Wednesday, August 26, 2020
United Kingdom golfers finally got the news they have been waiting for after the government announced that Portugal, including the award-winning islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, were added to the ‘green list’, meaning travellers will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.
Holidaymakers from the UK were advised against all non-essential travel to both islands almost five months ago, with a mandatory quarantine imposed on June 8. The UK government then controversially left them off its list of air bridges, which were announced on July 10, where dozens of countries were declared as exempt from quarantine.
But the stunning golfing hotspot, which is home to three magnificent golf courses, has now been deemed safe by the UK authorities and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and is fully prepared after it began welcoming back international visitors safely from July 1.
The islands were last year hailed as the ‘world’s best emerging golf destination’ at the World Golf Awards, and as Europe’s ‘leading island destination’ for the fourth successive year, as well as the world’s ‘leading island destination’ for a staggering fifth year running in the 2019 World Travel Awards – meaning the decision will be welcome news to golfers, who can now enjoy their annual golfing holiday at some of the best golf courses in the world, without needing to stay at home for two weeks when they are back.
Prior to arrival, all passengers must complete the Regional Health Authority’s (IASAÚDE) epidemiological survey and will need to submit a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure, although, if they have not performed a test in advance, they will be required to take one upon arrival at Madeira Airport – with costs covered by the local authorities.
Incoming visitors will also be subject to thermal screening, even if they carry a negative test for COVID-19.
Discover Madeira, the consumer-facing brand of the Madeira Promotion Bureau, has been working with the local and Portuguese authorities to put plans in place for holidaymakers to visit safely, with the “Madeira Safe to Discover” guidelines being stringently followed across the islands to control and prevent the spread of coronavirus and other possible infections.
Hotels, restaurants, bars, golf clubs and other tourist activities across the islands are also adopting the “Clean and Safe” stamp, created by VisitPortugal, which distinguishes tourist activities which are compliant with certain hygiene and cleaning requirements.
Madeira’s three golf courses include two on the mainland – Santo da Serra and Palheiro Golf, as well as Porto Santo Golf, which is located on the nearby island of Porto Santo.
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