The Italian government has approved a decree to extend the Wuhan coronavirus state of emergency beyond December 31st until March 31st and quarantine unvaccinated travellers.
The state of emergency, which was set to expire on December 31st, will be extended a further three months as the country faces a possible surge of cases relating to the Omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus over the winter months.
The extension of the state of emergency will mean the Italian governments on a national and regional level will continue to have the power to impose restrictions, including travel restrictions and local lockdowns, in an effort to slow the projected spread of the Omicron variant, newspaper Il Giornale reports.
During the period from December 16th to January 31st, unvaccinated travellers coming into Italy from other countries, including those within the European Union, will have to quarantine for at least five days regardless of whether they can present a negative coronavirus test. Those who have proof of vaccination will only require a negative coronavirus test.
The move has been met with criticism by some in the European Union, such as Commission Vice President Vera Jourova who said: “These individual decisions of the member states will damage … the trust of the people that there are equal conditions everywhere in Europe.”
€1,000 Fine for Taking a Train While Unvaccinated and Untested in Italy https://t.co/JVVNpElUiM
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 2, 2021
While just 27 cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in Italy as of Tuesday, the country has seen a recent surge in new cases of the Chinese virus in the last several weeks, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.
While deaths linked to the virus have also increased slightly, they are still well below the highs the country experiences in March of 2020 and November of that same year.
The extension of the emergency comes after the Italian government introduce stricter measures on unvaccinated people by introducing the “Super Green Pass” for activities such as indoor dining.
Unlike the normal Green Pass, which unvaccinated people can qualify for with a negative covid test, the Super Green Pass requires proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from the virus only.
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