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‘Once again, I got away with it’: Italy’s Berlusconi leaves hospital after Covid treatment

Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi left hospital on Monday 11 days after being admitted with coronavirus, an experience he described as perhaps "the most difficult" in his life.

'Once again, I got away with it': Italy's Berlusconi leaves hospital after Covid treatment
The 83-year-old media tycoon, who tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from a holiday at his luxury villa in Sardinia, was admitted to the San Raffaele hospital in Milan on September 3rd with a lung infection.
 
 
“The first three days were extremely difficult,” he told journalists as he left the hospital.
 
Two of his children – daughter Barbara, 36, and son Luigi, 31 – also contracted the virus, as did his companion Marta Fascina.
 
“It was tough. Thank heavens, thanks to the doctors, I got over what was perhaps the most difficult ordeal of my life.”
 
“Once again, I seem to have got away with it!” he said, after walking slowly but without assistance to address the cameras.
 
 
Property and media magnate Berlusconi was Italian prime minister for his centre-right Forza Italia party on three occasions between
1994 and 2011.
 
Despite his regular brushes with the law and health problems – including open heart surgery in 2016 — the man known as “the immortal” for his
longevity in politics led the Italian right for more than two decades.
 
 
The scandal-hit billionaire had insisted this month that he would continue his political activities despite the positive virus test.
 
Regional elections are to be held in Italy this weekend, as well as a referendum on reducing the number of deputies in parliament.
 

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COVID-19

Reader Question: What are Italy’s Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Italy's quarantine rules have changed so many times over the past couple of years, it can be hard to keep track. Here's the latest information on when and how visitors need to self-isolate.

Reader Question: What are Italy's Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Question: “One of your recent articles says you can exit quarantine by testing negative for the coronavirus. But you can also exit quarantine by obtaining a Letter of Recovery from Covid-19… true?”

Unfortunately, official proof of having recovered from Covid-19 won’t get you out of the requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid while visiting Italy – though it can shorten your quarantine period.

Anyone who tests positive in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days: that’s if the person in question is fully vaccinated and boosted, or has completed their primary vaccination cycle or recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

That period is extended to 10 days for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted, or those who recovered from Covid or completed their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago.

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days in order to exit quarantine (with the exception of symptoms relating to a lost sense of taste or smell, which can persist for some time after the infection is over).

The patient must also test negative for the virus via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test on the final day of the quarantine in order to be allowed out.

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days, at which point they will be automatically released.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative in order to enter its borders, as long as they are fully boosted or were recently vaccinated/ have recently recovered from Covid.

READ ALSO: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

Some countries (including the US), however, do require people travelling from Italy to test negative before their departure – which means visitors at the tail end of their journey could be hit with the unpleasant surprise of finding out they need to quarantine for another week in Italy instead of heading home as planned.

It’s because of this rule that a number of The Local’s readers told us they wouldn’t be coming on holiday to Italy this summer, and intend to postpone for another year.

If you are planning on visiting Italy from a country that requires you to test negative for Covid prior to re-entry, it’s a good idea to consider what you would do and where you would go in the unlikely event you unexpectedly test positive.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, see the Italian Health Ministry’s website or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

You can keep up with the latest updates via our homepage or Italian travel news section.

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