ITALY: 13 ‘High Risk’ Countries Barred From Entering

Italy has banned Travellers from 13 countries it considers  as high risk of Covid-19 transmission.The Decree to that effect was signed by the health ministry as well as foreign, interior and transport ministries

The countries affected include Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama and Peru.The ban applies to everyone who has spent anytime in any of those countries  within the past 14 days regardless of nationality or residency.

Throughout the world, the pandemic has entered a more acute phase,” said Health Minister Roberto Speranza.“We cannot throw away the sacrifices made by Italians in recent months,” he added.

Italy was the first country to be hit by the virus after it emerged in China late last year.

Almost 35,000 people have died of the virus in Italy, according to official figures, from more than 242,000 cases.I

The ban means that people who live in Italy but are currently visiting any of the 13 designated countries will not be able to return home.

The spread of the coronavirus has been slowed with 12 new deaths declared on Thursday, from 15 the previous day.

It comes after Italy suspended flights from Bangladesh earlier this week following a spate of infections traced back to people flying to Rome from Dhaka.

The government had warned that more travel restrictions might follow after more than 30 cases were linked to Rome residents returning from Bangladesh, including people who hadn’t travelled but had been in contact with others infected.

While Italy remains off-limits to tourists from most non-European countries, residents are allowed to return to Italy from anywhere else in the world – provided they quarantine themselves for two weeks after they land.

But there is concern that travellers are failing to respect the rules, after the cases in Rome and another outbreak in the northern city of Vicenza, which was linked to a businessman who continued to socialise after a trip to Bosnia and Serbia.

He went to a birthday party and a funeral despite developing symptoms shortly after his return and later refused to be taken into hospital, where he was subsequently admitted in serious condition.

Partly in response to the case, which has been linked to several other infections in the surrounding region of Veneto, the local government introduced a €1,000 fine for people caught breaking quarantine rules.

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