Holidays at Risk for Italy as New Travel Restrictions Take Hold
With these contagions on the rise, there are new restrictions for those arriving in Italy from EU countries (even with the Green pass) and the US has issued an alert for travel to Italy.
Starting tomorrow, December 16, 2021, in order to enter Italy, travelers must present a passenger locator form, the Green pass, and a negative COVID test.
Tourism operators are disappointed to say the least. After the drops in turnover recorded in 2020 and the slight summer recovery, operators were relying on the year-end holidays to revive their economic activities.
It is, therefore, no coincidence that Italy, even challenging the opinion of Brussels, has already introduced new restrictions. Yesterday, the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza signed a new ordinance which from December 16 provides for the obligation to exhibit a negative result for a molecular or antigenic swab carried out in the previous 48 hours for all arrivals from European Union countries – even for those in possession of the Green pass, and that is if you have been immunized.
For the non-immunized, in addition to the test, there is a five-day quarantine.
Why the rush to protect against the COVID surge is so important.
“50% of infected children develop multi-inflammatory syndrome,” said Franco Locatelli, President of the Superior Health Council. “Protect our children from the risk of developing serious illness, which even if sporadic, nevertheless has an impact.”
At a press conference for the vaccination campaign aimed at children 5-11, Locatelli added, “For every 10,000 symptomatic cases there are 65,000 hospitalizations. Let’s protect them; [for] every 10,000 cases, 65 are hospitalized.”
There are zero risks from taking the vaccine on children, not even in the long term. “COVID must be much more scary, and with Omicron, there will be an increase in infections. 7% of infected children can have post-infection syndrome,” explained Locatelli. “Even among the little ones there have been hospitalizations and deaths. The anti-COVID vaccination is important to protect children from the risk of developing the serious disease which, albeit rarely, still has an impact in childhood.”
President Locatelli explained what systemic multi-inflammatory syndrome is and its symptoms: “In the pediatric age, COVID can manifest itself with multisystemic inflammatory syndrome, which occurs at an average age of 9 years. Almost 50% of cases, 45% to be precise, are diagnosed in the age group that is now the subject of the anti-COVID vaccination, 5-11 years. 70% of these children may need to be admitted to intensive care. The tool offered by the vaccine, therefore, also serves to protect against this syndrome.”
Symptoms of the systemic inflammatory syndrome of children (MIS-C) are characterized by high fever, gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting), myocardial distress with heart failure, hypotension and shock, and neurological changes (aseptic meningitis and encephalitis).
Alongside these clinical manifestations, many children develop some of the typical signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease (a known pediatric disease characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels), particularly rash, conjunctivitis, and changes in the mucous membrane of the lips, as well as dilations (aneurysms) of the coronary arteries.
MIS-C often has a threatening course and requires aggressive therapy, based on infusion of intravenous immunoglobulins (standard treatment of Kawasaki disease) and high-dose corticosteroids, President Locatelli explained.
The appeal to parents
“I appeal to all families, mothers, and fathers of children in the age group between 5 and 11 years old,” said Locatelli, “to consider vaccination, take advantage of this opportunity, talk to your pediatrician, vaccinate your children. Do it for them, show how much you love your children by giving them the maximum possible protection against COVID-19.”
Italy Prime Minister Mario Draghi: Infections are on the rise across Europe
Speaking on the health emergency, in the report to the Chamber ahead of the EU Council, Prime Minister Draghi said: “The winter and the spread of the Omicron variant – from the first investigations, much more contagious – require us to pay the utmost attention in managing the pandemic.
“Infections are on the rise throughout Europe: in the last week in the EU, there have been an average of 57 cases per day for every 100,000 inhabitants. In Italy, the incidence is lower, almost half, but it is still growing.
“The government has decided to renew the state of emergency until March 31 to have all the tools necessary to deal with the situation. I urge citizens to keep the utmost caution.
“The onset of the Omicron variant demonstrates, once again, the importance of curbing the contagion in the world to limit the risk of dangerous mutations. We will not really be protected until the vaccines have reached everyone. Governments of richer countries and drug companies have made significant commitments to distribute free or low-cost vaccines to poorer states. We must follow through on these promises with greater determination.”
More information on Italy.