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Coronavirus

Italy to impose mandatory five-day quarantine on all EU arrivals: Ministry

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Italy will impose a five-day quarantine on travelers arriving from other EU countries, both residents and foreigners, a source in the health ministry said Tuesday.

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Health Minister Roberto Speranza will approve a new rule later in the day, the source said, although it was not immediately clear when it would come into effect nor how long it would last.

Much of Italy remains under tight coronavirus restrictions as it battles a deadly third wave of infections, with the whole country facing a lockdown over the three-day Easter weekend starting on Saturday.

The new measure will require anyone arriving from another EU country to show a negative coronavirus test before departing for Italy and a second after five days of self-isolation.

The only exceptions are for reasons of “proven necessity and urgency”, the ministry source told AFP.

A quarantine is already in place for visitors from numerous non-EU countries, while non-residents arriving from some other nations are prohibited from entry.

However, the new regulation appears designed as much for foreigners as for Italians seeking an overseas break, after the government confirmed that current restrictions on movement did not include trips to the airport.

“I can’t leave my municipality, but I can fly off to the Canary Islands – it’s absurd,” Bernabo Bocca, head of the federation of Italian hoteliers, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper on Monday.

Italy was the first European country to face the full force of the pandemic and has officially recorded more than 108,000 deaths from Covid-19 so far.

This includes 417 deaths reported in the 24 hours to Monday evening, when a further 13,000 new cases were recorded.

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