Italy imposes 5-day quarantine for EU arrivals

Italy's new quarantine measures come amid controversy over Easter travel restrictions.

Italy will require travellers arriving from all EU countries to spend five days in quarantine on arrival, following an order signed by health minister Roberto Speranza on 30 March.

The order will make it mandatory for all those travelling to Italy from another EU nation to undergo a coronavirus test as they depart, before self-isolating for five days in Italy after which they must be tested again.

The rules apply to foreign visitors as well as returning residents of Italy, and the measures will be in place from 31 March until 6 April, the day after Easter Monday. [UPDATE: The measure has since been extended until 15 May.]

The 14-day quarantine for non-EU arrivals remains in place.

News of the new measures comes amid growing controversy over the fact that people are allowed to travel abroad to certain countries while Italy will be in a 'red zone' lockdown for Easter.

"For Easter it is forbidden to move between regions in Italy, but you can go on holiday abroad. I cannot move outside my city but I can fly to the Canary Islands. It is unacceptable," said Giorgia Meloni, leader of the right-wing Fratelli d'Italia (FdI), in opposition to the coalition government of premier Mario Draghi.

Last night Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on television: "We are absolutely not advising citizens to go abroad... we advise against travel because we are in a difficult phase."

This morning Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported of "2,450 passengers" booked on flights to Spain, predominantly the Canaries and Balearic Islands, over the Easter holiday weekend.

For travel updates see the Viaggi Sicuri website. Photo ANSA.