Sicily’s governor Nello Musumeci has ordered all migrant residences on the Italian island to be shut down by Monday, part of a push-back by Italian regions alarmed by a surge in Covid-19 cases.
But while some new migrants have tested positive, vacationers returning from Mediterranean Sea resorts abroad as well from the Italian island of Sardinia lately have accounted for far more of Italy’s new coronavirus infections.
In Sicily, all migrants who reach the island by sea are to be transferred. All centres housing migrants awaiting processing of asylum applications will be closed by the end of Monday.
Musumeci’s order, effective through September 10, also forbids any boat, including charity vessels, to bring migrants to the island.
On Saturday, Italy registered 1,071 new cases, the highest daily number since mid-May and only weeks after the nation had seen the number of day-to-day new infections plunge to about 200.
The Lazio region, which includes Rome, surpassed hard-hit Lombardy on Saturday for the highest daily new caseload, as returning travelers got tested at Rome-area airports and a port north of the Italian capital.
On the mainland, most of the latest cases were linked to travelers coming from abroad. Those arriving from Spain, Malta, Greece and Croatia must be tested within 48 hours of entering Italy, after those places started experiencing worrisome upticks in coronavirus infections.
And many recent coronavirus clusters have been traced to people who vacationed on Sardinia.
With many people taking ferries from Sardinia to the Italian mainland, Lazio set up a testing facility at Civitavecchias dock, so those driving vehicles off the boats could line up for immediate testing.
Lazio governor Nicola Zingaretti appealed to the governor of Sardinia to test vacationers before they sail or fly from the island to the mainland, saying his region would do the same for travelers leaving for Sardinia.
Source: The Guardian