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Italy imposes Easter quarantine on EU arrivals

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ITALIAItaly's health minister on Tuesday announced a five-day quarantine for travellers arriving from other EU countries, both residents and foreigners, as he aims to clamp down on Easter travel.

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 measure signed by Health Minister Roberto Speranza requires 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 measure will be in place until April 6. 

A quarantine is already in place for visitors from many 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 529 deaths reported in the 24 hours to Tuesday evening, when a further 16,000 new cases were recorded.

 

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