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INDIA

Italy extends Covid-19 travel ban to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as India

Italy has banned travel from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka amid the coronavirus emergency in neighbouring India, as well as tightening quarantine rules for residents who have recently returned from one of those countries.

Italy extends Covid-19 travel ban to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as India
Malpensa airport in Milan. Photo: Piero Cruciatti / AFP

In a new ordinance issued on April 29th, Health Minister Roberto Speranza extended Italy’s ban on arrivals from India to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, in response to surging infections and a rapidly spreading new variant.

Under the new rules, only Italian citizens who live permanently in Italy are allowed to enter from any of the three countries. Previously foreign nationals resident in Italy had also been allowed to return.

READ ALSO: Italy bans arrivals from virus-hit India

The ordinance also tightens the quarantine rules for anyone returning from India, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, who must now spend ten days in a “Covid hotel” where they can be monitored by local health authorities. 

Anyone travelling from one of the three countries must also test negative for coronavirus no more than 48 hours before departure, get another test on arrival, and finally take a third test after ten days in isolation.

People who arrived in Italy from one of these countries, or transited through them, in the 14 days before the latest ordinance – so since April 15th – should also contact the local health authorities to get tested and self-isolate at home for ten days, followed by another test.

A medical worker waits to test arriving passengers at Malpensa Airport in Milan. Photo: Piero Cruciatti / AFP

The travel restrictions apply until at least May 15th.

The move comes amid record case numbers in India, which reported more than 3,000 deaths on Wednesday alone. The variant linked to hundreds of thousands of new cases per day is already confirmed to have reached Italy, with reports of cases in Tuscany and Veneto.

READ ALSO: Indian coronavirus variant detected in northern Italy

Twenty-three people tested positive for coronavirus on a flight from New Delhi that landed in Rome on Wednesday night, local authorities said, out of 223 aboard.

All passengers were taken into supervised quarantine at specially converted hotels or military facilities near the capital, Rai reported, including those who tested negative.

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STRIKES

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travellers are once again set to face serious disruption as Italy will experience a new round of transport strikes in February. Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travel to, from and across Italy was disrupted by dozens of strikes in January

And, while many travellers might have hoped for a change in the trend, strikes are set to continue into February as Italian unions have already announced a further round of demonstrations affecting rail and public transport services as well as airline travel.

Here’s an overview of February’s main strike actions, including a national public transport strike on Friday, February 17th and another nationwide walkout from airport ground staff on Tuesday, February 28th.

Public transport

February 17th: Public transport staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Friday, February 17th. 

The strike was called in late January by Italian union USB (Unione Sindacale di Base) to protest against precarious work and “wild privatisation” attempts on the part of the Italian state.

READ ALSO: Should you travel in Italy when there’s a strike on?

There currently aren’t any details as to what percentage of workers will take part in the action. As such, the amount of disruption travellers should expect on the day cannot be estimated yet. 

Air travel

February 12th: Air traffic control staff at Perugia’s San Francesco d’Assisi airport will take part in a 24-hour strike action on Sunday, February 12th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the walkout in question will affect air travel to and from the airport on the day.

Travellers at an Italian airport

A national strike from ground service staff may cause delays and queues at many Italian airports on Tuesday, February 28th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

February 28th: Baggage handlers and other airport ground service staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Tuesday, February 28th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the strike will affect air travel during the day, though a similar demonstration caused significant delays and queues at some Italian airports in late January.

ENAV air traffic operators based in Calabria are also expected to strike on February 28th, with the walkout set to start at 1pm and end at 5pm.

Rail

February 5th-6th: Calabria-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9pm on Sunday, February 5th to 9pm the following day. 

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 9th: Staff from Lombardy’s Trenord will take part in a 22-hour strike – from 2am to 11.50pm – on Thursday, February 9th.

Empty train platform in Codogno, Lombardy

Staff from Lombardy’s regional railway operator Trenord will strike for 22 hours on Thursday, February 9th. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

It’s currently unclear whether Trenord will operate minimum services on the day. Any information regarding the strike will be released on the following website page

February 12th-13th: Trenitalia staff in Emilia-Romagna will strike from 3.30am on Sunday, February 12th to 2.30am on Monday, February 13th.

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 19th: Veneto-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9am to 5pm on Sunday, February 19th. 

Guaranteed services are available here.

On the same day, there will be no service between Milan’s Milano Centrale station and Paris’s Gare de Lyon due to a strike from staff at France’s national railway company SNCF.

READ ALSO: Trains and planes: Italy’s new international travel routes in 2023

February 20th: Trenitalia personnel in Lombardy are expected to strike from 9am to 5pm on Monday, February 20th. 

Guaranteed services haven’t been made available yet. 

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.

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