Italy Reintroduces Coronavirus Tests for Travelers from China
( Breitbart )
The Italian Ministry of Health has reintroduced mandatory coronavirus testing at Italian airports for travellers from China over fears of a new wave of the virus.
Italian Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci has signed a new policy this week that will see mandatory testing for the coronavirus for all travellers who come from China stating, “the measure is essential to ensure surveillance and detection of any variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population.”
The Ministry is also said to be examining the test results in order to determine if those coming from China may be infected with new variants of the coronavirus, the newspaper Il Giornale reports.
“Surveillance and prevention, through sequencing, are essential to promptly identify any new variants that may cause concern and that, at the moment, are not in circulation in Italy,” the Ministry said.
Minister Schillaci has also been in contact with other Health Ministers within the European Union to discuss the issue as the European Commission has stated it is ready to introduce an “emergency brake” that would reintroduce travel restrictions across the bloc.
Guido Bertolaso, Councillor for Welfare of the Lombardy Region, has claimed that as many as half of the travellers from China aboard two recent flights to Milan’s Malpensa airport tested positive for the coronavirus saying, “It is better to avoid going to China. I suggest staying in Italy, which is the most beautiful country in the world.”
Italy is not the only country to consider mandatory testing for arrivals from China, as the United States is also reportedly looking into enacting similar measures.
Wang Wenbin, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, reacted to the new possible restrictions by claiming that Western governments were “distorting” China’s recent policy adjustments in regard to the virus and called for “science-based and proportionate” responses.
Italy was one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe in terms of coronavirus deaths, particularly in the early months of the pandemic. Since early 2020, a total of 183,138 people have died of the virus according to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO).