The following stories about travel, Italy and Covid are from and the Italian news agency, ANSA. I think you’ll be able to understand why Italy has included the U.S. among those countries on the “at risk” list, seeing that the U.S. has far more cases than the countries listed in the news stories. And you won’t need to read in between the lines to understand the importance of wearing masks and doing social distancing. This is what has been generally missing in the “at risk” countries.

It was a very quiet day in the Vatican, no news stories and no press office bulletin. August is, in any case, the month when great numbers of the Roman Curia staff go on holiday so few events, press conferences, etc. are ever planned for this month. In the past – the non-Covid past – people began to return and activities resume more or less full force by mid-September.


AUGUST 12: Italy adds Colombia to its travel ban list.

Travellers arriving into Italy from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain must be tested for covid-19 as concern grows over new infections amid a recent surge of coronavirus cases in the countries in question, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

Italy has also added Colombia to a list of countries under a complete travel ban, including transit passengers, announced Italian health minister Roberto Speranza late on 12 August

Health authorities in Italy are concerned about the return of Italian holidaymakers from destinations where social distancing and mask-wearing appear to have been widely ignored, according to Reuters.

“We must continue on a path of caution to defend the results we have obtained over the past months through sacrifices by everyone,” Speranza said on Twitter.

AUGUST 16: As from today, 16 August, vacationers returning to Italy from Spain, Greece, Croatia and Malta will be subjected to nasal swabs.

They will also be obligated to stay in their homes, and to remain in isolation until further notice, relative to the outcome of the test.

Covid-19 testing areas are already operational at Fiumicino and Ciampino airports. The governor of Lazio Nicola Zingaretti announced this via Facebook, stating that Rome’s airports “represent 70% of national traffic.”

In less than 24 hours, 12 testing sites were set up at the Leonardo da Vinci airport, in the arrivals area of Terminal 3, just after baggage claim. In a space of about 1,000 square meters 480 passengers can be tested simultaneously in full compliance with distancing rules. At Ciampino Airport there are three testing sites.

AUGUST 18: Rapid tests at Rome airport detect six coronavirus cases from ‘at risk’ countries.
Six holidaymakers tested positive for covid-19 on the first day of testing at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The six individuals travelled to Rome from countries identified by Italy as being ‘at risk’ for covid-19, including Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain.

The testing began at both Rome’s airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino, on 16 August in a bid to contain imported cases of coronavirus.

The first person to test positive at Fiumicino was a young man from Pescara returning from a trip to Malta.

A Roman woman returning to Fiumicino airport and coming from Greece (Skiathos) with a stopover in Athens also tested positive, as did a French man coming from Split in Croatia. Both are reportedly asymptomatic.

A Spanish man from Barcelona, who was travelling to Tuscany, also tested positive for covid-19 at Fiumicino.

The fifth case concerns a six-year-old Spanish boy, asymptomatic, from Barcelona who was travelling with his family.

The sixth case was a Roman woman returning from the Spanish island of Tenerife.

“The prevention method implemented in the airports of the capital is working”, said the health councillor for the Lazio Region, Alessio D’Amato.