Life in Madeira after over a year of covid-19

Life in Madeira after over a year of covid-19

A great deal has already been written about Corona and the measures that go with it, and about life on Madeira in a pandemic. I, too, have wasted more words than is good for us. But after a year and a half of the pandemic, we can safely say that life in Madeira has remained nothing but very relaxed.

no problems

Life here in the middle of a pandemic is not remotely similar to that in the rest of Europe. Of course, in the beginning, we too had a somewhat scary time what with the state of emergency. But it immediately made it clear what could and could not be done. Shopping was no problem (in one supermarket, toilet paper was on sale) and after the first two months, bars and restaurants simply reopened.

Tourists were welcomed back with open arms from 1 May 2020 and Madeira organised a free testing system for all travellers at the airport. It set an example for many countries. So we rolled through the summer of 2020 in comfort and safety. Without village festivals, but with open bars and restaurants. Around Christmas 2020, there was a curfew. That was because there was a large increase in the number of infections caused by students and migrants returning home to spend the holidays with their family.

Leven op Madeira in covid tijd: korting op pleepapier.
pandemie of niet: er is hier aan niets gebrek geweest


But all those infections were mainly in the city of Funchal and in the densely populated areas of Caniço, Machico and Câmara de Lobos. For us, that is far away. We are in the municipality of Calheta in the West, the largest on the island, and we have had one or two cases here from time to time. Often, none at all. In short, life in our part of the island has gone on virtually undisturbed. And the curfew only meant that we had to get home from the pub on time. Nothing to worry about. And all the while, our friends were telling us that in the rest of Europe very little was possible or allowed.

een glas met vrienden, maar wel op tijd naar huis.

figures going down

The Christmas period is long gone. Infection rates have gone way down. Currently, we have an average of less than 10 per day in Madeira and more are recovered. This is nothing compared to other countries in Europe. Yesterday, 31 May, there was just a single new infection. The curfew went from 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. (weekends and weekdays respectively) to midnight. Meanwhile, a number of other measures have been lifted here. Take your time and read the rules that are in force now.

safe holiday? Madeira is ready for you.

Madeira has done everything to remain a safe area, even in the middle of the pandemic. Anyone who had not been tested before was tested for free on arrival. And now that many people have been vaccinated, there is a ‘green’ corridor at the airport where anyone who arrives tested, cured or vaccinated (and has proof ot it) can proceed unhindered to their final destination. Most new infected people are no longer travellers. They are often young people who, like everybody else, think they are immortal and can get away with ignoring the rules.

groene corridor maken het leven op Madeira een stuk makkelijker

more relaxed dan anywhere else

If you want to come to Madeira to enjoy the overwhelming nature or to have a nice swim in the ocean, or enjoy eating out, you can do all that safely and with a good conscience. Our municipality Calheta hardly has any corona cases. We know from our travelling friends that it feels much more relaxed here than in most other places in Europe, and that certainly includes the UK. If you want to know more or if you have specific questions, please leave a comment. Everyone with a question will get an answer. Would you like to have a relaxing holiday in Madeira? Check the calendar to see if our house is free and send us an email with your details.

Madeira's overweldigende natuur


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.


  1. We had four weeks on the island over the Christmas/New Year and enjoyed it. The only down side was it rained a lot and was much cooler than previous years. I imagine the island is going to need time to recover but then again we are all in the same boat. Thank you China, your first attempt at biolohical-warfare on the rest of the world has damaged the economies of so many nations. Rant over!

    The UK government were wrong to put Portugal and the islands on the amber list. I just hope they have the good sense to reverse it in the next couple of weeks. Lots of holiday destinations are crying out for British holidaymakers. We are hanging on for October fingers crossed

    1. Pity indeed the weather wasn’t too good in the Christmas and New Year period. It is a misconception many have, that Madeira is a hot country where the sun always shines. They obviously never wondered why the island is so green. The island is recovering rather well, especially the smaller family-run places that do not entirely depend on tourists seem to have survived, and those are the island economy’s backbone.
      As China had the first great number of victims I don’t feel inclined to adhere to what looks like a complot-theory though, Maurice, if you will excuse my saying so.
      As for the UK government and the amber list I can only (sorry, gloating) say: Brexit, the gift that keeps giving. The EU has now adopted a uniform coding system and Madeira is only yellow which means low risk. No more testing required upon returning to any EU country, nor quarantine. One should think, though, that, come October, even the UK government have come to their senses. Or am I being overly optimistic here 😉 ?

      1. I reckon Madeira and several other places such as the Canaries, Malta, Greek islands will go on the Green list very soon. And the UK may have left the EU but we are still in Europe.

        1. I hope so, as anything but the safest rating for Madeira is ignoring the facts. Down to around 70 cases these days. and between 5 and 10 new cases on average lately.

          1. Right now the UK government is trying to reduce the spread of the Delta variant. They aim to get 10 millions more vaccinated in the next 4 weeks. Thankfully this variant seems to be weaker than the other strains. Hardly anyone has died with it and very few in hospital and then only for a short while. July 19th or possibly earlier is the date they hope to fully open up the UK.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.