"Opening up to the outside is a risk", warned Miguel Albuquerque, "we cannot close Madeira again".

"I am satisfied with the screenings, which have proved to be very effective in controlling entry and screening abroad," he said.

The head of the island's executive revealed that between 30 and 40% of passengers arriving in Madeira already carry the PCR test.

Asked about the return of cruise ships to the port of Funchal, the Madeiran government was "thinking that the operations would start to take place sooner", having been initially proposed for September 15.

But, he added: "We don't have an appointment" because there have been "successive cancellations, also due to the increase in the number of cases all over the world and the very fact that shipping companies still don't feel comfortable to carry out cruises".

For this reason, "at the moment, it is not yet known when cruises will start in force", he emphasised.

Miguel Albuquerque also stressed that the aim of the regional health authorities of the archipelago is, "regardless of what may happen, to always try to control the outbreaks of pandemic at a local level".

He called for people to "comply with prophylactic measures, such as the use of masks and not to get together in large groups".

"We are not preaching morality. This is for the good of all and we are working to avoid local pandemic outbreaks," he stressed.