Sicily has made COVID-19 testing mandatory for people arriving from Malta, region president Nello Musumeci decreed on Wednesday.
According to the statement published by Regione Sicilia, anyone who arrives in Sicily from Malta or who has been in Malta in the last 14 days, must undergo COVID-19 testing to be allowed into the region.
The regional government of Sicily had already placed the same restrictions on travellers from Spain and Portugal through a regional ordinance, and on India, Brazil, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as required by the national government.
Previously, the presentation of a valid vaccine certificate had been sufficient for travel to Sicily from Malta.
However, new daily cases of COVID-19 have continued to climb in Malta, with travel restrictions to enter Malta tightening to allow only passengers with a vaccine certificate quarantine-free entry to the island as of Wednesday.
On Thursday morning, Italian news cooperative ANSA reported that nine people returning from Malta tested positive for the virus after being subject to testing at Abbruzzo airport.
Subsequently, all 70 passengers on the flight have been put in mandatory quarantine.
The positive cases were all young people and presented no symptoms, ANSA reported.