Italy imposes Covid tests for travelers coming from China

Fear of a new wave is spreading in Europe as China has decided to relax its restrictive measures against Covid-19. Italy is the first European country to announce mandatory testing for all travelers from China, the Italian health ministry announced on Wednesday.

“This measure is essential to guarantee the surveillance and individualization of possible variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population”, justified the Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci in a press release. “Surveillance and prevention, through sequencing, are fundamental to identify in due time any new variants that may cause concern and which at this stage are not circulating in Italy,” the ministry said.

The tests already in force in Lombardy

The Lombardy region, where the Milanese international airport of Malpensa is located, has already decided to “subject to a molecular test (…) all travelers and crew members coming from China”, said Wednesday on its website dedicated to travelers the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lombardy was the first to be confined in Europe in 2020 to stem the Covid pandemic. Economic heart of the peninsula with Milan as its capital, it is still traumatized by the shock of the first deadly wave of the pandemic.

“This provision comes into force immediately and until January 30, 2023, unless the epidemiological situation is reassessed”, it is specified. In Italy, health is an area of ​​competence for each region, which explains why each of them can take different measures.

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