The regional government of the Madeira archipelago has announced harsh new rules for people who have not received a Covid-19 vaccine.
Starting tomorrow (November 20), unvaccinated people will be banned from “attending or working at public or private events”. In other words, they can no longer attend or work at cultural or sports events or go to or work at hairdressers, cinemas, bars, restaurants and other similar establishments.
Those who have not received a Covid-19 jab will have to present a negative antigen Covid-19 test to go to the supermarket or attend the ‘Missas do Parto’, a series of Christmas masses.
Stricter rules will also come into effect for the vaccinated. The digital certificate will no longer suffice as negative antigen Covid-19 tests will be required to attend or work at cultural or sports events or to go or work at the hairdresser, cinema, bars, restaurants and other similar establishments.
Negative tests must have been carried out within the last week.
Weekly testing will also be required for residents and workers of old people’s homes, while visits will be limited to just one person, who will have to be vaccinated and tested, per resident.
As Observador newspaper points out, these are among “the most restrictive measures implemented in Portugal so far.”
Miguel Albuquerque, president of Madeira’s regional government, justified the new restrictions – which will come into place as the archipelago enter a State of Contingency – as a reaction to the “increase in cases, hospitalisations and deaths” in Madeira, mainland Portugal, Europe and the world.
“We took into account the vaccination rate in Madeira so far and that vaccines reduce the severity of the disease and its lethality. The government also considered the advantages of mass testing, which allows (authorities) to identify, test and isolate ‘positive’ citizens,” he said.
In mainland Portugal, government officials and specialists will be meeting today at 3pm at Infarmed’s headquarters in Lisbon to discuss the current epidemiological situation and presumably draw up a plan to tackle rising case numbers.