On Sunday, August 16, Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced the closure of nightclubs, discos, and other late night venues from Monday, August 17, through September 7. It was also announced that the wearing of face masks would be mandatory in public areas where groups could gather from 18:00 to 06:00 (local time). The measures are in response to a recent uptick in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, particularly among younger people. Health authorities recorded 479 new cases on Sunday, following 629 cases on Saturday, August 15, meaning cases were more than double those registered three weeks ago. The median age of those contracting the virus has dropped below 40, and this has been linked to young partygoers gathering and failing to maintain social distance.
This is the first reimposition of measures previously in place to control the virus. Italy was the first European country to be severely hit by COVID-19 and imposed strict restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus. Authorities had begun easing restrictions as the situation came under control, but due to fears of a second spike, on August 10, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended all remaining COVID-19 restrictions until September 7. These include the requirement of all individuals to wear face masks on public transport and in public spaces, including in shops, public offices, hospitals, and clinics, as well as workplaces where maintaining a social distance of at least 1m (3ft) apart from each other is not possible.
All international arrivals are required to fill out and present a self-declaration form, which can be found here. Currently, there are various travel restrictions in place for those looking to travel to Italy. Information on the restrictions in place for each country can be found here. The Italian government made COVID-19 tests on arrival mandatory for travelers arriving from Spain, Croatia, Greece, and Malta on Wednesday, August 12. The decision comes following a rise in COVID-19 cases in these countries, which are popular holiday destinations for Italians. Those who travel from or through Colombia will not be allowed to enter the country.
As of August 17, there have been 253,915 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Italy, with 35,396 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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