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Covid, with mandatory quarantine for travellers from S’pore, no Christmas at home for four thousand Italians from the City-State.

The Italian Ambassador to Adnkronos: ‘It’s a mistake, here in Singapore cases are now at a minimum level, almost 100% of the population is vaccinated, and the Omicron variant is practically absent’. The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the Association of Italians abroad (Comites): ‘Losses also for our companies, Italy must change its mind’.

The dream of returning home for Christmas for four thousand Italians living in Singapore is fading, just as it is for the many Singaporeans who had planned their trip to Italy in view of the upcoming holidays. With yesterday’s provision by the Ministry of Health, the list of countries from which one can arrive in Italy without quarantine has been modified. The measure aims to counter the new Omicron variant, but also risks penalizing the Asian city-state, which has reported only a dozen Omicron cases, all imported and isolated at the airport, and boasts an RT which ranks among the lowest in the world, and 96% of vaccinated population. However the new provision leaves doors open to those coming from countries such as the United Kingdom (who reported over 5000 cases of Omicron) whose travelers can enter Italy without quarantine.

The decision taken in our Capital has disconcerted many among Italians residing in the City-State. Italy is the only European country to apply these restrictive measures against Singaporean tourists. No other EU country has any interest in doing so, also because equivalence of vaccination certificates has been approved weeks ago by the European Union and Singapore.

‘I want to believe that Singapore’s absence from list D cited in the ordinance is the result of a clerical error or a typo,’ said the Italian Ambassador to Singapore Mario Vattani, answering to Adnkronos. He underlines: ‘Singapore has a very low number of infections, here Omicron is practically absent, and the population is almost 100% vaccinated. As far as I know, no other European country is applying these restrictions’

Much concern also in the business community: ’We have been informed, as the Italian Chamber of Commerce, of the obligation of quarantine for those who go from Singapore to Italy – explains to Adnkronos Alberto Maria Martinelli, president of ICCS, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore – We are very puzzled. It is a decision that we do not welcome at all: first of all because the Covid numbers in Singapore do not justify such a decision in terms of deaths and infections, considerably lower, and vaccines, which have higher percentages, including the booster. Also because Singapore has deliberately opened a VTL (Vaccinated travel line) with Italy and other countries, because it is conscious of its leading role as a logistic, financial and legal hub. That is to say that not only Singaporean citizens are returning to Italy for holidays but also entrepreneurs. And this doesn’t help at all’.

Martinelli recalls: ‘There are 4,000 Italians who wish to return for their holidays. Furthermore, Singaporeans who take holidays around the world spend 38 billion Singapore dollars a year (pre-covid data). It is a very high end tourism, that enjoys our Country and spends’.

Italian community representatives, (Comites): ‘It was done at such short notice, Italy should rethink it all’

‘The decision to impose quarantine in Italy for those coming from Singapore takes us by complete surprise. It is inexplicable – comments Andrea Monni, elected today as new president of Comites in Singapore – Here in Singapore the cases are decreasing, and the very low numbers do not justify such a measure. In addition, those arriving from Italy to Singapore do not need quarantine, so we are even more surprised by this measure which cancels reciprocity’.