Italy requires Covid tests for travellers from France
People travelling to Italy from certain regions in France - including Paris, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Nouvelle-Aquitaine - are now required to take a Covid-19 test to cross the border.
The Italian health minister Roberto Speranza confirmed the new rules on Monday (September 21).
He said: “I have signed a new decree that extends the obligation for molecular or antigenic tests to people travelling from Paris and other French regions. European data [on the virus] is critical. Italy is doing better than other countries, but great caution is needed in order to not set back the sacrifices made so far.”
Ho firmato una nuova ordinanza che estende l’obbligo di test molecolare o antigenico ai cittadini provenienti da Parigi e altre aree della Francia. Dati europei sono critici. L’Italia sta meglio di altri Paesi, ma serve grande prudenza per non vanificare i sacrifici fatti finora.— Roberto Speranza (@robersperanza) September 21, 2020
The rules apply to:
- Paris and Île-de-France
- Auvergne-Rhône Alpes
The rules will not apply to people who must cross the border to work, or those transiting through Italy for fewer than 72 hours, reported Italian news site San Remo News.
More measures in France
The new rules in Italy come as France imposes more restrictions at home.
Lyon (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) has now imposed further measures, including restricting public events to 1,000 people, extending the obligation to wear a mask, and limiting elderly care home visits.
But in contrast, Lyon is not planning to close restaurants and bars just yet - unless later deemed necessary - but eating and drinking, or ordering, standing up at counters or bars has been banned.
Lyon prefect, Pascal Mailhos, said: “Measures have been tightened. If we notice a lack of barrier methods in these establishments, there will be sanctions, and I will not hesitate to require their closure. These measures will be taken for 15 days. If they are not effective enough, we will take more severe measures.”
Masks are now mandatory at all times in public from 06:00 to 02:00 - meaning all day, except from 02:00 to 06:00 in the morning - in 10 towns of more than 10,000 inhabitants around Lyon. Masks have been required 24/7 in Lyon and Villeurbanne since September 1.
In Toulouse (Haute-Garonne, Occitanie), public gatherings have also been limited to 1,000 people, and bars and restaurants have had opening times cut. They must now close at 01:00 rather than 02:00 in the week, and at 03:00 at the weekend.
They will not be allowed to open until 06:00, rather than 05:00.
All “dancing” events in public places are now banned, as is drinking or eating standing up. Buying alcohol to take away is now banned in the city centre from 20:00 onwards.
Similar measures have been imposed in Rennes (Brittany), with bars and restaurants now required to close at 23:00. This is intended to help stop the spread of the virus among young people.
In the latest update from health body Santé Publique France - Monday September 21 - there were 5,298 new cases in the past 24 hours. This is fewer than the day before (more than 10,500) and on Saturday September 19 (13,500).
In total, 4,103 people were hospitalised for Covid-19 related causes in the past seven days, 209 more than announced the day before; of which 638 were admitted to intensive care (45 more than the day before).