Italy on Thursday tightened the rules on people arriving from coronavirus-hit India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, while extending quarantine regulations for Europeans.
A devastating surge in cases of COVID-19 in India prompted Italy on Sunday to ban arrivals from the South Asian nation, although legal residents were allowed home subject to testing and quarantine.
Twenty-three people on a flight that landed in Rome from India late Wednesday tested positive for coronavirus, out of 213 passengers and 10 crew, regional authorities announced.
Under new rules announced Thursday by Health Minister Roberto Speranza, however, only Italian citizens are allowed in from India — a rule extended to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The regulation also extends to May 15 the rules currently in place for arrivals from European countries, who must have a coronavirus test and self-isolate for five days.
Tests have not yet confirmed if those who tested positive on the Indian flight into Rome’s Fiumicino airport Wednesday have the Indian variant of coronavirus, which is feared to be contributing to rapid spread of coronavirus there.
The variant has already been identified in Italy among a dozen other countries.
The daily death toll in India climbed above 3,600 on Thursday, deepening a crisis which has seen hospitals and crematoriums overwhelmed.