Europe wide travel regulations are being introduced with new dark red regions, which will include Italy. What will mean for us – in a nutshell, changes to the regulations governing travel to and from abroad, announced by the Eu Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders during a press conference.
Due to the increase in Covid-19 cases, caused by the spread of new and more contagious variants, the European Commission is taken action to restrict travel within, and to and from, Europe. Dark red zones are being introduced in the EU States that have at last 200 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in a 14 day period. The dark red ones are in addition to the existing zones and are being introduced to discourage and regulate non-essential international travel.
Italy will be one of the countries with some dark red regions, potentially Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna and Alto Adige. There is no mention of Puglia at the moment.
If you are in a dark red zone, in order to travel abroad, you will be required to a negative swab test between 48 to 72 hours before departure and a post-arrival quarantine of up to 14 days. This in fact was introduced and enforced by Italy for anyone travelling to Italy from the UK earlier this year. Brindisi airport were providing free, mandatory testing for all passengers arriving from the UK on January 16th when Bob returned home. This was in addition to a pre-departure negative test result having to be provided before boarding and a 14 day quarantine period in Italy after arrival.
As always, there are exceptions, for cross-border workers and students, for those who have to travel for health reasons or for serious family issues (including funerals and visits to sick relatives in a terminal state), as well as for those who work in the transport sector.
The EU States that will be affected include Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany and Scandinavian countries. In fact, looking at the map referred to in the Italian news article (source), most of Europe seems to be in the zone rosso scuro. The colours on the map depict the zone the particular area falls into and is governed by the number of Covid 19 cases in a 14 day period. The requirements are bi-lateral, presumably meaning quarantine period on in arrival in the destination and on return to the originating country.
Zones are classified according to the results in a 14 day notification period as follows:
- Green if there are fewer than 25 new cases out of 100,000 and the test positive rate below 4%;
- Orange if there are more than 25 but less than 50 cases per 100,000 with a test positive rate of 4% or higher or if there are between 25 and 150 cases per 100,000 and the test positive rate is less than 4%;
- Red if there are 50+ cases per 100,000 and the test positive rate is 4% or higher, or if the notification rate is higher than 150 cases per 100,000 ;
- Grey if the information is insufficient or if the test rate is less than 300 cases per 100,000.