Travellers hoping for quick visit to Sicily were left confused on Friday as authorities gave conflicting information about the requirements to enter the Italian region from Malta.
Sicilian authorities told Times of Malta on Friday that all those arriving to Sicily from Malta will be subject to COVID-19 testing upon arrival, after region president Nello Musumeci signed a decree on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Regione Sicilia, the Sicilian regional government, said that anyone arriving to Sicily from Malta or who has visited Malta in the preceding 14 days will be subject to COVID-19 testing, even if they have been fully vaccinated and have a vaccine certificate or green pass.
She said that arrivals from Malta will be given a rapid antigen test and that these rules also apply to Italian citizens as well as people residing in Sicily.
A spokesperson for the Italian Embassy, however, contradicted this, saying that the new rules would subject unvaccinated travelers to the possibility of getting tested upon arrival.
“Travellers coming from Malta (as well as certain EU and extra-EU countries) not in possession of a green certificate (in the format generated and accepted by Italy and other EU countries) or other required documents identified by the Italian national legislation to travel abroad, may be subject to a rapid test upon the arrival in Sicily,” he said.
The news of Sicily’s new rules caused confusion among travellers due to visit Sicily, as the decree deferred from travel rules set out by the Italian central government. The rules did not specify the terms in which tests should be presented or carried out.
Previously, it was possible to travel to Sicily with a negative swab test result, either PCR or rapid antigen, taken 48 hours prior to arrival in Sicily and either an EU digital vaccine certificate or recovery certificate.
Sicily Ferry operator Virtu Ferries informed customers that a vaccine certificate would be sufficient to be allowed to travel to Sicily on Thursday.
TVM also reported on Friday that Maltese residents who arrived in Sicily by catamaran early in the morning were neither tested nor asked to present a test on arrival.
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