All travelers from the European Union wishing to enter Italy must be able to submit a negative coronavirus test from Thursday. This was announced by Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Passengers who have not been vaccinated must also be placed in quarantine for five days after arrival. The procedures are valid until January 31.
Read all about Corona Virus in this file.
Travelers are allowed to show the result of both an antigen test and a PCR test, as reported by Il sol 24 ore. The age of the antigen test should not be more than 24 hours, while the life of the PCR test should not be more than 48 hours. A test obligation is already in place for travelers from most countries outside the European Union.
Italy is not the first country to make a negative coronavirus test mandatory for all travelers from the European Union. In November, Portugal decided that anyone entering the country by plane must be able to submit a negative test, including those who have been fully vaccinated.
The European Commission is not happy
The European Commission is not satisfied with Italy’s stricter travel rules. European Commissioner Vera Jourova says this does not help the confidence of EU citizens that they can count on the same treatment across the EU. She hopes that the European Travel Certificate will hold up with procedures such as those for Italy.
European Union countries have previously agreed to free access for those who have been vaccinated, cured or tested negative. They agreed that Member States could deviate from this if necessary. Portugal did so already last month, and Italy is now also opting for stricter rules in hopes of slowing the progress of the more contagious omikron variant. This “back door” in the conventions does exist, as Yorova acknowledges. She stressed that it should only be used if the fight against the epidemic requires it.
The European Commissioner believes that EU leaders will undoubtedly discuss Italy’s plans on Thursday at their summit in Brussels. Because “such individual decisions by member states naturally reduce people’s confidence that the same conditions apply throughout Europe.” And she hopes that this will not lead to the destruction of the European certificate of Corona, because “this is one of the most practical things that we have developed for the people of Europe.”
Italy is currently recording about 20,000 new cases of corona and 120 deaths daily. According to the European Health Service ECDC, there are 27 omikron variant infections in the country. Since last year, a total of 135,049 people have died in Italy due to the consequences of the Corona infection. This is the second highest number in Europe. Only in the UK more people died.
In addition to the testing commitment, Italy has decided to extend the government’s emergency powers until March 31. These powers, which usually expire at the end of the year, make it easier to introduce new legislation in the fight against Corona.
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