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

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

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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