Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Rome, Italy – March 12, 2020

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Rome, Italy – March 12, 2020

Location:  Italy

Event: Due to reduced staffing that went into effect March 11, only emergency American Citizen Services and emergency visa services are available at the U.S. Embassy in Rome and Consulates General Milan, Naples, and Florence.

The CDC advises travelers to avoid nonessential travel to Italy and State Department currently recommends U.S. citizens reconsider travel. See CDC information regarding high-risk traveler categories.

On March 11, the U.S. Government issued a proclamation that suspends the entry of immigrants or nonimmigrants who were physically present within the Schengen Area (including Italy) during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.  The proclamation does not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, diplomatic and official travelers, air and sea crew members, members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children, and certain other categories of travelers.

The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (U.S. time) on March 13.  The proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (U.S. time) on March 13.  Travelers should check with their airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about their travel plans and/or restrictions.  For the full text of the proclamation, see https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/.

On March 11, the Italian government issued a decree https://bit.ly/2U1cDNg that further prohibits movement in public places except for justifiable work reasons (commuting, public and commercial transport is allowed), basic necessities (i.e., food shopping), and health emergencies.  The decree also cancels sporting events and public gatherings and closes restaurants, bars and pubs, and recreational facilities through March 25.  Schools and universities are closed until April 3.  Pharmacies remain open.  The Italian government has stated the new decree does not prevent travelers from departing Italy.

The Italian government has announced that law enforcement authorities would establish checkpoints at airports and train stations to collect self-declaration forms from travelers specifying the purpose of their movement and their destination.  Italian officials have also noted that checkpoints may established on highways to collect these forms.

In areas of Italy with large numbers of COVID-19 cases, the local healthcare system is under significant strain.  Public transportation including airlines, trains, and buses continue to operate, but with reduced frequency.  Travelers should check carrier schedules for the latest updates and work directly with the carrier or travel agent to arrange or reschedule travel.  Travelers should be prepared for the possibility of additional travel restrictions to be implemented with little or no advance notice.

Actions to Take:

Assistance: