Holidays: Madeira crowned Europe’s best island as destination remains on travel safe list

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While holidays abroad will remain out of reach for Britons over the next four weeks, there’s nothing stopping keen travellers from planning a post-lockdown break. With quarantine rules in place across much of Europe, Britons are still limited on where they can feasibly visit without facing 14 days in isolation on their return to the UK. One destination that has remained on the travel corridor list in recent months is the island of Madeira.

The archipelago has just been awarded Europe’s Leading Island Destination of 2020 at the World Travel Awards, making it the ideal spot for a post-lockdown holiday.

The announcement was made on November 1 in a huge boost for the small destination.

It is the seventh time Madeira has received this award.

Madeira has been a popular choice among travellers in part due to its successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is currently advising against all but essential travel to mainland Portugal.

However, the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores, are exempt from the FCDO advice against all non-essential international travel.

Madeira is mainly known for its breath-taking natural beauty, great food, value for money, excellent accommodation and outdoor activities and warm climate.

The country is also within easy reach from the UK with flights usually taking around 3.5 hours.

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The island destination is a popular choice for nature enthusiasts and hikers with its lush yet rugged landscapes.

Madeira is also home to volcanic soil, mountainous terrain and the Laurissilva forest which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

All people travelling to the islands have to either present a negative test done within 72 hours prior to departure or be tested for coronavirus upon arrival.

However, unlike other destinations, COVID-19 tests on arrival are paid for by the Madeira government.

Visitors are also required to submit a travellers’ questionnaire 12 to 48 hours before they depart.

The FCDO website currently states: “On arrival, you will be subject to health screening.

“If you have not uploaded your COVID-19 test result, you will be asked to show it at the airport.

“If you do not have proof of a COVID-19 test, you can take a test at the airport but remember you will have to self-isolate at your accommodation until you receive your test results.

“If you test positive, you will have to repeat the test at weekly intervals until the result is negative and the health authorities give you a de-confinement certificate allowing you to travel.”

It comes as Portugal reimposed a partial lockdown on Saturday with new restrictions being put in place from today.

The Portuguese government has told people to stay at home except for outings to work, school and shopping.

The new measures cover 121 municipalities which include Lisbon and Porto.

The lockdown includes regions where they have recorded more than 240 new cases per 100,000 over a 14-day period.

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