ROME (AP): Starting Monday, Italy is requiring people who arrive from Britain to do five days of quarantine as well as take a COVID-19 swab test.
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Friday said he signed that order as concern builds about a soaring increase of coronavirus cases in Britain involving the delta variant. That variant is responsible for over 90% of the new infections in the U.K. So far, it has been detected in relatively few infections in Italy.
The new requirement could have consequences for the Euro 2020 soccer competition, since England’s national team is likely to play in Rome if it advances from the group stage.
Under the ordinance, Italy will allow people to enter from the United States, Canada and Japan if they meet the prerequisites for the European Union Green Certificate. Those requirements include full vaccination, documented recovery from COVID-19 or a negative swab test performed within 48 hours of arrival in Italy.
U.S. travelers who flew into Italy on COVID-tested flights, which require a negative swab test within 48 hours before boarding, could already enter Italy as tourists. Alitalia and at least two U.S. airlines have been operating those flights, which also require a swab test for passengers when they disembark in Italy.
Tourism, especially by U.S. visitors, is an important part of Italy’s economy, and the sector is eagerly awaiting Americans’ return.