TRAVEL: Italy extends entry ban for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

TRAVEL: Italy extends entry ban for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
Italy has extended ban on passengers from India. Photo: Piero Cruciatti / AFP
Italy extended Sunday an entry ban for people coming from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as a continued precaution against the more transmissible Indian variant of the novel coronavirus.

The ban, which does not apply to Italian citizens, was introduced in late April and was due to expire on Sunday.

It was prolonged until June 21st, a spokesman for Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement.

READ MORE: Will Italy restrict travel from the UK over Covid variant fears?

The B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus was first detected in India last year and has been blamed for much of a devastating Covid-19 wave that has battered South Asian nations in recent weeks.

This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the variant has officially spread to 53 territories, and has been linked to seven other territories by unofficial sources, taking the total to 60.

In an interview with AFP, WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said the increased contagiousness of the new variants of the coronavirus, including the Indian one, was one of his main worries.

“We know for example that the B.1617 (Indian variant) is more transmissible than the B.117 (British variant), which already was more transmissible than the previous strain,” the Belgian doctor said.

Countries around Europe are tightening travel restrictions with the UK because of the spread of the new strain.

France on Wednesday placed tough new restrictions on arrivals from the UK.

Italy has not yet said whether it may impose new restrictions on travel from the United Kingdom. It lifted the previous quarantine obligation for UK arrivals on May 16th. 

At the moment, UK travellers can come to Italy for any reason but are required to show a certificate proving their negative result from a PCR or antigen test taken within the previous 48 hours when arriving in Italy.

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