The changes are due to the predominance of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and "current scientific evidence" which "suggests that most transmission" occurs "early in the disease course", usually within two days "before the onset of symptoms" and two to three days later, according to the Regional Secretariat for Health and Civil Protection of Madeira.

Thus, in confirmed cases of infection with the virus, there must be "immediate isolation, regardless of the vaccination status", and "the minimum period of isolation" becomes five days if there are no symptoms of the covid-19 disease "or if the symptoms resolve during this period," according to Madeira authorities.

In cases of infected people with symptoms, "isolation must be maintained until the symptoms disappear", reads the document.

For those who are vaccinated with a booster dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 and have been in contact with an infected person, there is no longer mandatory isolation, having to wear a mask within ten days of contact and do a test on the fifth day.

"If the individual presents symptoms, at any time, he must remain in isolation and undergo a test", emphasize the Madeiran authorities.

"In exceptional situations, the health authority can determine the superior prophylactic isolation, up to 10 days, in circumstances not foreseen in the norm, based on the risk assessment", the same information reads.

Madeira's authorities stress that "the current priority is prevention", which is why they recommend vaccination, wearing a mask in public environments and having a test taken regularly, "especially before participating in a group activity".