"If the exclusion is confirmed, it will be up to the Government of the Republic to compensate the tourism sector of Madeira, reinforcing the support mechanisms, as already announced for the Algarve, in the amount of 300 million Euros, given the strong possibility of this situation generating more unemployment and bankruptcies in this sector of the economy of the Autonomous Region of Madeira," said the leader of the Madeiran Social Democrat Parliament, Jaime Filipe Ramos.
In a press conference, the head of the PSD bench at the Madeira Assembly highlighted the importance of Portugal maintaining the British air corridor, mentioning that "after the inclusion, on 20 August, in the list of countries where quarantine is not required on the return to the United Kingdom, English tourism grew 64 percent in the region".
Jaime Filipe Ramos emphasised that "the British market is one of the most important for Madeira and the inclusion of Portugal in this air corridor has created expectations in businessmen linked to the tourism sector.
However, faced with the possibility of the British government reverting this situation due to the increase in Covid-19 cases in Lisbon and once again excluding Portugal, a decision that should be announced on 3 September, makes the tourism sector "apprehensive", he said.
The PSD/Madeira official pointed out that this backward step would be "a situation that would be extremely damaging to the tourism sector and the economy in general of the region" and blamed the Government of the Republic for what he considers to be a "public health negligence".
The parliamentary leader of the PSD argued that it was necessary to make a "differentiation of the epidemiological situation in the different regions of the country", highlighting that "Madeira presents a distinct picture, as a result of its outermost regions and above all of the control measures implemented by the Regional Government".
He also stressed that this was a concern that the Government of Madeira has already transmitted to the different Portuguese and British identities, in letters sent to the Portuguese Foreign Minister, to the ambassadors of the United Kingdom in Portugal and of Portugal in the United Kingdom, as well as to the British Secretary of State for Transport.
"Madeira is a safe destination and this is recognised beyond national borders, but if this decision of the United Kingdom is verified, our region will be highly penalised, taking into account that the list is made in the logic of the country and not the regions," pointed out Jaime Filipe Ramos.
According to the last data announced by the Institute of Health Administration of Madeira (IASAUDE), on 1 September, the region registered 42 active cases, accounting a cumulative of 166 confirmed covid-19 situations and 124 recovered patients.
Madeira is the only region in the country with no record of deaths due to the new coronavirus.