WORLD Italy drops COVID-19 testing-on-arrival for travelers from China


Italy drops COVID-19 testing-on-arrival for travelers from China


07:46, February 02, 2023

Italy has dropped its mandatory on-the-spot COVID-19 testing for travelers arriving from China. The rules, which had been in place since December 28, meant that all arrivals needed to undergo a PCR test at facilities at Italian airports.

Italy has stopped on-the-spot COVID-19 testing for travelers coming from China. /CGTN Europe

At the time it was the first country in Europe to re-introduce testing in response to China reopening to international travel. Those swabs were replaced on Wednesday with an obligation for travelers to present a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 48 hours of departure.

Some passengers coming from China will still be subject to random testing on arrival, with Italian health officials continuing to sequence the virus and monitor for new variants.

Passengers have been advised to continue wearing FFP2 protective masks on inbound flights. Italy's neighbor France has extended mandatory testing for arrivals from China until February 15.

Before the pandemic, Italy was a popular destination for Chinese tourists, boasting 5.355 million visitors in 2019, according to the Italian Institute of Statistics. But it was also one of the hardest hit European nations with over 25 million confirmed cases and 186,833 deaths since the outbreak in 2020.

In Milan's upmarket Via Monte Mapoleone, one of Europe's most exclusive shopping streets, major brands have featured Year of the Rabbit collections in their window fronts during the Spring Festival holiday. Stores are hoping to target Chinese consumers as they return to Europe.

Milan fashion week will welcome back Chinese buyers, brands and visitors for the first time in three years when it starts on February 21. Italy will review its testing policies for arrivals again on February 28 based on the epidemiological situation.

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