EU lifts travel ban but Italy keeps its borders closed

On Tuesday the EU bloc agreed to open borders to 15 other countries starting from July 1, but Italy later announced its decision not to open to travel from outside Europe.

The EU 27 member states have drawn up a “safe list” of non-EU countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

The list does not include the US, Brazil, India or Russia.

However, only hours after the list was announced, Italian authorities backed out and declared they would maintain the current quarantine rules for visitors from outside the EU.

“The global situation remains very complex,” said Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza. “We must prevent the sacrifices made by Italians in recent months being in vain.”

Italy has been one of the worst-hit countries by COVID-19 but it now seems to have the virus spread in hand. The death toll and the number of new infections are in decline, with 143 new cases reported on Tuesday.

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Rebecca Ann Hughes

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