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4 Mar 2020 Rome Embassy alert (from step.state.gov)

Just got his in my e-mail:

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Rome, Italy March 4, 2020
Location: Italy
Event: The Government of Italy has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As of 12:00 AM March 3, all passengers on U.S.-bound flights whose temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit are not being permitted to board. Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Visit the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairsfor additional information on these new measures. Travelers who are not permitted to board should follow the instructions of the Italian authorities.
Actions to Take:
• Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information on the disease.
• For information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
• Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information regarding foreign countries’ quarantine requirements and other global impacts.
• Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
• Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Italy.
• Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions affecting travel to the U.S.
• Seek medical care right away if you believe you may have COVID-19 (or similar symptoms) or were exposed to someone who may have COVID-19 in the last six weeks.

• Review the Italian National Institute of Health’s website (available only in Italian).
• Call Italy’s 112 emergency number or 1500 if you believe you have symptoms and are currently in Italy. English speaking operators are available.

Posted by
2310 posts

Game changer. Even if you’ve got a cold, running a mild fever gets you stranded. I run 99.2 on a good day so not much slack there.

Posted by
87 posts

Nah, not game changer, rather GAME OVER. Supposed to leave for Rome March 16th, keep trying to scheme a way to make it reasonable, but last nail in the coffin I think.

Posted by
2310 posts

John you may be right. RS just canceled all tours to Italy through March.

Posted by
8889 posts

Can you please provide a link to this.

The Government of Italy has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As of 12:00 AM March 3, all passengers on U.S.-bound flights whose temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit are not being permitted to board.

Sounds fishy. "12am 3rd March" is 48 hours ago, I haven't heard of seen anywhere else.
And why would the Italians be concerned to stop it spreading to the USA? Why just the USA? Perhaps the USA is checking incoming passengers, but I can't see any country bothering about outgoing passengers to just one country.
"temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit" - No hospital in Italy would have thermometers calibrated in °F.

Posted by
32 posts

Here is the link as I thought the same thing.

https://it.usembassy.gov/health-alert-u-s-embassy-rome-italy-march-4-2020/

I agree about this being a game changer. Just today I officially cancelled my Milan flight for next Thursday the 12th. It was a Delta ticket but the JFK-Milan leg is an Alitalia plane and technically not cancelled. Delta asked if I was sure I didn't want to go to Rome for the same price. My husband is currently there and we spent quite a bit of time in Italy. However, my work now would want me to self quarantine upon return and the other restrictions seem to be ramping up.

My husband was planning on coming home at some point next week but he has been having trouble getting through to Delta due to long wait times. I am now calling for him. I do not want him stuck there and at this point need to get him on a plane before he is exposed to something. I am really relatively calm, but this announcement has a certain seriousness to it.

Posted by
1922 posts

As I've poked around, I think this is more a US initiative to prevent COVID-19 entering the US. I'm not sure why the US Embassy is blaming the Italian government.

Posted by
2234 posts

In press conferences about Coronavirus, I have seen our US Pres and VP on TV stating that they have asked (or required) Italy and South Korea to pre-screen passengers on flights to the US, starting within hours of their statements. I guess this is more detailed information about that, although I have not yet seen it publicized anywhere else. 99.5 degrees sounds quite low to me, could easily be due to any number of minor health issues., even a sunburn, I imagine. I wonder, would this apply to someone flying from Italy to the US, but with a connection in Germany, France, Holland or England, etc, as many of us do.

Posted by
87 posts

We were anticipating (another) great 21 day trip to Europe, covering a bit of Italy we have not experienced.

It just seems that it might be possible to DO the trip, but the enjoyment would certainly be colored by all the concerns.
Going for later this year or next spring - rats.

Posted by
2799 posts

99.5 degrees sounds quite low to me, could easily be due to any number of minor health issues

What about a poorly calibrated thermometer?

Posted by
2234 posts

According to The Daily Beast today, these are new policies or guidance from the Italian government: 1) every air passenger will have their temperature taken before boarding a flight in Italy, domestic or international; no information there about how many degrees are acceptable, or what will happen to those with higher temperatures; 2) people should stay one meter apart in public places, causing some museums or other sites to limit the number of admissions; nothing there about specific sites, or if family members or couples can hold hands; 3) people over 65 years of age are guided to stay in their homes, leading priests, neighbors, etc. to help out by delivering groceries.
Also, many reports indicate that hospitals, ambulance services, etc in Northern Italy are overwhelmed, with great difficulty in attending to non-Coronavirus patients; some hospitals are trying to borrow beds from hospitals in other regions.
The situation certainly seems to be deteriorating, not improving, at least at present.