Madeira free of Coronavirus

Funchal's central hospital.

Update of june 12, 2020

Since this article was first published on March 5th, a lot has happened. Of course, with the first signs of covid-19 arriving on the Island, we all were very worried. If the virus would have had free range here, it would have ended in an uncontrollable disaster. Health care is fairly good here, but the size is limited and they obviously have very moderate means. That’s why the island locked down immediately, successfully fending off a serious outbreak. I have been writing, with weekly intervals roughly, about how things developed. You can read it all in my blog pages. The number of infections has been limited to a total of 90. Only two people have had to go to hospital, and only one of them has needed intensive care. All the others had mild symptoms only, likely due to the abundance of clean, fresh air here on Madeira. Now, things are gradually opening up again, and we can only hope that travellers won’t bring the virus back now that we are only 5 patients away from being corona-free once more. You can keep track of the developments on a special corona-statistics page. We insert the latest Health Service press conference, which is now held every week.

Read the special temporary page with corona stats. Madeira seems to have the coronavirus well under control. .

The original post of March 5, 2020

Internet and Social Media are a blessing to us in our modern times. Or are they? In the Netherlands, my native country we have a saying that goes “knowing everything won’t make you happy”. In the case of the Chinese Coronavirus outbreak, the COVID-19 as it is officially called now, this may well be the case. Of course, being aware of what’s going on in the world enables you to protect your safety, but on the other hand, the ever sensation-craving news media will not cease to tell you alarming stories, just to increase their own importance and profit. Time, I thought, to try and put things back into perspective. Let’s start by reassuring you: To date, Madeira is still free of the Coronavirus.

actual Corona risk

First of all, I think it may be important to realise the actual risk of a Corona infection. Madeira has, in a very early stage, taken a number of precautions to ensure the protection of the population against the coronavirus. You can read about that in my friend Tobi Hughes’ Madeira Island News, where you can find some relevant articles about the preparations here and here. As you will see, the Madeiran health authorities have taken prevention of a corona outbreak very seriously. There has been only one case of suspected corona infection. It was a 19-year old Madeiran student, who returned home from a visit to Milan. It turned out her illness was an ordinary flu. She was tested negative, and the results have been double-checked by the Lisbon Dr Ricardo Jorge Institute and were confirmed negative, which makes Madeira still free of the Coronavirus.

no direct access from corona infected areas

It is good to remember that Madeira, being an island with only air connections to the mainland, has no uncontrolled traffic like in countries that are linked by road to areas with possible corona infections. All flights from Italy to Porto Santo, Madeira’s sister island, have been cancelled, and there are no direct flights from other infected areas to the Madeira archipelago. And obviously, being an island (with no ferry to the mainland) there are no people simply driving from an infected area to Madeira, which makes it more difficult for the infection to spread to the island. If you are on Madeira and you have symptoms that need looking into, or if you simply need some reassurance, there is a special telephone number in place, the SRS24 service will help you at any time under number 800 24 24 20.

cruise ships

An extra concern is, of course, the people arriving by cruise ships. We all read or heard the stories of a couple of cruise ships that were denied entering a port due to a corona outbreak on board. Worrying, of course, so I have been checking out several cruise lines to see if they have taken any extra measures. And yes, as I expected, they have. One of the lines I checked is TUI, that has a number of cruise ships frequenting the harbour of Funchal. The (horribly named) Mein Schiff 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as well as the AIDA ships have announced measures to ensure passengers’health and the measures are updated very frequently. For now, at least, roughly, people who have recently visited affected countries, are not allowed to board. I won’t bore you with all details, but for those who want to read more, here is some general information from Teller Reports concerning the protection policies. The only difference, really, with airlines bringing people to Madeira, is the duration of the stay of the passengers aboard the ship. Of course, the risk of transmitting a virus in case a passenger is infected is bigger than in a plane, but the chance of localising an infected passenger and isolating him or her is also bigger. And there is no denying that everyone travelling should really have the responsibility to not travel at all if they suspect being infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Ronaldo’s mother

Finally, just to prove that the Madeirans are not that much concerned, I like to add that doing some more research on the internet to see how the Nelio Mendonça hospital in Funchal is continuing its preparations for an outbreak, resulted not in information about the Coronavirus, but on something that is of much more concern to the Madeirans: the famous and immensely popular Christiano Ronaldo’s mother suffering a stroke the day before yesterday.

Funchal's central hospital.

As you may appreciate, Madeira continues to be a delightful holiday destination, and, with other destinations like Italy and the far East a likely no-go zone, for now, a more than worthy alternative. Especially, maybe, in a more rural zone like ours in the West of the island.

real-time Corona situation worldwide

One more thing: we found a new app showing real-time the state of the Coronavirus in the world. As you can see, Madeira – and other places – is indeed still free. Interesting to see how the situation is worldwide. Click on the image below to see what’s going on. The interactive page may be slow in loading.

Like before, Madeira free of Coronavirus: March 10, 2020 update

As I can see many people continue to read this article, I thought I should sit down and write an update on the happenings since it was first published. Fortunately, our piece of paradise is still free of Corona. There have been two Madeirans who fell ill after returning from a visit to Italy. They have been quarantined immediately, and, of course, they were tested immediately. As we learn from new information, published in English in the Madeira Island news here, thankfully they tested negative on the Coronavirus.

impressed by the Madeiran health authorities

We are very impressed by the diligence of the Madeiran Health service IASAÚDE- IP-RAM. They have really been very fast in assessing suspect cases, isolating them and testing them twice. The second tests were always assessed by the Instituto Ricardo Jorge in Lisbon. All four suspect cases turned out to be free of the Coronavirus. On top of that, very responsible measures are being taken, cancelling big manifestations that attract many visitors from overseas concentrate these visitors in a confined area. We have seen a Civil Protection exhibition cancelled, the famous Madeira Island Ultra Trail run MIUT is under reconsideration though it is scheduled only in another six weeks. Even the famous Madeiran Festival da Flor may well be cancelled.

Irresponsible and selfish behaviour by some

On an island that is doing its very best to keep safe and corona free, you can imagine the outrage by Madeiran residents, Portuguese and immigrants alike, when we heard that a Danish couple, that had been told to remain in quarantine after their child fell ill from the Coronavirus. The duration of the compulsory isolation is two weeks, the incubation period of the Coronavirus. They broke their confinement and went on holiday to Madeira, leaving their child in Denmark, after spending only one week in isolation, thus endangering their fellow air passengers and a whole island, really that works so hard on remaining safe and healthy. You can imagine how pleased and impressed we all were when we learned that the Danish health authorities informed their Portuguese counterparts about the situation. The Portuguese health authorities then warned the Madeira branch, the couple was located and now have to spend the incubation period isolated in their hotel room. I will officially forgive anyone who thinks (even aloud) ‘serves them right’. I have to add here, that the couple does not show any symptoms of carrying the Coronavirus, so maybe there will be no harm done after all. Still, this kind of selfishness and irresponsibility is unforgivable and really should be fined, or at least they should be charged with the extra costs caused to the already overstressed health services.

more good news

We have been amazed learning that people in the UK have been stock-piling loo paper. Facial masks we could have understood, but loo paper, really….. Fortunately, a good friend gave a private explanation: if one person sneezes in the UK, 100 others shit themselves. Forgive the pun. The good news is, no lack of loo paper here! Thanks, Tobi, for letting me use the image!

And on a lighter note, though the credibility may be limited, some of you will have a good laugh over this article describing one of Mr Trump’s complot theories.

Update 12 March

A fifth suspicious case was again found not to be infected with the virus. This means that covid-19 has still not been found on Madeira. It is interesting to see that the regional government is in consultation with the Danish authorities to see if it is possible to prosecute the Danish couple that was ignoring the two-week quarantine and just went on holiday.

In the meantime, new precautionary measures have also been announced. Here they are.

no more cruise ships allowed until the end of March

A total of 19 cruise ships were booked in the port of Funchal until the end of March 2020. In view of the problems encountered by other cruise ships, some of which have been placed in quarantine altogether or have had to cruise for days before being allowed to enter anywhere, Madeira no has decided not to allow any cruise ships to enter for the time being. A harsh measure, which will cost the island a lot of money, but which will considerably reduce the risk of the Coronavirus spreading to the island.

control of arriving air passengers

As of Monday – it will of course take time to set up the infrastructure – all incoming passengers at the airport will be scanned for fever.

MIUT 2020 cancelled

I wrote about it before: the MIUT, Madeira Island Ultra Trail, a very tough sports event that crosses the island lengthwise, has attracted many foreign participants for years. This year’s edition has been cancelled as a precaution. We won’t be surprised if the flower festival Festa da Flor doesn’t take place either, but that is still in the future.

schools and hospitals

The schools will remain open until the Easter holidays, after which things will be evaluated. further. A rather drastic measure has been taken in respect of nurses who have been in contact with suspicious cases. They had to stay in the hospital during the two days that a coronary test lasts until the results were known and turned out negative.

Update March 13, 2020

Since yesterday afternoon, some more precautions have been taken.

schools close

As of Monday, schools will close until at least the Easter break, after all. As a help to parents or caretakers, people who now have to stay home to look after their children will keep their salaries.

night clubs

Night clubs and all places where larger numbers of people can gather will be closed as well. Fortunately, it is really not the nightlife that brings people to Madeira. Also, daycare centres will be closed to prevent the virus from spreading. Note that these really are precautions, there have not yet been confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Madeira. Even cancelling church services is now considered. These measures may seem a little drastic in an island that hasn’t yet confirmed any cases of the virus, but it may be a little naive to think that no visitor coming to Madeira has been carrying the virus. Everyone who shows signs of infection is rushed into quarantine at a special unit of the Funchal central hospital, but so far all turned out to be negative on the covid-19.

I shall add more updates if there are any developments that may be of interest to my readers.

Madeira will certainly feel the fear of people that keeps them from travelling. It is quite understandable. people fear for their health and safety, and the media don’t help stuffing us with panicky reports. Still, we all know how these things go: anytime soon things can start to settle and people will pick up their lives again. With it, their wish to travel. And where better than to Madeira, still free of the Coronavirus and does so much for all of us to protect our health and safety. Should you be looking for a lovely place to spend your Madeira holiday, stop and do have a look at our welcoming and authentic house, away from it all!

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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.

70 comments

  1. My grandson I’d due to be married in June ,,the peak of what our Prime Minister says wills be the virus ,I can’t see the government there allowing people in at the peak of the Pandemic in Uk ,what are your thoughts about this please ,Pat x

    1. Many things can happen until June, Pat. I cannot look into the future nor can anyone else. I can only try and keep you all informed, free of fake news or hoaxes. Keep following my blog, maybe subscribe (bottom of the page)

  2. Hi Peter, Myself and my husband are travelling from Manchester to Funchal on Monday 16th March, I am so worried the flight will be cancelled, we are so looking forward to visiting the island. I appreciate the information on these pages as it does put my mind at ease. I have got my antibacterial wipes ready to clean my travel area on the plane and we both have our hand Sanitzer, both wipes and gel, so hopefully all will be ok. we are both as well as we can be for almost 60, no fever/coughs/colds/sneezes etc. so I am hoping we will get through as planned.

    1. I have just today found your blog and will make sure I read it on a regular basis. Myself and my sister are due to arrive in Madeira on 8 April from UK, and are very much looking forward to our trip. So we have everything crossed in the hope that our flights don’t get cancelled or travel restrictions are imposed. Let’s hope some of the current panic and madness is replaced by more common sense and levelheaded thinking along with some practical solutions. We will be so very disappointed to miss out on our forthcoming trip.

  3. I am contemplating taking a last minute flight to Madeira this coming Monday from the UK. I was just reading that I will have my temperature taken on arrival and have to complete a questionnaire on arrival. I was just wondering whether anyone knows what the questionnaire entails? I am currently very well, but do work in a hospital so worried that might mean I cannot come over. I would rather find out before I get on the plane if I cannot come.

    1. We know sort of. It’s about if you came from an area with known Cummunity transmission of virus, contact with known or probable cases in laser 14 days. Acute breathing problem/coigh/fever/, severe respiratory infection requiring hospitalisation.

      1. Beste Peter,
        Vakwerk… Je site is schitterend. Wij zijn hier nu een week en gaan de 31e terug. Dan is er weer plaats voor twee anderen in deze hemel… Wij zijn beide in de jaren veertig in Amsterdam geboren. Mijn vrouw is botaniste en gaat uit haar bol mbt de bloedstollende bomen.
        Warme Groet Johan

        1. Dat zijn nou eens leuke comments, Johan. Beetje laat antwoord, maar ik schrijf me een beetje het schompes momenteel, en de research van te voren is heel ereg tijdrovend. Voor een update is er alweer een nieuw artikel. En daarop komt zo wéér een update.

      2. Hi Peter,

        Thank you for all the updates. I have followed your site the last couple of days.
        I had a flight booked for this monday 16 march to Funchal from Schiphol Airport. My AirBNB host and local guide informed me that starting today all arriving passengers will be quarantined upon arrival.

        I couldn’t find any of these measures on local newssites in Madeira, but I didn’t want to take the risk, that is why I cancelled my visit to Madeira. Have you received the same information? I hope you can help keeping everyone informed.

        Vriendelijke groet,
        Elwin

      1. Hi we have just had our flights cancelled by Jet2.com .
        Hoping we can rebook later in the year to come to your beautiful Island

    2. Hello! Me and my Friend are looking forward to visit madeira at the 22th of March this Year for a week. We don’t fear the Corona virus but we fear that we can’t fly there cause of restrictions. Do you know if there are plans for closing the airport completely? We hope that we can discover that beautiful Island soon… 🙂

      1. The Regional Government wishes to close the airport, at least to planes from very infected countries, but it is not up to them. Read my next blog post (dated yesterday) for an update.

  4. My husband & I will be coming to Madeira for a 2 week holiday on Monday (16th) March. We are concerned about picking up the virus at the airport in UK & on the plane so will wipe seat, arms etc & take all precautions we can. I am nervous but we could catch the virus in the UK so we have decided to continue with our trip unless there is a substantial change between now & Monday morning. We love Madeira & the people living there.

    1. Hi. This evening we received news that our Jet2.com flight out on Monday from Birmingham has been cancelled sadly. We have been coming to our timeshare for the last 10 years so very sad we will not be seeing you all this spring.
      Larry and June Freeman

    2. Hi. This evening we received news that our Jet2.com flight out on Monday from Birmingham has been cancelled sadly. We have been coming to our timeshare for the last 10 years so very sad we will not be seeing you all this spring.

  5. Thanks for this very helpful info. We are booked to come for a week on 27 March from U.K. we are very much looking forward to it and doing what we can to protect ourselves in the meantime, my hands have never been so clean!

    1. We are coming for the U.K. to Madeira on Sunday, 15th March, so imminently. Looking forward to it but a bit nervous about being away from home and maybe not being able to get back if flights are cancelled. However, we’re only going for a week so hopefully we’ll be ok to get home again. Wouldn’t mind being stuck there but not sure how that works with needing accommodation!

      1. As long as you can get here I wouldn’t worry. There still is no Corona here. Should you get stuck, accomodation won’t be a problem. If you can’t leave, others can’t arrive.

    2. Did your 1978 disco stamp come shining through after so much washing? If your flight still goes by then, you won’t be safer anywhere than here. We are still Corona free. Subscribe to this blog and you’ll be automatically informed whenever there is real news.

  6. Fijn jouw update te lezen Peter! Ik kom met een vriendin op 19 maart 3 dagen naar madeira om wat te wandelen, er even tussen uit.. maar we twijfelen of het op dit moment een slimme keus is om te reizen..
    Ik kan verder ook geen info vinden of wij als nederlanders nog welkom zijn op madeira (ivm met de snelle verspreiding) ..maar ik neem aan zodra dit officieel niet meer het geval is, transavia ons in zal lichten.. Het is dus erg fijn jouw persoonlijke info te lezen over hoe het er daar aan toe gaat!! Gr Angela

    1. Zolang de vluchten niet gecancelled worden kun je op dit moment binnen de EU nergens veiliger zijn dan hier op Madeira. We houden de ontwikkelingen in de gaten en berichten weer zodra er echt nieuws is. Abonneer je op ons blog. Dan krijg je automatisch bericht. Dat kan ook op de Nederlandse versie!

      1. Super!
        Ik heb 2 vragen: hoe abonneer ik me op jouw blog, en is er een ferry van Madeira naar het vasteland?
        Alvast bedankt,
        Hartelijke groet,
        Margreet

        1. doorscrollen naar beneden, daar zie je rechts een vak waarin je je kunt abonneren. En nee, er is helaas geen veerdienst meer, die is gesaboteerd door de monopolist Grupo Sousa dus dat zal wel een poos zo blijven. Als je je op de Nederlandse versie wilt abonnereen, klik dan op de Nedeerlandse vlag en abonner je dan op de homepage of op de blogpagina.

    2. Finding your blog so helpful. We’re due to arrive on the 16th April – our first visit.
      Many thanks,
      Jacky Barker

  7. Beste Peter,

    Wat super dat je de informatie over het corona virus op Madeira deelt. We vliegen a.s. maandag 16 maart naar het mooie eiland om daar te genieten van de mooie natuur. Voor nu een betere plek om te zijn dan Nederland waar het virus zich gestaag uitbreidt.

    Vriendelijke groet,

    1. Beste Alice, doel van mijn doorlopend verslag is vooral het helpen voorkomen van volstrekt onnodige paniekreacties. Die paniek zorgt uiteindelijk voor veel meer narigheid dan het covid-19 virus zelf. Ik heb zojuist een update geplaatst, waarin je onder meer zult zien dat je vanaf maandag bij aankomst op koorts gaat worden gescand. Overigens is er ook een Nederlandstalige versie van mijn blogpagina over dit onderwerp, dat je hier kunt lezen: https://www.thuisopmadeira.nl/geen-coronavirus-op-madeira/. Wil je op de hoogte blijven, dan kun je je op ons blog abonneren, ook voor meer – en leukere – dingen van ons stuk paradijs!

    2. Zolang er geen lock down is in Nederland of op Madeira ben je absoluut welkom, Angela. Madeira heeft iedere vakantieganger nodig om het hoofd boven water te houden. Je wordt vanaf maandag wel op koorts gecontroleerd bij aankomst op de luchthaven. Grote manifestaties zijn uitgesteld, maar het eiland biedt legio mogelijkheden om. Toch met volle teugen te genieten. Dit artikel, en de updates, kun je ook in het Nederlands lezen, gewoon op de Nederlandse vlag klikken en dan in het menu ‘blog’ kiezen. Je kunt je er ook inschrijven voor onze nieuwsbrief zodat je een seintje krijgt als we wat te melden hebben, en dat zal voorlopig regelmatig zo zijn!

      1. Dank voor je reactie, helaas hebben we moeten annuleren..ik werk in de zorg dus reizen naar het buitenland is niet meer aan de orde.. maar we komen een andere keer zéker naar madeira.. wat in het vat zit.. gr Angela

  8. One can trust a Dutchman to make us smile in a “serious” blog about a virus. Smiling is viral and mine was broad.
    I’m glad to hear that Madiera is well equipped with lots of toilet paper, now I will tell me wife that our holidays at the Cliff Bay end of April can go ahead.
    Unless of course in the meantime things will evolve so we hope you’ll keep your measures up to scratch as the hoards of tourists increase the risk.
    We live in France where the numbers are rising. We live in the countryside and avoid all mass events most of the time anyway, but systemically at the moment.
    As my wife has been dreaming of this for years, now we’re retired its a treat for her (and me), so fingers crossed we don’t fall ill, don’t get banned from traveling, and don’t have your President do hysterical things to Trump our holiday 🙂

    1. Thank you Ian. An unknown error caused your message to end up in the spam. Going through it I retrieved it and put it back where it belongs. I apologise for this. I hope you are well. Since you have written your comment a lot has changed. Maybe you want to subscribe to not miss how things develop in our lovely piece of paradise. Stay safe!

    2. Meanwhile, things have changed considerably and I don’t think you can come and visit Madeira this April. However, I think your priority now is to stay healthy, and plan a new trip to Madeira when this madness has passed. Because pass it will. Keep smiling, it will see you through!

  9. We wil be in Madeira end of March to May from Canada. Enjoyed reading your info on corona virus. Sure hope we escape the virus should it arrive in Madeira.

    1. Let’s hope our little paradise will still be free of covid-19 when you arrive, Kathy. And hopefully, Trump’s idiot measures won’t spread to Canada (I am sure they won’t). Stay healthy in the meantime and have a good flight when you travel here!

  10. I read it is 2 Danish people who were in quarantine in Denmark who fleed and went to Madeira. Danish authorities tipped of Portuguese authorities and they got caught when they reached their hotel in Funchal last week. They are now quarantined in one of the hotels in Funchal. According to news their son is a confirmed case of Coronavirus and they have spent time together.

  11. We live in Madeira and go back to the UK for hols. We are booked for the 20th March. As both of us are now 84 yrs old do you think we should be risking returning? Our son says “No” and our daughter who is a nurse says it’s been blown out of all proportion by the Media. Up to press we are free where we are going to. We are in a real quandry. We might have cases in Madeira by the 20th too. Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated. Dorothy.

    1. Hi Dorothy,
      I can well understand your dilemma. I really think that both your son and your daughter are right. And no, there is no guarantee that there won’t be any case of Corona in Madeira by the time you are planning to leave to the UK. Question is, do you really have to go? You do have advanced age, so maybe it would be wise to avoid airports, planes or other crowded areas where you could expose yourselves to the virus. Madeira still being free of it, and taking very wise precautions like cancelling many manifestations where a lot of people would be concentrated, may well be a safer place to be than planes or airports, or even Railway stations or trains. I cannot really give you advice based on facts, because I don’t know everything either, I am not medically schooled, but if you can postpone your trip to the UK, I think you should consider doing so if you haven’t got any obligations there that cannot wait. If you are still in doubt, maybe it is a better idea to consult a doctor or your local Centro de Saúde.

    2. Loved the loo paper joke.
      Thank you.
      Hopeing to travel to Maderia early July.
      Love the island.

    3. I would suggest you keep watching the news and perhaps use the old saying “if in doubt Dont”

    4. Dorothy
      I am no authority and have no medical capacity to “answer” you.
      As a Brit living in France which is now at 2300+ cases, I can offer you observations of its progression and what’s likely, but its evolving daily. and no government can control it. Contain it maybe
      Its pretty clear to me that Western society is used to being free to choose what we do and travel is a strong part of our activities I judge that our governing bodies are largely not able to predict and preserve us from this epidemic, but some are trying better than others.
      Their actions are aimed at stopping propagation and planning services to try to cope with the situation if they fail.
      I believe they can’t, but we can.
      Its down to people’s attitude and respect for procedure and directives.
      Sadly countries with a Latin origin can have a hard time with these principles.
      Brits are better at it, but a lot less these days than when you and I were younger.
      At 65 I am a little younger than you but also I am diabetic. I thus qualify as a part of the population more at risk than others. My wife is older but healthier from this perspective.
      We are both due to visit Madiera April – May a vacation that’s been on and off for 10 years or so thus we don’t want to miss it. So we haven’t cancelled BUT we DO listen to directives.
      So far the UK have not escalated beyond ph1 of the epidemic conditions, so the virus is NOT rife. The problem is there are certain places where it WILL be really hard to protect oneself whilst traveling and will require personal organisation, in a spirit of individual protection.
      How do you stay 1 metre minimum from the next person who’s potentially carrying it in airports, and even less in a confined space of an aircraft ? Impossible
      For what it’s worth I advise

      1. if you haven’t already done it, request assistance at BOTH ends of your flight, boarding and unboarding, and baggage handling. For this make sure you follow up with the airline operator, whilst I’ve never had issues with British Airways, low costs operators don’t fill me with confidence, you have to hammer on them to get anything.

      2. Once arrived use taxi not public transport if you can. Pay cash so there’s no hand manipulation of your credit card with the driver, you’ll be door to door

      3. Wash hands with hydro alcoholic solution if you’re lucky enough to find any,.
      Were I Iive (France) they’ve been out of stock for weeks. If you can’t there are cleansing products such as Sanytol and TCP like disinfectant such as Sanytol that you can carry. I carry small linen squares like mini handkerchiefs (remember those?) soaked in these products in a resealable plastic carrier in my bag. I wipe my hands and face every time after being close to people in corridors, waiting rooms etc. I discard them in a 2nd plastic bag which I destroy or throw away when I arrive. I also have tea tree oil in a small bottle and I put drips on my finger and wipe the tips of my ears, nose and forehead, although there seems little proof that these essential oils have any impact. They smell nice anyway. 🙂

      Its the little things that can be disruptive, annoying and worrying, but they reduce risk.

      As we’re both elderly, we’re most at risk, but sitting at home worrying that it’ll creep through the letter box will kill you with stress.
      The joys of seeing your family and friends in the UK will boost you and live on forever with you and are priceless.

      Thats my 2 penny’s worth.
      Travel safely and have fun.
      Ian

  12. Thank you for all the information I am elderly but healthy My daughter and I are paying our annual visit to Madeira next week. Our biggest concerns are the cruise ships .Are passengers always honest ? They may dismiss a sneeze as just a cold.

    1. They may indeed, Elizabeth. But staff are on their toes and won’t take the ‘cold’ story at face value. It’s really not very different from air passengers, the will sneeze as well. Only, air passengers are much closer to each other.

      1. Be careful of what you read and hear in madeira. Government manipulats and lies about what really is happening here. They’ve done it before with the 20 February 2010 floods and they doing it again with the corona virus.

        1. I am very well aware of that, Tony. It is a corrupt bunch. But thanks to the social media not much stays uncovered for long. But you are right in not taking everything the government says at face value.

  13. Hallo Peter, wij hopen in Mei Madeira te bezoeken. Until U ons ook een paar like tips geven. Wij zijn niet te goed op de vote, worsen er dagreisjes aangeboden en hoe is het publieke transport?

    1. Hallo Corrie, in mei zal de wereld er wel weer heel anders uitzien. We zien nu al dat China langzamerhand het dagelijjks leven weer op gang laat komen, langzaam maar zeker ullen de andere besmettingshaarden wel volgen. Voor wat betreft jouw vragen, het zal ervan afhangen waar je op Madeira logeert. Er worden in de centrale toeristenplaatsen zoals natuurlijk Funchal en Caniço de Baixo overal dagexcursies aangeboden. Het openbaar vervoer is prima in het gebied tussen Machico en Câmara de Lobos. Verder weg (verder van Funchal dus) wordt hel allemaal veel minder frequent. Waarom huur je geen auto? Dan ben je onafhankelijk van de platgetreden toeristenpaden en kun je allerlei prachtige plekken op eigen gelegenheid bezoeken. Autohuur is op Madeira niet zo heel duur. Lees wel onze pagina hierover, want er zijn een paar dingen die je moet weten. De pagina is er in het Nederlands (auto huren op Madseira) en in het Engels (rent a car in Madeira: tips and ticks).Blijf gezond, zodat je straks zonder zorgen naar Madeira kunt!

  14. My wife and I have abandoned all our plans for travelling from our home here of twenty-two years. A cruise with Cunard in May from Yokohama to Vancouver was cancelled three weeks ago. Refunded in full already – unlike TAP who promised a refund of eleven hundred pounds for a cancelled flight and incredibly shoddy treatment of my wheelchair bound wife from late December.
    A number of our friends here have also decided to stay put for at least three months.
    It would be naive to believe there is no one here with this virus. Sitting in a sealed metal tube with a couple of hundred others breathing the same air and touching every seat on the way to the loo and back, for three hours or more. What could possibly go wrong?
    A workshop was held yesterday with the local government to discuss all sporting fixtures. I believe there is to be an announcement today.
    In the short term we will probably take an almighty hit on the island’s economy and by that I mean all the workers who have mortgages, rental agreements, credit card debts etc to service. One hopes that the Central European Bank will put pressure on the Bank of Portugal to in turn have the local banks and lending institutions issue moratoria on these payments. Italy has already done so.
    I have no faith in the rubber gloves for protection. The germs ar3 still there on the outside of the gloves to be transmitted wherever. Wash your hands and wrists well. The general advice being to sing along with a song that last at least twenty seconds. American Pie and Hey Jude are rather too long!
    Good luck everyone. We are fortunate to be one of the last places affected and we can draw down on the experiences of other places that are already affected to help guide us through this exceptional time.

  15. Muito obrigada adorei ler tudo. A minha mae vai a Madeira para a Festa da Flor uma festa super maravilhosa. Estava um pouco preocupada mas gracas as todas as tudas updates fico mails calma. Keep rocking island life! Its the best Im from Terceira myself 🙂

    1. De nada, Anabela. Fico contente que ficares mais calma. Pertanto, para a sua mãe, vale a pena que se tenha bem informada. Com todas as precaucões das autoridades madeirenses, não é fora questão que a Festa da Flor seja anullada este ano. Se for o caso, o Madeira Island News vai ser um dos primeiros a nos informar.

  16. Thank you Peter for the update. I was a little concerned when I hard about the earthquake ( first in 40 years) last week. I have been visiting Madeira for the last 40 years and have enjoyed the Levada walks , flower Festival and the New Year Fireworks several times . It remains my favourite place on earth and I have never found it to bd boring. I will bd there again for the flower festival this year and may even look you up yo share our memories of this beautiful paradise and the changes it has gone through over the years.

    1. Ah yes, the earthquake was another concern, it came as a shock to many but did not cause any damage at all. If we read the article in the Madeira Island News, we can see that quakes are not really uncommon in the region, which is, as we know, of volcanic nature. If you read the article in Madeira Island News with the latest information you will see that the archipelago has many earthquakes, most of which pass unnoticed. About the Corona, keep a sharp eye on the Flower Festival, as this may well be cancelled for safety reasons. We do not know yet, but I am sure that Tobi Hughes’Madeira Island News will be the first English news medium to report about this!

  17. Have you forgotten about all the cruise ships that come in here? It not just by air you get here

    1. Hi David, thanks for asking and no, I have not forgotten. But your question is quite legitimate, so I have done a little more research on this as well. As I suspected, cruise lines have taken extra measures. Still, travelling to Madeira on a cruise ship is not like taking your car and go anywhere you like without any checks. I have added an extra paragraph about the cruise ships to my article.

  18. Het is leuk om Uw site gevonden te hebben.
    Ik kom samen met mijn vrouw ook al 7 jaren naar Madeira tijdens de wintertijd.
    De laatste jaren voor 4 maanden.
    Ik zal Uw site in de toekomst wat beter gaan volgen.

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