ROME -- Vacationers arriving in Rome from four Mediterranean countries lined up with their suitcases at Leonardo da Vinci airport to be immediately tested for the new coronavirus on Sunday.
Last week, Italy’s health minister issued an ordinance requiring the tests for all travelers arriving in Italy from Croatia, Greece, Malta or Spain.
Travelers have the option of being tested instead within 48 hours of arrival at local public health offices closer to their home or destination in Italy.
Vacationers coming from abroad are fueling an increase in new coronavirus infections in Italy in recent weeks. On Saturday, the daily caseload of new infections topped 600 for the first time since May.
Alessio D’Amato, health commissioner for Lazio, the region including Rome, said at the airport that concern was mounting about the rising number of infections, especially since school resumes in Italy on Sept. 14, for the first time since the pandemic began.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.