Sicily imposes quarantine on residents returning from Malta

Tourism from the neighbouring island risks grinding to a halt after Sicilian governor Nello Musumeci imposes 14-day quarantine on residents arriving from Malta, Greece and Spain

Sicily has imposed a 14-day quarantine period on residents returning from Malta
Sicily has imposed a 14-day quarantine period on residents returning from Malta

Sicilians returning home from their holidays in Malta, Greece and Spain will have to go into quarantine before getting tested for coronavirus.

The decision was formalised on Wednesday afternoon by regional governor Nello Musumeci after a spike in COVID-19 cases among Sicilian residents who returned from holidays in Malta.

The neighbouring island registered 29 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday from 2,248 swab tests. The majority of cases were linked to clusters in Syracuse and Ragusa of people who imported the virus from Malta.

Malta has seen its own spike in COVID-19 cases. Over the past 24 hours, Malta registered 49 new cases, bringing the total of active cases to 486.
The new rules in Sicily come into effect on 14 August and Sicilians returning home will have to register online at the site. The rules also apply to Greece and Spain.

Non-residents who arrive in Sicily from Malta will have to register with the health authorities on the same website and use the connected WebApp. The order does not stipulate that non-Sicilians have to quarantine.

The decision is likely to stymie tourism to Malta from the neighbouring island. Thousands of Sicilians and Maltese have been travelling between both islands, mostly through the catamaran service.

The decision comes on the same day that the Netherlands and Belgium downgraded Malta’s status, requiring residents to quarantine if they travelled to the island.

READ ALSO: Malta removed from Belgium safe-list for travel



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