Bangladeshi nationals have allegedly entered Italy with fake Covid-19 certificates after the country re-opened its border, according to local news reports
Italy has extended the ban on Bangladeshis entering the country by a month, until August 31.
The ban also includes 15 other countries including Armenia, Bahrain, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo, reports News.am.
Also, the requirement for mandatory quarantine for those arriving from non-European Union (EU) countries, as well as Romania and Bulgaria, has been extended, Live Italy reported.
This happened for several weeks with immigrants from Bangladesh who live and work in Italy - as a result, all flights from the country were blocked, and Bangladesh was included in the list of 16 countries - originally there were 13 - whose citizens are prohibited to enter Italy, the News report added.
Italy confirmed the line of prudence at the borders, but this did not prevent the fact that in any case, most of the new infections, between 30% and 40%, are linked to foreigners or contacts with foreigners.
A small proportion is represented by migrants arriving in Italy by boat, which, paradoxically, are easier to control than foreigners who continue to arrive in Italy, formally observing the rules, it said.
On July 16, a press note issued by Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs said flights to Italy from Bangladesh, along with 12 other countries, had been suspended till July 31.
Earlier on July 9, the Italian government banned the entry of all passengers from 13 countries, including Bangladesh, till October 5 in a bid to fight the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The move came after a significant number of passengers on a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines tested positive for Covid-19 when they landed in Rome, Italy, on July 6.
Initially, the Italian authorities issued a one-week suspension in response to the incident, but then issued the new directive, according to media reports citing a Qatar Airways statement sent to its business partners.
The Foreign Ministry also refuted the allegations that Bangladesh nationals had gone to Italy with fake Covid-19 certificates.
The ministry said around 1,600 Bangladeshis, who recently travelled to Italy, did not carry fake certificates citing they were Covid-19 negative.
They also said the Italian authorities had not made it mandatory to carry health certificates as proof of Covid-19 negative status in order to enter the country.
Rome-based daily Il Messaggero reported that in Dhaka it was possible to purchase bogus health certificates for as little as €36 – roughly equivalent to Tk3,500 – allowing citizens to leave the country despite being potentially infected, quoting Mohammed Taifur Rahman Shah, president of the Italy-Bangla association that has been helping newly-arrived Bangladeshis in Italy for many years.