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Italy joins condemnation of ‘barbaric’ Isis in Libya

The governments of America, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain issued a joint statement on Sunday condemning "barbaric" acts carried out by the Isis group in Libya.

Italy joins condemnation of 'barbaric' Isis in Libya
Isis militants seized control of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in June. Photo: Mahmud Turkia/AFP

Isis militants seized control of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in June and militants beheaded 12 local militiamen who had been battling them in the east of the city and hung their bodies on crosses, the official news agency Lana has said.

“We are deeply concerned about reports that these fighters have shelled densely populated parts of the city and committed indiscriminate acts of violence to terrorize the Libyan population,” reads the joint statement released late on Sunday by the US State Department.

The governments want parties in Libya “to join efforts to combat the threat posed by transnational terrorist groups exploiting Libya for their own agenda.”

The situation in Sirte underscores the “urgent need for parties in Libya to reach agreement on forming a government of national accord that, in partnership with the international community, can provide security against violent extremist groups seeking to destabilize the country,” the statement reads.

“There is no military solution to the political conflict in Libya,” it adds.

Libya has descended into chaos since the fall of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with two administrations and rival militias battling for control of the oil-rich country.

The internationally recognized Libyan government based in the country's east has asked for an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League urging Arab countries to “adopt measures to confront” the jihadist Isis group.

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TRAVEL

What does the US’s new risk classification for Italy mean for American travellers?

The US State Department has changed its advice on travel to Italy as well as dozens of other countries with improving Covid infection rates. What does this mean for Americans who want to come to Italy?

What does the US's new risk classification for Italy mean for American travellers?
Photo: Andrea Pattaro/AFP

The US has downgraded Italy from its “do not travel” list (level 4) to “reconsider travel” (level 3). 

The decision by the US State Department and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means that Ital yis no longer in the highest risk classification for travel. 

However, according to the State Department’s advice for level 3 “reconsider travel”, “US nationals should avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security”. 

“Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to Italy. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to Italy,” reads the CDC website.

However, Italy’s entry rules for Americans remain unchanged since May 16th.

As the US remains on Italy’s travel ‘D list’, entry is allowed for any reason but all arrivals from the US are subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine period unless on a special Covid-tested flight.

People arriving on other flights, including those who must travel for essential reasons, must provide negative test results as well as facing the quarantine requirement on arrival, under rules which are currently set to stay in force until at least July 30th. (However, it’s possible that they may be dropped earlier – or extended beyond that date.)

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There is currently no exemption to the Italian travel restrictions for people who have been vaccinated.

However, Italy’s government said on Wednesday that its long-awaited travel ‘green pass’ or health certificate would be ready for use in the coming days.

The pass will be available to anyone who has either been vaccinated, has tested negative for coronavirus within the past 48 hours, or has recently contracted and recovered from Covid-19.

Authorities did not clarify whether the pass would be made available to non-EU citizens immediately. Find more details here.

Other countries that are no longer classified as “do not travel” by the US are France, Spain, Japan, Greece, Switzerland, Canada and Mexico. You can find out other countries’ classifications here

The CDC said it had also updated the criteria it uses to determine these risk levels “to better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations from countries with sustained, but controlled, Covid-19 spread”.

The US State Department uses the CDC’s recommendations to set its own travel advice but also considers other factors such as Covid restrictions and terrorism in other countries.

All returning US citizens require a negative Covid-19 test result before boarding their plane back, the CDC added.

Stay up to date with Italy’s travel rules by following The Local’s travel section and checking the Italian Health Ministry’s website (in English).

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