Schengen Visa News

Italy Imposes Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Requirement for All EU Travellers, Extends State of Emergency

EU citizens traveling to Italy will have to be tested for COVID-19 prior to their trip and submit negative test results upon arrival in Italy, regardless of vaccination and recovery status.

The move was taken on Tuesday, December 14, at a meeting of the Italian Council of Ministers, which also agreed that travelers from European Union and other Schengen area countries should be subject to a quarantine obligation in cases where they have not been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.

“For those who also come from EU countries but have not been vaccinated, it will not suffice to show a negative swab result for circulation in Italy, but they will bear the obligation to quarantine. Not only. The vaccinators will also be required to show a negative swab result,” the ministers agreed.

The Italian Council of Ministers also approved during the meeting a decree-law on extending the state of emergency until March 31, 2022.

“The Cabinet, on the proposal of President Mario Draghi and Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, approved a decree-law providing for the extension of the national emergency and measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic until March 31, 2022,” the Council notes in a press release issued regarding the meeting.

This means that the head of the Civil Protection Department will retain his powers emanating from the state of emergency.

Through a provision of the ordinance approved by the council, the obligation to carry the Super Green lane in the White District has been extended through March 31 as well. It was due to expire on January 15.

The move prevents those who have not been vaccinated in Italy from attending areas such as indoor restaurants, cinemas, discos and stadiums, for a period of more than three months.

The decision to tighten entry restrictions and strengthen the Green Corridor comes at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases has increased across Europe, including Italy.

World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that Italy has recorded a total of 119,645 new cases in the past seven days and 642 deaths. Moreover, the country has already recorded 27 cases of the new COVID-19 variant – Omicron. The total number of Omicron cases detected in the EU and EEA countries is 2,127 as of December 14.

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