Coronavirus in the Azores – we’re leaving the pandemic

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Ostatnia aktualizacja: 2020-05-21. Autor: Milena

The coronavirus in the Azores is slowly becoming the past. Slowly. I keep you updated on the Facebook and on the Instagram. Now I have important information for you regarding Azores flights and arrival procedures.

But let’s start from the beginning.

The Azores’ plan for tourism is that it will first open to tourism inside the archipelago, then – to domestic tourism (mainland Portugal and Madeira), and finally to international tourism. However, there are no official dates yet. Everything is determined on a regular basis.

At the moment, most flights to the islands are suspended.

Apart from cargo and emergency situations.

Several times a week, only TAP flies to São Miguel and Terceira. However, it is planned to resume some flights in the near future:

  • Ryanair resumes some flights from July 2020. These connections include flights from Porto and Lisbon to Terceira and to São Miguel.
  • Portuguese airlines TAP resume regular flights to Terceira from mid-June and to São Miguel from July.
  • SATA’s (Azores airlines) flights to the Azores are suspended until the end of May. Flights from Toronto, Boston, Prai (Cape Verde) and Frankfurt remain suspended until June 14.
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Until now, quarantine was in force upon arrival in the Azores.

But it was abolished. The best protection of the Azores against a pandemic has been abolished due to someone’s… inconvenience… This affected not only me, but also thousands of other Azores residents. I wrote about it HERE. But leaving emotions, and coming back to the details:

From today, mandatory quarantine after arrival in the Azores does not apply.

From today on São Miguel and on Terceira, i.e. islands with direct external flight connections, the state of natural disaster applies. (Until now, the state of natural disaster was in force in mainland Portugal, but not in the Azores. Changes occurred as a result of the abolishment of the mandatory quarantine).

Instead of quarantine a new, less effective but also reasonable solution was introduced. Each person who arrives to São Miguel or Terceira has one of four options to choose from:

1) Submit written confirmation from a certified laboratory that you are not infected with SARS-CoV-2. The tests should be done within 72 hours before departure. If a person stays 7 days or more on the islands, they are required to contact the health authority in the municipality in which they reside on the 5th and 13th day after the initial test and perform additional tests on site.

2) Get examined for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 as soon as you arrive and go to the obligatory isolation to a designated hotel until you receive a negative test result. The waiting time for the test result can be up to 48 hours. If a person stays 7 days or more on the islands, they are required to contact the health authority in the municipality in which they reside on the 5th and 13th day after the initial test and perform additional tests on site.

In the first and second option, a person must remain in preventive isolation in their home or hotel, until the test results from the 14th day.

3) Go for a voluntary 14-day quarantine to a designated hotel. At the end of this period, a SARS-CoV-2 test will be performed.

4) Return to the place of origin, or move to any place outside the Azores.

And what if…?

If SARS-CoV-2 tests are positive, local health care authorities will decide what to do next.

If someone does not comply with the above requirements or interrupts the voluntary quarantine or the prophylactic isolation, (s)he will be directed to a forced 14-day quarantine to the indicated hotel, at his/her own expense.

Azores is taking a break

As I mentioned on the Facebook and the Instagram many times, the health care system in the Azores is not very developed. On some islands they don’t even have a hospital. That’s why it’s so important here to prevent, not cure. Hence all these restrictions – to make sure that it is safe here both for the residents and for all who decide to visit this corner of paradise.

The Azores are currently on a break. But when they finish it, they’ll be here waiting for you! Terceira, São Miguel, Flores, Corvo, Pico, São Jorge, Faial, Graciosa, Santa Maria – each island is different, each is unique. Each will wait with open arms. Let’s take a moment to go back to a kind of normality – and see you! 🙂

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Fot. Kate Negacz

Do you already have a plan, which islands you will visit when the Azores finishes the break? This article will help you get to know each of them. Each one is unique, and you can choose the one that will make your heart beat the fastest! Read the article „Azores – which island to go”.

And if you want to learn more about the Azores, write to me, I will help you!

The main source of information: the website of the government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores. Detailed information about the new restrictions HERE.

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