Dhaka: Italy has withdrawn its entry ban on Bangladeshis with valid stay permits and those who were already residents in Italy before July 9, the Embassy of Italy in Dhaka announced on October 13 in a circular.
The move is aimed at ending the woes of those who got stranded after returning home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Bangladeshis will have to present a negative COVID-19 medical test result when checking-in, taken 72 hours prior to the date of entry to Italy. Also a quarantine of 14 days must be observed under the surveillance of the health authorities of Italy, the circular added.
It also mentioned that upon entering Italy Bangladeshis cannot used public means of transportation (except for internal flights and by remaining in the allowed area) to reach their residence or where the quarantine will be done. Thus they have to use private means of transportation.
Furthermore, the European country took the decision following Bangladesh’s request, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said on October 15 in a statement.
Those who have valid stay permits can go to Italy any time, if they can find suitable flights, an official at the ministry said.
“In this case they do not have to take a visa,” the official added. However, Momen said those whose permits have expired will have to apply for a visa. The Italian Police will check their antecedents. Citing Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh Enrico Nunziata, Momen said they will try to complete the police checking in an expeditious manner.
Italy still will not issue regular visas, he mentioned. “This withdrawal of flight embargo is only for those with valid stay permits, and expired stay permits, subject to approval by Italian authorities,” he added.
After closing its borders for a few months during the pandemic, Italy allowed arrivals from Bangladesh at the start of July. But it later banned entry for Bangladeshis after a 'significant number' of them travelled to the European nation while carrying the coronavirus infection.
The Italian authorities sent back 165 Bangladeshis who arrived in the country from Dhaka without allowing them to disembark from the aircraft amid a scandal over fake coronavirus certificates.
Later on July 9, the European nation embargoed entry for Bangladeshis initially until October 5. The ban has now been extended to Dec 31.
Momen said on October 12 that Italy had been refusing Bangladesh’s request to withdraw the flight embargo because of the past behaviour of the Bangladeshi migrants and a possible second wave of the coronavirus.