How are EU-Countries reacting to the spread of COVID-19? (part 4/5)
The Polish authorities do not currently provide for generalised quarantine measures for persons returning from Italy. However, the Polish Central Health Inspectorate recommends to all those who have been in Italy in the last 14 days to take self-monitoring measures.
Authorities introduced border checks to take the temperature of passengers arriving by bus, van or ferry. National airline LOT suspended flights from Italy and China. The government discourages travel to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, Japan and Italy. As far as Polish Airports are concerned, body temperature controls on passengers have been increased.
They may also be asked to provide their contact details. If suspicious symptoms are detected, the Polish Health Authority may order the adoption of the most appropriate measures. Similar checks will be carried out at the Polish border for passengers entering the country by land, train and sea.
There are restrictions on air and rail links with Italy. In particular, the suspension of all Swiss Air flights to/from Italy, in addition to the suspension of Easyjet flights, until the beginning of April. On the Gotthard axis, three of the nine pairs of trains serving the Zurich-Milan route will only run as far as Chiasso. On the Simplon axis, the reduction measures affect two of the seven train pairs (Geneva/Basel-Milan) that will only run between Geneva and Brig and between Basel and Brig respectively. It is recommended to check the status of the train with the rail transport company. Further restrictions may be adopted in the future.
The Swiss government said it required Italians working in Switzerland to provide proof of work as they enter the country. The Ticino authorities have also intensified checks at the border and surrounding areas. People without the right work permit have been sent back to Italy (this numbered 300 on Monday) but Italians will not be prevented from working in Switzerland.
Everyone who travels to Norway, from any country with the sole exception of those from a Scandinavian country, must undergo preventive quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether they show symptoms of coronavirus or not. This measure is retroactive for all arrivals since 27 February. The health authorities recommend that all travellers who suspect that they have contracted the virus or experience symptoms should not go to a medical facility without prior warning but should contact the telephone number 116117. The SAS airline company has decided to suspend flights to Milan, Venice, Bologna and Turin until 16 March. The airline Norwegian has suspended direct flights to Milan until 15 March. Further changes to air traffic to/from Italy are possible.
The Dutch minister van Buitenlandse zaken (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) has reinforced its travel warnings for Italy. Code red (do not travel) applies to Northern Italy. Code orange (only necessary journeys) applies for the rest of Italy. The foreign ministry advised people not to travel to Italy unless necessary. Dutch airlines KLM and Transavia canceled flights from Amsterdam to Italy. On 12 March, the government announced new measures that will be in effect through the end of the month. All events (concerts, sports) and all work meetings with more than 100 people are now forbidden and the RIVM is encouraging people to work from home.
The local authorities have ordered the suspension of all passenger traffic, air and sea, to and from Italy. Consequently, all flights and berthing permits for cruise ships coming from Italy are suspended. In addition, a mandatory 14-day quarantine has been ordered for those who have arrived from Italy in the last two weeks, to be observed in their home or hotel at their own expense. The same obligation is imposed on those who reside in the same residence as those who have returned from Italy. The sanction for those who violate is 1000 euros and random checks will be carried out. Finally, from 11 March and until further notice, all air connections between Malta and Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland have been suspended.
If adults coming from a trip abroad (private or professional) have not been proven to be in close contact with a sick and contagious person and do not have typical symptoms (cough, fever, breathing problems), they can resume their professional activity.
Employees have no right to refuse a trip abroad if the trip complies with the recommendations issued by the national authorities, which are competent for travels abroad. If there is a well-founded fear of contamination risk for employees, the employer can refuse access to an employee.
On 25 February the Lithuanian Ministry of Health strengthened control measures on incoming travellers. All people from the Italian regions of Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna will be checked again on board the aircraft (temperature will be measured, general health status will be assessed), their contact details will be collected so that the operators of the National Health Centre can contact them for the next two weeks and monitor their health status. All travellers who in the two weeks prior to arrival in Lithuania have travelled not only to China, but also to the above-mentioned regions of Northern Italy, are invited to fill in the form available on the website of the National Health Centre (NVSC: http://nvsc.lrv.lt/en/) and avoid close social contacts for two weeks.