Albanian citizens can only now enter Italy for essential reasons and under strict conditions according to a decision taken in light of the COVID-19 situation, this week.
Albania which was previously on List D, has been downgraded to List E. The country is joined by neighbours North Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Azerbaijan.
Previously, Albanians travelling to Italy were required to fill in a Passenger Locator Form and present their digital COVID-19 certificate. The country only accepts vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency. Alternatively, they could provide a recovery certificate or a negative PCR test.
Now, under the new rules, entry is only granted in cases of work, health reasons, study reasons, emergency, or to return home. No leisure, tourism, or non-essential reasons will be granted entry, according to the Italian government.
If qualifying under one of these conditions, the traveller must provide a negative PCR taken within 72 hours prior to departure, fill out a digital Passenger Location Form, quarantine for 10 days and present a negative test at the end of the period, only use private transport between the airport and final destination, and notify the local health authorities.
Albania is currently experiencing an uptick in cases, amid stagnating vaccination rates. Less than 40% of the population have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine with many falling prey to misinformation and fake news which is prevalent online.
Furthermore, there have been recent concerns over possible underreporting or misreporting of COVID-19 fatalities, as well as a lack of transparency on test result figures.