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Germany puts 11 regions of Italy on ‘high-risk’ quarantine list

Germany has added more than half of Italy to its coronavirus risk list, meaning many people travelling between the two countries will now face mandatory quarantine.

Germany puts 11 regions of Italy on 'high-risk' quarantine list
People travelling to Germany from 11 regions of Italy will now have to quarantine. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP

As part of a major expansion of its list of Covid-19 risk areas in Europe, the German government institute responsible for monitoring public health said that 11 of Italy's 20 regions and plus one province presented “an increased risk of infection”.

That classification means that people entering Germany from one of these parts of Italy must quarantine upon arrival, effective from Saturday October 24th.

The 'high-risk areas' are:

  • Abruzzo
  • Autonomous Province of Alto Adige (South Tyrol)
  • Emilia-Romagna
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia
  • Lazio
  • Lombardy
  • Piedmont
  • Sardinia
  • Tuscany
  • Umbria
  • Valle d'Aosta
  • Veneto

The list includes several of Italy's most popular destinations for German holidaymakers, many of whom are thought to have booked autumn breaks before the rule change was announced.

Unless they fly home before Saturday, travellers returning to Germany from a high-risk area in Italy will have to get a test and go into quarantine while they await the results. That applies to anyone who has been to one of these areas in the past two weeks, even if they're not departing from there.

The German government is in the process of changing the rules to require everyone entering from a high-risk area to quarantine for a full 14 days, unless they test negative for coronavirus after no less than five days of isolation. Some German states have already begun applying the new, stricter rules.

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Germany has also added the whole of the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland and Liechtenstein to its risk list, as well as most of Austria and parts of Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Sweden, Slovenia and Hungary.

Read more on The Local Germany.

Italy currently has no travel restrictions on Germany, meaning that travellers are free to cross from Germany into Italy without requiring a test or quarantine.

Some of Italy's neighbours have put it on their risk lists, however, including the UK (which requires travellers from Italy to quarantine upon arrival) and Switzerland, which has designated the regions of Campania, Sardinia and Veneto as risk zones.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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