Italian pupils protest school Covid closure with street learning

Her school in northern Italy is closed again due to a surge in coronavirus cases, but this time, 12-year-old Anita Iacovelli refuses to stay at home.

Italian pupils protest school Covid closure with street learning
Students Anita and Lisa sit outside their closed school in Turin. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
She comes each day with her pink metal chair and fold-up table to sit outside the shuttered building in Turin, following her classes online on a tablet computer.
Wearing a hat, gloves and mask, and under the gaze of curious passers-by, it is not the most comfortable place to work.
But for Anita, it is far better than sitting at home, as she did for weeks on end during Italy's national shutdown earlier this year.
“When they said the schools would close, I thought I couldn't take another year of distance learning,” she told AFP.
“I miss everything about school — taking face-to-face classes, looking the teachers in the eyes and not through a screen, being with my classmates.”
Her friend Lisa and other students soon joined her protest outside the Italo Calvino school, which began when Turin and neighbouring areas were classified a high-risk coronavirus “red” zone on November 6th.
While younger children were allowed to stay in school, older pupils were forced to switch to distance learning.
Most shops, bars and restaurants were shut and residents' movements restricted. 
Italy's education minister is among those who have expressed an interest in Anita's cause, which she advertises with a hand-written poster behind her saying: “Learning at school is our right.”
“Minister (Lucia) Azzolina called me and congratulated me because she liked my protest and told me that she would do everything possible to open the schools as soon as possible,” the girl said.
Her mother, meanwhile, keeps a watchful eye.
“She did not really ask… she told me 'I am going in front of the school,” Christiana Perrone said.

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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.

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