for myself and have the QR code.
            However, how do I add a second passenger to the Madeira Safe Form. It opens with just my details but no option to add another passenger with different email address etc.
            Best regards
            Angela

            1. Hi, each member of your group needs to be registered separately. You need to go back and start a new registration. Each person needs their own mobile phone number and email address. If you go back to the top of the page and read through again you’ll see this.

              1. I have tried to do this using my computer. It just reverts to my details. I have entered my husband’s details but now I think I have erased my details!!

                Do we have to use a different computer?

                1. I think the secret is to register using a different mobile phone per passenger NOT a family computer.

                2. Hi, at the log in screen you choose NOT YET I WANT TO REGISTER and start the new registration.

                3. Doctor Angela, I am sure you did not become a doctor by not reading. Still, you seem to try and get away with just that here. It’s nice to see you praising the blog, but if you don’t really read it, it won’t help much. One more time. It’s all there.
                  screenshot. It's all here.

          1. Perhaps my praise for the blog was premature? Did not expect such a sarcastic response to a perfectly genuine question.
            In reply, we do not receive seat allocation until check-in (not prepared to pay extra for pre-allocated seat). So no doubt this is the problem. Seems a crazy set up if one cannot register more than one person on an official document until a seat number is recorded. They have the flight details after all.
            Good luck to you Peter and have a Happy Christmas!

            1. Hi, you just need to “End session” to effectively log out you can then log back in later to add the seat number and print your Qcode. Then end session again and log into the other account, add seat number and print Qcodes.

            2. I have to put a lot of time and effort into this blog. It is all there for people who need the information. I really think your question was unnecessary as it was already explained in the text. Sorry if you think my reply is sarcastic but I am really tired of answering questions that are already answered in the article.

            3. I don’t know when you are travelling or with which airline, but Easyjet allow check in thirty days pre. flight and allocate your seats at that stage. Actually, having been through testing at Funchal seat numbers seem of little importance unless ,of course, either you or someone around you tests positive. Anyway, if you’re in a hurry to fill in your registration form just put in any seat numbers to keep the computer happy and then give the correct numbers to the person who actually registers you whe you reach the head of the queue at FNC and immediately prior to being tested. If you arrive at FNC with a test already done there are plenty of “helpers” to whom you can give your correct seat numbers

              1. You can leave out the seat numbers if you don’t know them yet. As soon as you know, you put them in and if you can’t, you can ask the staff at the Madeira airport to do it for you. The only thing you really need is the QR code which is there when you have registered. Obviously, you put in as many details as you have, but the system does not stall if anything is missing but your essential personal details.

  22. Thanks for the brilliant blog Peter. I’m travelling to Madeira soon and getting a prior private test in the UK. I know about it having to be a proper certificate etc but do you know if it actually have to be signed by a doctor. If so, that could cause a complication!

    1. The test needs to be a pcr test. The new speedy tests in some Boots are not acceptable.
      The test results would need to be printed on a test centre or lab stationery with test details, result, date & time of test etc.

      1. Thanks very much Maurice and Peter. On the basis of what you’ve told me I think we should be fine, unless our tests are positive, of course.

        1. You’re welcome, Richard. Let’s not hope for the latter. And please, let us know how you have fared once you are here. It’s always useful for other readers. And enjoy your stay, away from the stress and tensions at home. You will find Madeira still very relaxed. Do read about the current covid-rules in place. Nothing complicated, and common sense is very much involved. You can jump to the article here.

    2. Hi Richard, not that I know of. It needs to be a PCR test, and the 72 hours time slot before boarding is essential. The health authorities will want proof of that. They also want the test result to come from a recognized lab. I have not heard of a doctor’s signature to be required. Maybe one of the other readers can shed some light on this? I could ask Turismo da Madeira, as they are being paid to answer this kind of question, however, sticking to their tradition of being über-useless (still waiting for two answers for 3+ days) they will probable answer by the time you leave the island.
      But, worst case scenario would be that your test result won’t be validated. They will test you again upon arrival. Yes, you must self isolate for up to 12 hours, but you already know that you will get the negative result. But, as I said, maybe other readers know.

  23. Hello!

    I’m due to arrive at the island on a morning flight, but –

    1. My accomodation doesn’t have check in until 4pm.
    2. It’s a stand-alone self catering apartment rather than a hotel, so there’s no possibility of spare rooms or other rooms ready earlier.
    3. Due to the time and day of the flight I can’t test in advance, I’ll have to do it at the airport.

    I’ve heard that the authorities provide hotel accomodation for people who don’t have anywhere to isolate, where you must remain until your test results come through, rather than go to your own accomodation when it is ready. That doesn’t really work for me as it’s a work day for me, which is dependent on being in suitable accomodation, I can’t take the day off work due to uncertain accomodation arrangements.

    So my question is whether self catering accommodation owners have any obligation at all to adjust check-in times to fit around testing isolation requirements? Or is my only option to book an extra day at the accomodation, pay for the day before even though I won’t be there?

    Many thanks!

    1. Interesting question, Ian, and quite legitimate. There must be others in the same situation, simply because cleaning a house or an apartment takes time, especially since Turismo requires the places to be disinfected thoroughly. already have asked the Tourist board how to deal with a situation like yours. Knowing them, it will be some time before they answer. they do not have a habit of answering emails immediately as they should. So hang on, if it takes too long I will phone them.

      1. I understand the issue of not having anywhere to go to from the airport where you can isolate but I don’t understand the bit about it being a work day that you can’t afford to lose. Even if the apartment was ready, you’d still need to stay there for up to 12 hours so you couldn’t work anyway (unless you mean online?)

        1. Yes, working remotely, including on that day a remote conference presentation and several video conferencing calls. That all requires a suitable room setup, suitable lighting, and reliable fast internet. Which of course isn’t guaranteed if you are going to be shipped off to an unknown hotel.

          1. I can see the problem. Madeira is very well equipped where the internet is concerned, and maybe years ahead of other countries, so I would expect hotels to have decent internet facilities. However, for streaming purposes, it might be too slow if there is high demand, which there will be if people need to isolate for the day.
            Regardless of the reply of the tourist board, I don’t see a simple solution for this specific problem, other than talking to the owner of your rental apartment and trying to at least get access to one room where you can prepare for your video conferences. There really is no rule that tells owners at what time renters should vacate their rental place. 10.00 AM is not very late, and under the Covid-circumstances, cleaning is a longer process than normal, because the requirements imposed by the health authorities are high.
            If you have to go to a hotel while waiting, it would be useful to find out which one, so that you can contact them to see what the possibilities are. I do realise there are a lot of ‘ifs’ here.

            1. “for streaming purposes, it might be too slow if there is high demand, which there will be if people need to isolate for the day.” – yep, exactly. And you hit the nail on the head about the ‘ifs’ too!

      2. Dear Peter

        This is an excellent question. We are alao booked into a hotel with a check in at 4.00pm so I would also be very interested in the information you may be able to obtain on our behalf.

        Thank you very much for this excellent blog. It is so helpful!

        Angela

        1. As I said, Angela, I have already asked the tourist board. It is their job to provide the official information that we can rely on, rather than hearsay. Problem is, it isn’t the most helpful institution on the island. Rest assured I will keep pressing them until I get the answer. I think I am not their most popular customer. Then again, I am not here to make myself popular, but to make myself useful.

        2. Hi Angela, as you may have read in my answer to Ian, I finally got an adequate response. If your accommodation isn’t available yet, you are allowed to wait away from it, but you have to tell the health authorities about this at the airport. You will have plenty of opportunity for this, especially when they check your address during your stay.
          Having said this, I should add that a hotel has a lobby and other spaces where you can wait until your room is ready. If you are lucky the weather is nice and you can wait in the garden of the hotel. Like many other things, it is a matter of common sense. Don’t go wandering and stay away from anyone you might transmit the virus to in the unfortunate case you’d have it (heaven forbid). I hope this answers your questions.

    2. This is my personal view. But you know what are the entry requirements in Madeira so it is up to you to adjust your calendar to meet those requirements. If you have no other option other than paying an extra night because the accommodation where you are staying at only allows check-in 4pm then I think that is what you have to do. I do not see what the authorities need to help you.

      1. I do agree with you there, Luís. Ian has an overly tight schedule that does not allow an inch for extraordinary circumstances. And there is no denying we are in extraordinary circumstances thanks to covid-19. You cannot expect of the Madeiran (health) authorities to see that Ian can travel here and still keep work appointments. Also, it is not uncommon at all for planes to arrive with a serious delay caused by adverse weather conditions, and it looks like Ian did not allow for that, either. However, that does not answer the legitimate question: where to go if the accommodation you booked is not ready for you when you arrive. I am waiting for the response of Turismo, which is known to not be overly diligent. Paciência!

        1. The other question is whether self catering accommodation is required to adjust check-in times to fit testing and isolation requirements (4pm is very late)

          1. That seems like a non-issue. You can’t expect a homeowner to kick out guests at the crack of dawn to accommodate a new arrival. I don’t think there is a rule for that. There should be a rule that tells you where to go in case your accommodation isn’t ready when you arrive. But let’s wait to see what the Tourist Board has to say about that.

            1. not at the crack of dawn at all, I’d be there for 1pm which isn’t too extreme. It is highly unusual to not be allowed to check in until 4pm.

              1. The new later check in times reflect the added burdens of providing a clean and safe accommodation, following guidelines from Portugal Tourism entity.
                A lot more disinfection and airing is happening between guests due to Covid.

      2. The authorities do in fact help, they transport you to a hotel where you must stay until your results come.

        I’m trying to find out if there are alternatives to that, a way for me to not use that government assistance.

        I cannot adjust my calendar, there is only one flight per week on a fixed day and time.

        1. Indeed the government helps. They do that to make it possible for everyone to comply with the self-isolation while waiting for the test results. They don’t help in order to make you meet your work schedule. If your schedule is that tight, you are taking quite a risk travelling. With any luck (or rather the lack of it) you may end up being dumped in a hotel in the Fuerteventura sandbox hours after your scheduled arrival in Madeira.

          1. I am not travelling through choice, it’s for medical reasons, so there’s nothing I can do about the risk unfortunately. Believe me I’d rather be staying at home, but that isn’t an option. Much like the wider situation all over the world it’s an effort of juggling a load of bad consequences, trying to find the least bad setup.

              1. No, not royalty. Profound seasonal affective disorder, which means the shortening of the days further north affects me badly enough that it leaves me unable to work or look after my young child.

                The cure is to spend the summer in the UK, then when the clocks change, move to Australia from November to march.

                Unfortunately that is not feasible, for a number of reasons. The best balance I’ve been able to find is to spend November – March alternating between UK and Madeira/Canaries every two weeks.

    3. Ian, I have finally, finally received an adequate answer from Turismo da Madeira. In the situation you describe, you have to tell the health authorities at the airport that you can only get access to your accommodation at 4 PM, and that you will await your results isolated away from your apartment until 4 PM. You can only go to places that aren’t crowded, keep distance and comply with the face mask rule. I am afraid that you have to organise your videoconferences and other online activities differently, in order to allow for the late availability of your apartment.

    1. You are most welcome, Tony. If you haven’t already done that, it may be useful to quickly scan the comments, there is some useful additional information there as well.

      1. Hi Peter. Just to say that 4 of us arrived yesterday, tested at airport at 12.30, and 20 hours later still no results. We are trying to ring the numbers you supplied but no response yet. In self catering so really need to get to shops. Just wondered if anyone else in same position.

        1. Have you checked your email junk folder? You can log back into the Madeirasafe website and check on there too.

          1. Thank you Maurice. We have now got through to the top phone number supplied and they haven’t received our samples yet. My husband is already planning the tunnel!

            1. That is bad, looks like a bit of a cock-up between the airport and the lab. In the meantime you could get food delivered. Have a search for glovo

              1. Just to add to it, Madeirans are furious right now because a person did not meet isolation and infected a school going child. If you go shopping before your results, you are committing a crime. Order food and contact the apartment owner for support. But do not break the isolation.

                1. Well, as for the Madeiran who caused it, I think he’d better move away from the island. He and two brothers from Câmara de Lobos who infected 20+ people in one single day earlier on will not be treated kindly by their neighbours after their irresponsible behaviour endangering others. But there was also an Italian woman who came on holidays here – I think it was this past weekend – who escaped from her hotel, though hotel staff tried to stop her – because she was fed up with waiting. She was caught eventually and put into a quarantine facility, while her husband respected the self-isolation and stayed in their hotel room. I think some harsh words will have been spoken between them. Even the Italian ambassador was involved.

            2. Hi,

              I am flying out to Madeira with my wife on the 6th November. We have been made aware we have to pay for our private tests, however if we get an NHS test done in the 72hour timeframe, would the authorities in Madeira care that it was not a private test?

              Regards,

              Ashley

              1. They just need a negative PCR test, no more than 72 hours old. Doesn’t matter if it’s private or NHS. I think the clock stops at the time of boarding your flight but don’t know what happens if the flight is diverted

                1. So we fly out on the Friday if I get a test booked on the Wednesday, I should have my results from the NHS before Friday?

                  Thank you so much!!

              2. They couldn’t care less Ashley. As long as the test is a recognized (pcr) test and the result and the date and time the test was taken is documented. It’s best if you upload the documents in your madeirasafe account to save a lot of time. Normally, your results should be validated by mafeirasafe and you will we able to start your holiday soon after disembarking. However, if anything goes wrong, worst case scenario woul be that you have to take the (free) test again upon arrival and self isolate 12 hrs max until your results come in. You will survive that, and even if that would happen, you would be at ease as you know you already tested negative.

                1. Hi Peter,

                  Thank you for your response.

                  The NHS test just sends you a text message informing you of a negative or positive result. It only has your name and your date of birth. It doesn’t exactly have a date of which you took the test but at the top of the phone it says when the message was sent?

                  I really do not wish to pay £150 each for a private test! We are staying in the Saccharam Hotel, is it a nice place to stay?

                  Regards,

                  Ashley

                2. You have to add the documentation of your appointment. You must have emails proving that. Upload them as ‘supporting documents’. You can do that now already, no need to wait for the result of the test, you can upload that later. Saccharum? It is a large modern hotel with interesting architecture. A little bit out of the way, so you should rent a car to explore the island. A new restaurant in an old renovated house is opening at the corner of the roundabout in front of the hotel. I don’t know if it is a nice place. I live here and seldom stay in hotels, and if I do it is in small family-run places so I couldn’t tell you. If you want to know more you should visit hotel review sites, which this is not. This site is initially meant to promote my own house as a place yu can rent for your holidays. The blog is more a general help now in these difficult days. But I am not about to promote any possible competition.

                3. You MUST NOT use the NHS tests for going on holiday. They are strictly only for people who have symptoms. By abusing it you are taking a place away from someone who is ill and needs treatment. The government have very clearly said that if you need to test tomgo overseas you must pay for a private test instead.

              3. NHS tests are NOT intended for holidaymakers, they are meant for people who believe they may be infected.

                1. You do have a point. NHS stands for National Health Services and not National Holiday Services. The resources of the NHS are limited and should not be used for leisure-related purposes. If you need a test because you want to go on holiday, you should not get one which is publicly funded, but you should fund it yourself. Any other view is selfish.

          1. I think a number of test samples got put to one side and missed the transport to the lab. A real pain in the ar*e for you all but all-in-all the people involved have done a good job and mistakes happen. To err is human but it is annoying when it is you affected.

            Please enjoy the rest of your stay.

        2. Sorry aboout that, Alison, and sorry I only react now. I must have been fed a normal ‘bica’ last night after dinner, though I ordered a decaffeinated one. Woke up after one hour of sleep and finally slept again et 6.00 AM, only to wake up just now. Fortunately, Maurice did the honours while I slept. Have you had any news in the meantime? It’s very unfortunate, it does happen though, not often, but that knowledge is of little use to you if it’s you to whom it happens.

  24. Thank you so much for this post! I know the info is available on government websites, but it’s peace of mind to clarify and hear from recent travellers that I can get a test on arrival easily instead of country or origin. Thanks so much, looking forward to visiting Madeira 🙂

    1. You are welcome, Theresa. The technical information is on the government website, indeed, but most is in Portuguese. The actual procedure was not described. As I was curious about it, I realised others might want to know as well. So I researched it and came up with this article. I have not travelled recently, we are part-time residents of Madeira and we did not bother to fly back to the Netherlands this year, for obvious reasons. Enjoy your stay, it is very relaxed and probably the best place to be at the moment.

      1. That’s a relief, Angela. Let’s hope Alison’s will come in soon as well, now. Enjoy your stay to the fullest! You will find it’s so relaxing to be in a place where you can breathe again!

  25. Hello,
    I have a question about self-isolation after arrival on Madeira.
    We would like to sleep at a remote lonely camping area in a tent with an IFCN permit, so we dont have any accomodation in a building with any address.
    We plan to stay away from contact with any other people and believe this is more safe that going to a hotel in Funchal.

    Is it possible to isolate ourself this way, without staying the first night in a hotel?
    What shall we fill into madeirasafe form into an accommodation address in such a case?

    1. Wow, I think the system has never thought about this possibility, Bretislav. They want to know where you are, and, obviously, if you are in isolation waiting for the results, you will have no access to food or drink. You are not allowed to go shopping during your self-isolation period, have you thought about that? If you would stay your first night in a hotel or similar accommodation, there would be people to take care of you. If you don’t want to do that, the only way around it is by taking a test within 72 hours before you leave your home airport. If it’s a budget question, I think I could point you to a small hotel with very low prices and still offering good service (in Ponta Delgada on the North coast). If the campsite has a name and an address, you might be able to get away with it.

    2. Hi Bretislav, This particular question has caught my attention because it is a very good one and a very hard one to answer, although Peter has beaten me to it and said things I was going to suggest.

      (Although it’s not everyone’s idea of perfection, I’d like to say that this sounds like a fantastic way to experience Madeira, particularly in… er… normal times – haha.)

      I will be trying to put my mind in the perspective of the Madeiran authorities here, without knowing exactly what their minds actually are. If you went directly to such a camping location from the airport and there was a positive result, I think it would create a difficulty for them to come and find you. But maybe they do want to encourage this kind of trip here, I just can’t say for sure.

      Like Peter, I think a key difficulty is food and camping equipment. Some cooking equipment can’t be taken on planes, so I presume you were hoping to buy some essentials here, including food and drink? I’m aware of camping where you perhaps don’t need to buy such things, though?

      Presuming the IFCN permit IS currently available, I agree with Peter that the practical choice is first night in hotel here until result arrives, or officially recognised test result from home country 72 hours before arrival.

      Either way, I wish you a great stay on Madeira

      Steve

  26. Peter! What a blog! no more, no less just accurate! I couldn’t find my issue though… 🙂
    Please can you clearly confirm there is no need for a second PCR test after 7 days (in case one plan to stay on island 11 days) if you were negative on arrival? I went through many websites and opinions and couldn’t find the answer. I thought that 2nd test applies to those ones with a positive test on arrival only…

    1. Hi Marek, thanks for the compliment. To answer your question: no, once you get a negative test result (within 12 hours of getting the PCR test done at the airport) you are free to go and enjoy your stay, no need for further testing. Do read my article about the measures in place here, though, to make sure you keep yourself and others safe. Nothing spectacular, and easy to comply with.
      And it is as you say: only those who test positive get another test after a week. They are isolated (or self-isolating, but this is checked by the health authorities) to prevent local transmissions of the virus, which are very rare. Only after having tested negative twice are they allowed to leave their confinement. I hope this puts your mind at ease. Enjoy your stay!

    2. If you test negative you are fine. They will contact you occasionally to see how you are and if you have any symptoms. There is always a small chance that you could test negative when you have just contracted Covid. Take a thermometer with you and you can tell them your temperatures. Enjoy your trip

  27. Fantastically helpful. I’m travelling the day after tomorrow so this really helped to put my mind at rest on a number of questions.

    One thing I might add – my plane arrives on Friday afternoon so I was concerned I wouldn’t get my results until Monday morning. However, a friend confirmed that they work over the weekend as well.

    Cheers
    Mike

    1. Yes, no worries there Mike. Results in 12 hours, even if you arrive after midnight. Often it’s even less than 12 hours, rarely more, though it has happend when many planes arrive in the same time slot. But again, not often.

  28. Hi Peter, I am in a couple of Madeira based Facebook groups and keep seeing the same questions being asked again and again. So, I have posted links to this article in the following groups:
    This is Madeira Island &
    Madeira Island for Travellers

    Hopefully this will clarify the procedures and help visitors to the island.
    Cheers

    1. Hi Maurice, I know, I’m in ‘this is Madeira Island’ too and have given the link various times already. At least Tobi put the link as a sticky on his blog, so it remains visible. Problem is, people don’t search, they want answers given on a silver platter and won’t put in any effort. Oh well…. Feel free to share anywhere you like. The more the merrier.

      1. I have told a few people to read through the posts as their question has been asked hundreds of times. One person said I was rude for pointing out the obvious! 🙂

        1. I am not surprised. Being Dutch I am notorious for my directness which is often not appreciated by, especially, English speaking people, who seem to prefer a lot of fluffy language instead of getting to the point. Like you, I prefer saying what’s what. If people are too lazy to do a little search for their answers, they deserve nothing less.

        2. I think it’s because rules and procedures change so quickly As a traveller I always want to be sure I’m up to date. Now I know this blog is here, I can check for any change regularly. Thanks

          1. You could also subscribe. Then you’d get notified if there is a new article. Having said that, the rules haven’t changed at all lately. Here, that it. Other places are less consistent.

        3. I have put a suggestion on the This is Madeira Island Facebook-group to put a number of pinned notifications on, where all the regular questions are answered. It was received with enthusiasm, though one lady said she was told off for being rude when she said people should do a search before asking ever-recurring questions. I must say I haven’t experienced people asking the same questions over and over again on my blog. Yet.

  29. Hello Peter
    I’ve only just started thinking about visiting Madeira and am so pleased to have found your website as the information is brilliant. I am in the UK and it seems the only way of getting a private Covid Test is by post (unless you live in London!). I am concerned about using this service because of the 72 hour timescale and the uncertainty of getting the results in time. Consequently I am interested in the test that is available upon arrival at the airport. Most of your blog refers to a free test but I understand it is no longer free – do you know how much it is please? Thank you

    1. Where do you get it’s no longer free, Elizabeth? It still is. Only a test before you leave, to avoid Quarantine when you get back home, would not be free. My article is completely up to date, so read it well, it makes everything clear.

      1. Hi Peter
        I read it on one of the Trip Advisor Forums. Thank you so much for clarifying it. It sounds like they are providing a really good service at the airport – so much better than in the UK!

        Much appreciated 🙂

        1. Forget trip advisor. A lot of unverified personal opinions. I have done my research very thoroughly and I am here on the island. Read through the comments and you will find my article confirmed.

    2. Hi Elizabeth

      Just as an example, my husband had a test via the post. I have just asked him how long it took for the results to arrive and he says 36 hours. We are in St Annes, Lancashire. As I said, please just take this as an example. We have no idea of what circumstances could delay it, but I guess it’s possible it could take longer.

      Hi Peter
      Thank you so much for this information. It is extremely helpful and we hope to visit Madeira again next February. Thank you.

      1. Thank you for this. Unfortunately, I just discovered that, for unknown reasons, your comment had landed in the trash folder. It happens sometimes, I noticed just now as I saw that two comments landed there. It happens every now and then, and it is unclear why. Anyway, I have put it where it belongs. A question: dit the test results of your husband’s test state it was a CPR test and did it state the date and time he had the test taken? Because if you want to use it upon arrival in Madeira, it should state all that. If it doesn’t, I would not call it useless, though. You would board the plane confident that your Madeira test would get a negative result as well.

  30. Hi Peter

    I found your blog very interesting, I used your information and they arrived in Madeira on Sunday and no issues, they got a covid test prior to arriving etc. They have just emailed me and want to stay longer which is fine but I need to get one person a covid test as they are flying back to South Africa on the Sunday and require this for entry.. Do you know of a private clinic in Madeira that they can go and pay for a covid test for outbound travel?

    Penny Henson
    Joanna Davies Private Travel

    1. Penny and I had some correspondence in the meantime. Penny found out that the Hospital Particular da Madeira offers this service. I phoned them to check on this (remember, I check everything) and indeed, they offer a covid-19 test. You can make an appointment phoning (+351) 291003300. Getting the result takes 48 hours, so time your appointment carefully. The cost of a covid-19 PCR test is € 150,-.
      The Hospital Particular can be found in Funchal, Rua do Amparo 143.

    1. No, Maurice. The passenger locator form or card is used on the mainland. They do not have the sophisticated madeirasafe.com procedure where all the information you can enter into the PLC is already built-in. I know of some other countries, like Belgium for instance, that use a Passenger locator form, even if you arrive from Madeira. But you do not need to bother as the Madeirasafe procedure covers it all. Having said that, I know of some airlines that make you fill out a PLC during the flight telling you it is compulsory. It is not, but why struggle to convince them as you have some 4 hours to kill anyway 😀

        1. If you are travelling on BA (not sure other airlines) they may give you the PLC form to fill during the flight as they are instructed to do so in all flights to Portugal (that includes Madeira). As mentioned by Peter local authorities in Madeira will not expect you to submit the PLC form as the MadeiraSafe app is the reference.

          1. TUI from Brussels seems to have the same practice. It seems difficult for an airline to remember where exactly they are going. I marvel they arrive at the correct destination if they can’t tell Mainland Portugal from Madeira LOL

  31. Another “Thank You” to Peter G. for all his time running such a helpful blog.
    My wife and I arrived in Funchal form the U.K. on Mon 14th Sept. – rather a busy day at the airport. It took us two hours to get our Covid tests done and then my result arrived (by email) exactly twelve hours later. However my wife’s result did not come for a further twelve hours (i.e, 24 hours total) and it was made quite clear by the hotel we were in that neither of us should leave our room ’till we both had negative test results. So, if you are going into self-catering accomodation it might be as well to take food/drink for a whole day.
    On the subject of insurance (U.K. only) I did contact our provider (UK Insurance through Nationwide Building Soc.) and their position is that they will provide full cover , including anything Covid related, , just as long as the U.K. foreign office do not put an “only essential travel” restriction on Madeira – as is on the Portugese mainland.
    Once you are in Madeira the incidence of Covid is so low that you are more likely to be run over by a bus than to catch Covid. Let’s hope it stays that way!!

    1. Wow, two hours for getting the test is a very long time. I guess it was indeed very busy with many people arriving at once. What is a bit worrying is that your wife had to wait for 24 hours before her results came through. Did you call IASaúde (airport operations) to speed things up, or did they finally arrive without any reminding? At least, congrats on your safe – and sound! – arrival. Thanks for the heads-up on insurance, I am planning a separate blog on insurance during covid times, so I will take your info into account. Enjoy your stay, and you are right: keep looking LEFT not to be run over by a bus! 😀

    2. Yes, we did call airport ops. three times to try and find out what had happened to my wife’s result. Interestingly, there was not much difficulty in getting through to the number though the reply was always the same – result is coming!
      We were told that wairing 24 hours for a result was not uncommon, and, by the way, the hotel reception knew our results as soon as we did so there was no pulling the wool over their eyes.!
      Madeira was, as ever, wonderful.

      1. Apart from the long wait I am glad you feel well here. We do to, sometimes dangerously so because it’s easy to forget it’s grim out there.

  32. Hello Pete

    Hope all is well with you.
    I stumbled across your brilliant website on your house and info on Madeira today – so very helpful thank you!
    I just wondered as you know so much if you might be able to answer a specific question for me if it’s not too much trouble? We are due to fly to Madeira from Gatwick in 3 weeks and will take the Covid test on arrival. If we tested positive ( fingers crossed we won’t!) Would we get sent to a Covid hotel as mandatory or as we have our own self contained accommodation for 2 weeks would we be allowed to self isolate there? Just can’t find the answer anywhere and hoped you might know!
    Sorry to bother you and will keep an eye on your updates – thank you.
    Best wishes and many thanks in advance.
    Jane

    1. I have no clear answer for you, Jane, yet. Though the question is very relevant and has been asked before. It’s either the hotel unit, for which the government pays, or it’s self-isolating in your Madeira home. I haven’t yet found the criteria they use to determine whether you can stay home or you have to be taken to the hotel. I will try to find out though, but I am afraid that I have to contact Turismo da Madeira for that. As opposed to what you’d think, it is the most unhelpful and unpleasant institution you can imagine. They demonstrate clearly how disgusted they are that anyone would ask them questions so any contact with them is not a pleasant experience. I’ll suffer it for you, though, and come back with the results. If I get any, that is.
      In addition, I am very pleased with the comment of Luís Fonseca, as it underlines what we already heard from Turismo (who have indeed no jurisdiction at all here, thanks Luís for pointing that out). His comment outlines the way the decision ‘hotel or home’ is taken a little more detailed than I had the courage to do, for the mere lack of clear information. But what he writes makes a lot of sense.

        1. It went quite well this time. I have learned to be firm with them and frankly, the lady I spoke to just now was a lot more pleasant than the b*tches I spoke to before. 😀

      1. I think Peter´s information is really helpful but there is an important point which may lead to confusion or is misinterpreted. From the moment someone tests positive the decisions are NOT taken by Tourism Board, they are taken by the Health Authorities. So, I do not know why you should contact the tourism board on this, it would basically the same as calling them for advice if you have a running nose.
        From the moment someone tests positive they are monitored by the Health Authorities and although people might be moved to an hotel, they are not under the tourism board “jurisdiction”. They are monitored from the clinical/medical/sociological/psychological point of view and decisions are taken on a case by case analysis.
        Some people are allowed to stay in their homes. This is valid for people who live alone, who live with others but have good facilities like independent bathroom etc, people who have children, people who have underlying diseases that cannot be followed up in the hotel, etc. And most importantly, people who are responsible and careful under the health authority view. If you tell the health authority you think all this is an hoax and that Covid does not exist and that you do not want to wear a mask it is not a good starting point if you want to stay at your home and will most likely be directed to the hotel.
        There have been cases of locals staying in their homes. There have been cases of locals being directed to the hotel. There have been cases of non-residents taken to the hotel. And there have been cases of non-residents allowed to stay in their accommodation/residence. As said, a health authority decision based on a case by case analysis.

        1. Thank you for this, Luís. I am well aware that Turismo does not have any jurisdiction, so I did try to phone the relevant body: the Secretaria Regional de Saúde e Proteção Civil, department of IASaúde. The first five times they did not at all pick up their phone, the last time someone picked up and then put me through, that is, I was left on hold for more than 10 minutes and I gave up. I do know that VisitMadeira, in other words, Turismo da Madeira is the ‘spokesperson’ for anything concerning travelling to Madeira and that includes covid-19 measures. They have to give the correct information so it was the last resort to get any information at all. I think we may expect of Turismo, a ministry that is being paid for by taxpayers, may be expected to give the correct information though I do realise what a shitty institution it is. However, I have learned to be very firm with them and that usually results in some answers. Having said that, the lady I spoke to today was really more helpful. We can only hope they are well enough informed to give the correct answers. Anyway, your explanation is really in line with what the lady in Turismo said. I am very pleased, Luís, that you gave a little more detailed comment on the matter, more than I had the courage to do because of the very superficial information given by Turismo. I have put a link in my initial article that allows people to jump to your comment, as I think it’s extremely helpful!

    2. Hi again, Jane,
      I have had a long chat with the Tourist Office. It is not possible to say beforehand what would happen if one of you would test positive. If one of you, or both, test positive, you will be contacted immediately by a doctor or a qualified nurse of the health service. The decision of where to stay after that will be one taken together. The doctor /nurse will determine together with you what’s best. Imagine only one of you is infected and you can isolate that one in a room in your accommodation. Then the other can do the food shopping and take care of the person in isolation. If the two of you are infected and there is someone who can take care of your shopping they may let you stay in your own accommodation as well. If not, it is best that you will go to a dedicated hotel unit where they can take care of you. The Island government picks up the bill. The decision will depend on a number of factors. There is no general answer but I am sure you get the point. I hope this helps.

      1. Thank you Luis and Peter. Just logged on to read all your information – that is so incredibly helpful to know and makes me much more confident to travel with my family. Thank you very much for spending so much of your time to investigate and help us and many others too. It is a very heartening to read how Madeira do what’s best for you and everyone around you – an approach that clearly works! Wish we had that in the UK! All the best Jane

  33. Thanks Peter, this really helped put my mind at ease and plan expectations. So, arrived today Sunday 27 Sept. Landed at 12.40, tested by 1.15pm, would have been earlier had it not been for a hold up at passport control, at apartment by 1.45. Results received at 6.20pm, all negative thank god. Swabs a little uncomfortable but lasts no more than a few seconds. Plenty of helpers around to offer support and advice where needed. Overall the experience and process was outstanding.

    1. Thank you for telling us, Paul. It is completely in line with all the stories I have heard so far. Though I don’t wish for anyone to test positive, it would be very helpful if anyone who was so unfortunate would share his/her experiences with us here as well. But I suppose they have other worries than feeding my blog comments :/

  34. Hello. I read your amazing blog about the Covid details and you mentioned we could ask questions! I am from Vancouver Island and we have been to Madeira five times, usually in Feb March. This year we are getting a visa to stay longer and arriving on the 9th of Dec. My question is this…….it takes up to two days to get to Madeira. I thought the covid test had to be under 72 hours but now I am confused. We can’t get a test through our medically run system for travel. There are a couple of places that are super busy and testing could take up to 5 days for the results!!
    They have opened a covid testing at the Vancouver Airport and we were going to take the test there and by the time we arrive in Madeira hopefully we would have the results. Is this too crazy? Otherwise, our test with the other option of up to five day result could be too old when we arrive

    1. Hi Sandy, which route will you be travelling from Vancouver to Madeira? I.e. via Lisbon or via Ponta Delgada. You can opt for the tests on arrival at Madeira airport.

      1. This time we are flying through Lisbon. I would prefer to take one before we leave if I can figure out the confusing timing logistics.

        1. Well, the test has to be done within 72hours before arriving so, from Vancouver to Toronto to Lisbon to CR7 would be pushing it. I think you should opt for the test on arrival, It’s free.

          1. Not anymore, Maurice. That was the initial rule. Now, the test cannot be older than 72 hours before boarding the plane. In Sandy’s case, it is the question which plane. The one she leaves Canada on or the one she arrives on in Madeira. I am still trying to find out….

              1. Quite. But Sandy plans to stay a little while longer, so it will be worth it. I will try to find out where the 72 hours rule starts to count If need be, I’ll call IASaúde. . It’s a relevant question, I’d like to know the answer myself, too!

                1. I thought I had. Your smiley is there at least. Anyway, I get your message. Thank you Maurice. I keep trying to have a useful blog in the air.

    2. Sandy, I have just posted my experience of arriving today. Testing in UK is a mess and had no option other than to get tested when we landed. It did worry me that my result would be positive as only here for 10 days. However we did take precautions leading up to travel. No socialising and limiting trips to shops for 2 weeks before. Good luck.

      1. So happy for you Paul! Testing is available in Canada but not for travelling purposes. Enjoy your 10 days!

    3. I would not worry too much about this Sandy. If you can get a test at all in Canada, it will at least tell you if you test negative for covid at that moment. You will be pretty sure you would still test negative upon arrival in Madeira, but yes, you would have to be tested here again when you get here. As you can read from some of my reader’s comments, it is a pretty flawless procedure. However, I will find out if your test can be up to 72 hours old before boarding the first flight you take from where you live, or if it can be 72 hours old when you board the plane that takes you to Madeira. I suspect it’s the latter so your timing would be almost impossible if you want the test in Canada just to avoid one in Madeira. But again, it’s a quick and effecient procedure with plenty of helpful people to guide you through the process.

    4. Hi again, Sandy,
      I just came off the phone with the Tourist Office in Funchal, an official body of the Regional Government of Madeira. The lady I spoke to said the thought the age of the test 72 hours maximum counts when boarding the first plane of your trip. I heard some hesitation so I countered that the text in official health website of Madeira contradicts this – however not clearly – so she checked with a colleague. I had to explain that your trip would take at least 48 hours for you to get here, and the timing of a test is challenging to say the least. I think you have no choice but to take the rest. Do the test if you can, have it so that it is no older than 72 hours upon boarding the first plane of your journey. Do enter all the details in the madeirasafe.com website as described in my article and keep your fingers crossed. If all goes well, your test will be validated by the health authorities and you will be notified. The worst that can happen to you is that the test is no longer valid when you get to Madeira and they want to test you again. Not a big deal, as you will be 99% sure of testing negative anyway. The test itself is not particularly pleasant, but it’s really not all that bad. I hope this answers your question. I think I can’t be more conclusive. The system is based on the great majority of tourists who come here, and they are from Europe and get here within a day. Nobody has thought of a situation like yours, and frankly, I can understand they have other worries.

  35. A question has been raised on Tobi’s blog which I haven’t seen anywhere else.

    Do you need to register on the Madeira Safe website for every visit or do you just go back in and amend details for each visit?

    1. No, Maurice, you only register once. When you have finished your trip and you go back to madeirasafe.com for another login, it will ask you ‘add new trip’. Technically, it should be called ‘edit trip or add new’, but it isn’t. Anyway, just register once, and hold on to your login and your password. You can keep using your account endlessly, but let’s hope there will be no need.

  36. Hello Peter, thanks for the very useful information. My husband and I would like to travel to Madeira with our two children (10 and 12 years old), but of course they don’t have a mobile phone or email address. Is there a way to combine them with ours in the web site Madeirasafe.com? Thank you and sorry for my bad english!

    1. Hi Claudia, what’s wrong with your English? I see no problems. Anyway, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese all work for me. (it’s not that I am showing off 😉 ) But about your question: Children up to 12 years old do not need to be tested. I will try and find out if they don’t need registering in Madeirasafe.com either. But I think not. I’ll check and get back to you.

      1. Thanks, Peter! But I suppose my 12 years old son will also have to take the test ( I hope to do it here in Italy). Did I understand correctly?

        1. P.s. “children under 12 years old” mean that at 12 and a half they have to take the test? Sorru, I’m little confused…….

          1. You are correct. I was too fast. In that case, give him an email address and register him separately. Phone number is less critical. But a separate email address is essential. Or if you have one you don’t use, use that one. But everyone on a different email address.

    2. I have checked. It is easy. When you register in madeirasafe.com, there is a page where they ask you if you travel with anyone dependent of you (children under 12) I have no children, so I could not tst it, but I think this is where you enter the details of your children. They don’t need to be tested, and the registration is done by you, with your contact details. I hope this helps.

  37. Peter,
    Seeing that you and your web-site provides such a good focal point for information for visitors to Madeira, I’m taking the liberty of offering these two links from the Discover Madeira web-site: the Covid-19 Information to Tourists (1) and the COVID Safe Tourism document (2). I commend them to all visitors. Keep up the good advice to visitors to Madeira, and thank you.
    (1) http://www.visitmadeira.pt/en-gb/useful-info/corona-virus-(covid-19)/information-to-visitors-(covid-19)
    (2) http://www.visitmadeira.pt/Admin/Public/DWSDownload.aspx?File=%2fFiles%2fFiles%2fVisitMadeira%2fProfissionais%2fCoronavirus%2f20200805-SRTC-COVID-SAFE-TOURISM-EN.pdf

    1. Thank you, Ian. It took a little while for your comment to pop up. It contains two links, and my anti-spam software holds anything containing more than one, as links are often found in spam. Don’t worry, I allowed it to appear now.
      I am aware of the links you sent. Their content is correct, only, they lead to the Madeira Tourist authority, and that lot (also running the Tourist Office in Funchal) is always running behind facts. Also, the translations into English are partly machine-generated, which will be obvious for anyone who reads them.
      The relevant information for anyone visiting Madeira, that is contained by the links, I have worked into my article explaining the covid measures for August and September. The language I use is quite different from badly translated pompous Portuguese-Officials-language, which is hardly understandable for a Portuguese, let alone a foreigner. You can find the article here.

  38. Morning Peter ,
    Thank you so much for Madeira airport information on Tobi’s blog , we will be there in November and will certainly do the Madeirasafe.com before arriving . Just one question you may be able to answer ; we have not booked a return flight yet as not sure when we will be returning to the UK , will we be required to enter return details before arrival ?
    Kind Regards ,
    David .

    1. No, David, there is no need. I registered myself because I wanted to see what the process was like. I entered a date of arrival in October next year, which may be close to the truth. I did not enter a date of departure. The system flawlessly accepted my registration.
      They use the date of departure to know when to stop sending you messages inquiring about how you feel (checking if you have any symptoms) If you don’t fill in a date of departure they will probably stop sending you these messages after 14 days, the generally accepted incubation time.

      1. Morning Peter ,
        If a person who tests positive at the airport is only in Madeira for a week , do they have to stay in the lockdown hotel until they test negative , or are they taken back to the airport to catch their booked return flight . Here in the UK at the moment there are no checks for passengers arriving which could be a good reason for the positive cases here going up . Thank you for all your information . We can never get it right here ☹️
        Regards David

        1. I think you go into quarantine and stay there until two negative tests. They will not put you on a plane back if you are known to be positive.

        2. Hi David, Maurice has it right. They won’t let you go until you are recovered and test negative. I believe that Maurice is right as well where he says they want you to test negative twice before they let you go, but there is hardly any information about this out there. Whatever it is, it seems the right thing to do. It would be very anti-social to put you on a plane with other passengers knowing full well you are a risk to them. About never getting it right in your home country, in my home country the Netherlands they have also been taking many half-hearted measures like advising people to wear face masks in public spaces, but not making them compulsory. All that because they think there is no proof it helps much. If only they would take the time and have a look at Madeira. But politicians are a self-centred lot who only care about their own prestige. It seems to come with the territory.

  39. Hi Peter, thank you for all this helpful info. I am from Canada and have a hotel booked for 2 months starting January 20th, for my 3rd stay in Funchal. Because of Canadian travel restrictions that affect medical insurance, I have not yet booked my flight. I am also keeping an eye on your situation there re. number of cases, etc. My hotel has asked that I confirm my reservation by January 1st, so I still have lots of time. You’ve done a great job of detailing arrival procedures! What I’m worried about is what happens if you get Covid? Some insurance companies in Canada and, I’ve heard, there in Funchal as well, have come out with insurance to cover Covid. I understand that if you get it you are transferred to a special hotel. Can you give any feedback about what happens if you get it and get sick enough to need treatment? Are you treated in isolation in the hotel or the hospital? As long as a person tests positive they wouldn’t be able to leave. Maybe this is outside your area of expertise, but it is what many of my friends who regularly winter in Madeira and Algarve are worried about. Thanks for any thoughts or insights you may have.

    1. Hi Heather, I understand your concerns. I have been getting new information today and will get more early next week hopefully. So bear with me and come back to the article soon to get your answers.

    2. Hi Heather, I am going to have to ask you for a little more patience in this. I finally got to speak to a gentleman in a Portuguese travel and health insurance company. My initial email got lost as they are flooded with emails from the UK. People there see there travel insurance being of no value now, what with covid and with Brexit. I briefly explained what my questions are, I am not able to follow this up in the next two days, as I will be out most of the time. But I have a direct email now, so I am sure I am going to be able to answer your questions quite soon.

    3. Hi again, Heather, I am now in contact with a travel insurance company, who specialises in foreigners spending time in Portugal. I am in contact with someone of the Funchal branch. It took a while, as they are extremely busy, the gentleman told me he had received 1600 emails in just one week. Anyway, I am in the process of formulating questions to ask. They do a health insurance scheme as well, and the price is in relation to the time you spend here. So if there are specific things you’d like me to ask this insurer, please let me know a.s.a.p.. I hope to come back with some answers about this subject. When the answers come back and if there is enough information to justify it, I will probably write a separate article about it. Make sure and subscribe so you won’t miss it. (if you haven’t already, that is)

      1. Peter, thanks so much! Rather than you asking specific questions and taking up your time, if there is a website link or an electronic brochure showing who they will cover, rates, items covered, limits, deductibles, etc. I don’t expect you to find out all that for me. Even if you could give me name of the company and contact info, that would be enough and I would appreciate it very much.

        1. Hi Heather, I have already asked a small number of general questions, like can you get health insurance if your regular health insurans does not cover expenses made in countries with covid, or covid-related treatment costs; can you get insurance for extra cost of travel if you test positive and are kept here beyond your booked return date and can you get insurance for extra cost if you can stay your quarantine in the accommodation you booked, but you have to extend your stay because you still test positive on the day of your booked return flight.
          Also, I asked the gentleman if I can give you – and others who specifically ask for it – his personal business email addy. We are talking about bonus-seguros.pt and at present, they are flooded with emails. Mine (you have to youse a response form) got stuck in the spam folder for a week and a half. So bear with me a little longer, I will probably post a new blog post on this subject shortly, and I will give you all the details you need. With his permission, I will PM you the personal addy. I hope this helps.

          1. Hi Peter,
            Thank you so much! You’re very thorough and you’ve thought of everything. And thank you for this blog!

            1. Have you seen my new blog article about insurances, Heather? That should answer your questions. I did get permission to give you the email of the director but seen he has not yet replied to my mail of yesterday maybe you are better off using the regular contacts. I’ll send you a personal mail anyway.

              1. Hi Peter, yes I saw your article today. I’m just going through everything and digesting it, as well as comparing it to one Canadian insurer that has now come out and said they will cover covid. Just waiting now to see what happens with the covid numbers here as at this rate government is unlikely to reduce travel restrictions. Thank you so much for all your efforts on this.

  40. Hi,

    Thank you for the information.

    My wife and I arrive on the 28th September. My question is that we only have one mobile phone between us. If I use the same phone number to register us both you say it my make life more difficult. Can you say in what way?

    We do have separate email addresses.

    1. Hi Tony, the madeirasafe.com system will send regular text messages. If you share a phone number, it will often be unclear for whom the message is meant, as the personal codes are partly based on your phone number. Having said that, I would not overly worry about this. It is essential that you have separate email addresses, though, as the system wants one unique email for every person who registers. If you try one email for more than one person, you will jeopardize their system. With a shared phone number you win’t. So, even if you just have the one phone number, you will be fine as you do have separate emails. Make sure you have access to your emails when in Madeira, though!

  41. Peter,
    Thank you for the information which you have collated.
    The worry for me as a technophobe is that neither my wife nor I have a smartphone. Does the procedure which you have outlined preclude us from visiting Madeira?

    1. No, Keith, it does not. You can print the QR code, but you need to be able to give an email address that you can access during your stay, and a phone number, so that you can receive the test results. However, I think coming off your phobia would make your life a lot easier. You seem to have no problem with computers and the internet, as you commented here. Look upon a smartphone as a tiny computer that lets you access the net and receive messages. If you do not like the idea of using it for phone calls, then don’t and don’t communicate the number. There are inexpensive prepaid solutions. Good luck! Remember that your health comes first, even if that means letting go of old principles.

  42. Thanks for all of your effort putting this excellent article together, Peter. Full of detail, great tips and, frankly, essential reading.

    People see things different ways, but I would be inconsolable if I thought I’d brought Covid to Madeira and had even possibly passed it on to someone else. I don’t know, but I can imagine that the majority of transmissions have happened when someone has thought, ‘Oh, it’ll probably be OK.’

    Out of basic respect for the people of Madeira, I brought food with me from home to last until the next day and went absolutely nowhere other than straight to my accommodation until the negative test was received the following morning. Liquids a bit trickier, but given the efforts Madeira have gone to on their side of things, I feel that the least we visitors can do on our side is buy at duty free in our departure airport whatever beverages are required or desired for one night.

    In the extremely unlikely circumstance there’s a positive result, then there are loads of support possibilities in Madeira. It’s a fine example to the world of how to do things well, if only anywhere else in the world was paying attention.

    Very good wishes to all

    Steve

    1. Steve, after having retrieved your comment from the trash, where it did not belong in any way, I have read your thoughts and frankly, you have convinced me to alter the part of the article about going food shopping before getting the test result. You are absolutely right and my somewhat more liberal thoughts about this are based on the fact we feel so relaxed here and there haven’t been any l;local chains of transmission for some time now. But indeed, it’s when you think you will be fine because it’s the others that bring gloom and doom, that you are the one who actually starts a new chain of transmission. So the article has been altered accordingly. Thank you for pointing this out to me. ‘Talk’ soon!

      1. Hi Peter,

        Great respect to you for your change of thought on this, and indeed editing your article to reflect that. Thank you for the reference and, of course, your ongoing work to maintain these living, ever-morphing sources of information.

        My main thinking on this is the long-term. Madeira has a handle on this and, in my opinion, is currently in the best position to return to pre-Covid normality of any place in the world I have heard or read about. Actions which have been taken early and done well will lead to people being able to regain their liberty earlier than other places and rebuild their businesses and the economy as a whole.

        Thanks

        Steve

        1. Thanks, Steve, but honestly, Your comment, and Annie’s and Helena’s comments convinced me I am taking the isolation a bit too lightly. I do know why: everything is so relaxed here that it is easy to forget the seriousness of it all. So, a change of mind was in order.

  43. Peter,
    Thank you for the excellent guide. I’ve now registered in advance of my trip planned for December.
    Interestingly, when I now login, the Welcome page displays ‘My trip’ with the flight dates in the format mm/dd/yyyy for the outbound flight and dd/mm/yyyy for the return flight. Hence, my flights of 6 Dec outbound and 13 Dec return, show as 12/06/2020 and 13/12/2020 respectively. I’ve checked my entry and I’ve input it correctly. Potentially very confusing.
    Have you seen or heard of this before?

    1. No, Ian I haven’t. But if you go to the menu and tap add trip, you can check the existing dates in the calender. I wouldn’t worry about the return trip. It represents the date they stop sending messages enquiring about how you feel.

  44. I flew Edelweiss direct Zurich-Funchal a few days ago. I had no test and had not signed up on the website. Carry ons were allowed in both business and economy and meals were served in both. I cannot praise Madeira enough for how efficient they make the arrival process. Bananas and water available. I was directed after getting my baggage to the host who signed me up (in a few minutes), off to see if I was all synched up to get my results- I was, and then off to the nurse to get tested. I was tested at 17 hours and received by email around 3 am my results. Don’t worry about anything as they manage us so very well! Thanks for the article.

    1. Hi Anne
      Many thanks for your excellent advice and also to Peter. This website and comments are proving so helpful.

      As we leave UK early on Mon Dec 28 I think it is better for us to have our tests carried out on arrival in Madeira as the time scale would not work. May I enquire whether the tests are free?

      Many thanks for your help.

      Angela Cleary

      1. Hi Angela. We arrived on 27 September, going home tomorrow unfortunately and can confirm the tests are fee. I previously posted my experience in this thread.

  45. Just wondering: people who test positive upon arrival and who stay with friends or family, also need to stay in quarantine at the hotel?
    The hotel costs are on your own expense I suppose?
    The tricky thing is that they only let you go again when you test negative. This may sound logical, however, some people keep testing positive a long time after recovery. In the Netherlands, for instance, you may consider yourself recovered if you don’t present any symptoms during 24 hours and at least a week after these symptoms started.

    1. If you are positive, I think everyone would prefer that you isolate yourself instead of quarantining a whole bunch of family and friends. There might be rules about it, I heard you have to go to a hotel if it’s not your own house in Madeira but I’m not sure. Maybe someone has some info on that?
      And yes, you must test negative, I think even twice, before you are released. What happens in NL is not really considered a safe standard in Madeira.

      1. As I told already in reaction to others, I am going to try and find out. Turismo da Madeira is supposed to have the answers, but they are not known as the most informed or friendly institution. I will publish the results late tomorrow.

    2. No, they can stay with their friends, but isolated in their room. If they do, it’s only the infected persons that have to be isolated. In case they are transferred to the dedicated hotel unit, the government will pay for it. If you have to buy a new plane ticket, you will have to pay for that yourself, unless you have insurance that takes care of it. I am trying to find out if there are possibilities because many worry about this.

  46. We are travelling on Monday and your article is really helpful. We have tried everywhere to get a Private COVID test in the UK but it’s just chaos. Thank you Peter.

  47. Hi Peter,
    We came out 3 weeks ago for 2 weeks. The code is the last 4 digits of the phone number that you registered with them. We got our results within 6 hours. Although the line looked long, there were plenty of nurses and we were at the front very quickly.

  48. Excellent article Peter. Thanks for that I now know what to expect when filling in the forms etc.

    We are due to arrive Dec 16 so if you venture into Funchal I would happily buy you a beer. It will have to be a Coral as I haven’t seen any Amstel

    1. One thing Peter. We are staying in an apartment on Avenida Anadia and with luck should be in there around 13:00 we could have to wait up to 12 hours to get results, do let’s say midnight. Do you think it would be ok for me to go straight out to Pingo Doce just down the road to get food in? If we did have a positive test do we stay in the apartment or move to the hotel in Machico? If we had to quarantine in the apartment we would still need food and drink. A dilemma.

      1. These are things I have trouble to find out. It should be information available at the Tourist office, being the official source. But usually, they are rude, uninformed and uninterested. I will visit them tomorrow to find out, and I will have a field day exposing them (again) if they don’t give me adequate answers. Hold on tight and we’ll see tomorrow.

          1. I went there this afternoon and apart from the face of the lady that clearly showed me she did not want me there, she answered the questions I had. I have altered the article accordingly where food shopping before receiving the test results are concerned. It really was pointed out to me by Steve B, I am working on some more, so bear with me and come back to this article regularly.

        1. Have seen your update. Will wait until nearer our arrival as things could change radically then contact the agent to get some foodstuffs in.

      2. When I arrived during lockdown I was told I could not even go get groceries. And that was for 14 days. People coming now only need to make plans for max 12h. I saw on the news a while ago there was already growing concern about people who arrive before check in time and would go grocery shopping and on how that beats the whole purpose of waiting for your test. I would recommend to contact your hosts to arrange for your list of all the must haves for the 12h – they will certainly cooperate due to safety reasons.

        1. That would work if you stay in a hotel or a B&B. If you rent a house or an apartment you are supposed to be self-catering. I really think you could get away with doing your own shopping, as long as you do as I wrote in my article: one person only, wearing a mask, keeping 2 m of distance, disinfecting hands and don’t stay in a shop any longer than you must. Also, lockdown meant State of emergency. That was a completely different situation. Now, things have calmed down, we know a lot more, but yes, being careful won’t hurt.

        2. after getting some more information I have had to change my mind. The part about food shopping before receiving the test results is now altered. You are absolutely right.

          1. So glad you updated this info because your page is a great source of information that many will follow! In any case- b&b, hotel, self catering, coming back to your own house – Madeirans will always support anyone in the name of safety and tourism. I knew no one when I moved to Prazeres and everyone was supportive of our quarentine, offering food from their gardens and to bring us our groceries and medicine. Just reach out and come enjoy the island!

            1. What you say is absolutely true, Helena. Still, I can well imagine that anyone arriving and having to self-isolate waiting for the test result, would much rather arrange for the necessary food and drink to tide them over than rely on the friendliness of people they haven’t yet met. Especially with winter arriving and it getting dark pretty early, neighbours might not even notice you until the next day. Whatever the situation, it can’t be too difficult to take some necessary food and drink with you for the first 12 hours. More often than not, the results come in earlier.

              1. Just remembered that what people could do even if they are on self catering basis is, depending on their location and time of day, is order a meal from a restaurant. In Calheta I did not have an easy time finding something but I know that Mudas restaurant offers this. Funchal area has a lot more offer. Don’t know if you’ve seen this website compilation (created due to Covid): https://startupmadeira.eu/2020/03/19/ficaemcasa-servicos-e-entregas-em-casa/

                1. Thank you for this, Helena. I did see this at the time, but living in Fajã da Ovelha it has not been of much interest to us. I know about Mudas, but I wonder if they would deliver even here. Distance is often a problem. I am going to find out. Thanks again.
                  The reason I needed to moderate this comment is that you have put a link in it, and links are often a marker for spam. My software had put your comment in the ‘pending’ lineup.

                2. Your link and the one Helena sent are not dissimilar. For people staying in Funchal, there is a wide choice. The rural areas have a lot less to choose from. I think it is the responsibility of anyone who rents out a house or an apartment to find out the possibilities in his or her area. I for one am going to see some local restaurants and ask if they could deliver if I have a renter who has to wait for a test result and is not allowed off the grounds. It isn’t imminent, we are staying till late April. A lot can happen until then, though I don’t hold my breath.

      3. ‘Ello Maurice,

        People see things different ways, but I would be inconsolable if I thought I’d brought Covid to Madeira and had even possibly passed it on to someone else. I don’t know, but I can imagine that the majority of transmissions have happened when someone has thought, ‘Oh, it’ll probably be OK.’

        Out of basic respect for the people of Madeira, I brought food with me from home to last until the next day and went absolutely nowhere other than straight to my accommodation until the negative test was received the following morning. Liquids a bit trickier, but given the efforts Madeira have gone to on their side of things, I feel that the least we visitors can do on our side is buy at duty free departure airport whatever beverages are required or desired for one night.

        In the extremely unlikely circumstance there’s a positive result, then there are loads of support possibilities in Madeira. It’s a fine example to the world of how to do things well, if only anywhere else in the world was paying attention.

        Very good wishes to you and good luck

        Steve

        1. I really am grateful for your opinion. It made me change my mind and the relevant paragraph of article has been altered.
          There will also be more information about what happens if you are out of lunch and you test positive. I had to face the unfriendliness of Madeira’s official tourist office, which has a bad reputation. I could now witness the reasons why first-hand. But finally, I got some information that will be worked into the article in the next couple of days.

          1. I forgot to add that to my report. You are meant to go home (not go shopping) until you get your results. it is pretty easy to bring on the plane or buy in the airport enough food and water for 12 hours. I of course had stocked my apartment, but the point is do not expose yourself to others. Also as others mentioned order food delivered.

            1. You are absolutely right, Annie, thank you, and I already let others before you convince me that I should alter that part of the article. Which I did in the meantime. Ordering food is a possibility, but for first timers who are not familiar with the possibilities and for those who rent self catering in a rural area that is often not possible. So, yes, bring stuff to tide you over or make a deal with the house owner. Everyone is aware of the problem, and everyone is willing to help.

          2. Thanks again, Peter. Will add here that I saw elsewhere online someone using the argument that no one would be checking, so get whatever food you like as soon as you arrive. That was clearly what some people wanted to hear and the suggestion quickly descended into others saying things like, go out to restaurants and bars on your first night (meaning before the test result) – it’s your holiday, you paid for it, so you’re entitled to do what you like. Obviously I am personally not aligned with that kind of thinking.

            I don’t sound very liberal, but I respect others’ freedoms not to catch Covid from me, even if that’s a small possibility. And the probability that the people of Madeira can be in a position to get back to growing their economy again much sooner than other places with increasing transmission numbers, that will bring greater long-term freedoms to the island, I hope. I can see a time in the future when Madeira is back to relative normality, when other places are in their 3rd or 4th lockdown because they were too impatient to restart their economies.

            1. People making comments like those are totally irresponsible. I believe that you are told to go to your accommodation and stay there and you are there on a trust-basis. Sadly, you will always get arrogant ignorant people who stick two fingers up to everyone else and do whatever they like. If they get caught they are in serious trouble.

            2. I completely agree with you, Maurice. I can tell you this: because of the early and drastic measures taken by the island, we now already have the (relative) normalcy you long for. I can understand that people who arrive here will enjoy that normalcy straight away after arrival. Hell, it even triggered my initial point of view to (carefully) do your necessary shopping. It all feels so safe here and at the moment there are no local chains of transmission.

              It was obvious that this feeling of safety almost made me forget why it is so safe here. Because of all these measures. So they cannot and should not be ignored by self-centred people who could not care less if they brought infections to the island, as long as they can enjoy the holiday they paid for. Well, they did not pay for the free test they were given by the island government, correction, by the island’s taxpayers, in other words by the people of Madeira. Once that has been established, I think we can demand holidaymakers to be careful with the health of their hosts who kindly paid their covid-19 test, a test they have difficulty getting in their own chaotic country.

              So again, Maurice and Steve, I cannot agree more.

  49. I arrived September 7 and the process was quick and easy and very well organised. I received my negative test by email within 12 hours. My problem at the moment is I get daily emails to complete the health check form but I don’t know the 4 digit code. I keep hitting the “forgot your code” button and I keep getting the message “we have sent a link to your phone”…….. but nothing is sent to my phone. I can’t therefore complete the form

    1. I would not worry overly much. It seems there is a problem with the link between your madeirasafe account and your email. Try logging into madeirasafe and complete it there.

    2. Mary, I found I managed to get the validation code once I was back in the UK. Hopefully it will be registered for when I arrive next time.

      1. I arrived yesterday got tested at the airport at 11am. My wife got her negative result last night at 8.25pm. I’ve had Ino result. ‘ve tried ringing every number above. None answer except one. I say do you speak English, they reply no then ask covid? Then it goes back to ringing again. Happemed three times,been on hold nearly an hour now. I’ve emailed them no reply. Anyone any ideas what to do now? Thanks

        1. Neither of us got validation codes to our mobile phones, both registered the same though and had tests with consecutive numbers.
          Please help thanks

          1. I have no personal experience, as I did not travel since October 2019 when I got here. So I don’t know if you are supposed to get a validation code on your phone. I know that you get a message or an email telling you that you test negative. If you test positive, they will certainly phone you with instructions. Have you tried the phone numbers I mentioned in my article, the ones in the blue field ‘operação Aeroporto’? They really should have someone speaking English.

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