Italy records highest annual death toll since second world war

Italy is set to record more than 700,000 deaths in total this year, the highest annual figure since 1944.

Italy records highest annual death toll since second world war
Coffins of deceased Covid patients at a church in Bergamo, Lombardy, in March 2020. Photo: AFP
 “2020 is not over yet, but a reasonable analysis leads us to believe that we will go over the threshold of 700,000 deaths,” said Gian Carlo Blangiardo, president of national statistics agency Istat, on Tuesday.
“It can be deduced that the high death toll is linked to the impact of Covid-19,” Blangiardo told Italy's Rai television.
“This is a worrying level because the last time something like this happened was in 1944 when we were in the Second World War”.
By comparison, Italy registered a total of 647,000 deaths in 2019, he said.
Italy on Saturday became the European country with the highest pandemic death toll.
The health ministry said on Tuesday that a further 846 Covid deaths were recorded in Italy in the previous 24 hours – another near-record high number.
Italy's total Covid-19 death toll now stands at 65,857.
Authorities also said that 14,844 new positive cases had been recorded in that time.
The number of patients in hospital, and in intensive care, continues to fall steadily.
Meanwhile the trend of Italy's population declining and becoming steadily older year on year continued in 2019, according to another set of data released by Istat on Tuesday.

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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.

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