Italy to impose quarantine on British travellers

·2 min read
A trip to Venice, Italy, might have to wait for British holidaymakers (REUTERS)
A trip to Venice, Italy, might have to wait for British holidaymakers (REUTERS)

Italy has announced that British holidaymakers will be subject to quarantine amid rising rates of coronavirus in the UK.

Travellers entering the country from the UK must self-isolate for five days upon arrival.

Meanwhile, travel restrictions are being relaxed for visitors from the US, Canada, Japan and other EU member states.

The move was announced on Friday by the Italian Health Minister, Roberto Speranza.

In a Facebook post, Mr Speranza said he had “signed a new order” that would “introduce a five-day quarantine with swab obligation for those from Great Britain.”

The order also extends the travel ban on those travelling from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

It allows entry into Italy for visitors from elsewhere in the EU, plus the United States, Canada and Japan, provided they have a Covid-19 digital green pass.

The new measures will come into force on Monday 21 June, a health ministry spokesman told Reuters.

Up until now, travel to Italy has been fairly straightforward for British tourists. As of 16 May, there has been no quarantine stipulation, with travellers from the UK only required to present a negative Covid rapid antigenic or molecular swab test, taken no more than 48 hours before travel, in order to board a flight.

However, Italy remains on the UK’s amber list, necessitating a 10-day quarantine for travellers returning from there, plus a package of three Covid tests.

The tightening of Italy’s rules for the UK follows the EU’s decision to lift restrictions on travellers from the US, enabling American tourists to enter the bloc.

While the States joins the EU’s slim “white list” of countries from where residents will be allowed to enter regardless of vaccination status, the UK has still not been deemed safe enough to join the likes of New Zealand, Australia and Israel.

Five other countries were also added to the “safe” tourism list alongside the US: North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Lebanon and Taiwan.

EU members agreed to the additional countries from which restrictions on non-essential travel should be lifted on 16 June.

However, the recommendation is non-binding; individual nations can decide whether to adopt it or not, or whether to stipulate that negative test results, proof of vaccination, and/or some form of quarantine is required.

A number of European countries have tightened border controls on UK visitors in light of concerns over the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant, which is now prevalent across much of the UK.

A previous version of this article said the rule change would come into effect on Saturday 19 June. This has been amended.

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