Authorities announced on Tuesday, July 14, that they would extend restrictions in place amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic until July 31, in efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Such restrictions 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.
International travel restrictions remain in place for travelers in and out of Italy. According to media sources, a ban on cabin luggage on aircrafts to and from Italy has been lifted; travellers from Wednesday, July 15, can bring cabin luggage on board and single-use sterilised containers will reportedly be provided for those carrying jackets and coats. On July 9, Italian authorities banned entry to travelers from 13 countries deemed high risk locations of COVID-19 contagion, including, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. This list is subject to change dependent on the global COVID-19 situation, and the ban applies to anyone who has travelled through or stayed in the aforementioned countries 14 days prior to entering Italy. On June 3, Italy reopened its borders to tourist from the EU and the Schengen Area. A 14-day quarantine period remains mandatory for all arrivals from other countries outside of the EU and the Schengen free movement area. On July 1, the EU reopened its borders to travelers from a list of 'safe' countries whose citizens have access to the EU without a required quarantine period including Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Montenegro, Morocco, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
As of July 15, there have been 243,344 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Italy and 34,984 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). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
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 respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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