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New COVID-19. Indications for Italian Nationals and foreigners and how to enquire


New COVID-19. Indications for Italian Nationals and foreigners and how to enquire

With reference to the emergency linked to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, please carefully follow the indications and provisions of the Italian and South African authorities on the matter.

To protect the health of users and staff, the Consulate General in Johannesburg will limit access to the public from Tuesday 17 March 2020 until a date to be advised on this website

Essential services - by appointment - and consular assistance for emergencies will be ensured.

Users are therefore invited to contact the following addresses mainly by e-mail: and

The switchboard of the Consulate General (+27 117281392 / +27 117281393) will be active from 9H00 to 14H00 (Monday to Friday). Afterwards, the cell number +27 82 854 4725 is operational (for emergencies only).

Please note that many consular services can be requested remotely

Measures taken by the Italian government

Following the issuance of the Decrees of the President of the Council of Ministers on 8 and 9 March and following regulations, the main measures adopted to combat and contain the Covid-19 virus in Italy are highlighted below:

- any movement of natural persons (both within the national territory and at the entrance / exit) is prohibited, except for proven work needs, situations of necessity or health reasons. Work, need or health reasons can be self-certified (form);

- return to your home, home or residence is allowed;

- there are restrictions on the exercise of public activities (sports, catering, entertainment, etc.) and in any form
gathering people in public places or open to the public;

- in addition to the closure of the schools, already in force since February 5, the opening of museums, the holding of events, events and shows is suspended;

- it is recommended to always keep a distance of at least one meter from other people.

- there are no longer any red areas. The rules are the same throughout the national territory and are effective from March 10th until May 3rd.

On 17 March, the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Paola De Micheli, signed a decree together with the Minister of Health which obliges self-isolation, for the 14 days following the return, for people who return, even if they are asymptomatic with respect to COVID-19. More information about it here.

These are demanding measures in terms of personal limitations and economic impact, but necessary for the protection of public health, based on scientific assessments and adopted following the principle of maximum prevention.

Any offers of cash donations to deal with the epidemiological emergency taking place in Italy can be made to flow
on the following bank account, indicating "COVID19" as reason for payment:

Banca Intesa Sanpaolo Spa

Branch of Via del Corso, 226 - Rome

Headed to Pres. Cons. Min. Dep. Prot. Civ.

IBAN: IT84Z0306905020100000066387


Reason: COVID19


In light of these provisions, and in consideration of the numerous questions received by this Consulate General, some specific indications are provided below for the benefit of compatriots abroad and foreign users:

- italian nationals and foreign citizens residing / domiciled in Italy and who are currently abroad, can - if the means of transport are operational - enter Italy to return to their home, home or residence. They will have to carry the self-certification specifying the reasons for travelling the reasons for travelling and the self-certification with details on movements in Italy;

- italian nationals and foreign citizens residing / domiciled abroad who are in Italy, can - if the means of transport are operational - leave to return to their home, home or residence;

- entry and exit are allowed for proven work needs (this provision also covers cross-border workers);

- travel for tourism reasons is absolutely to be avoided. Even to foreigners, once they enter the national territory, the restrictive measures of freedom of movement throughout the national territory will apply, except for movements motivated by proven work needs or situations of necessity or movements for health reasons;

- as regards visas, the following extraordinary measures have been taken:

A) practices not yet concluded with the printing of the visa sticker: applicants will be contacted by the visa outsourcer - VFS Global - and will be given the possibility of rescheduling the trip during the next semester. To this end, applicants must send a new travel itinerary for the new scheduled dates. Applicants who intend instead to renounce the trip, will be able to withdraw their visa application without this leading to a refusal for the applicant, but the perception will not be refunded.

B) practices already concluded with the printing of the visa sticker: this Consulate General will be able to evaluate the possibility of issuing new Schengen short stay visas under the following conditions: the visa already issued is valid from 1st February to 30th June 2020 and has not yet been used; the applicant shows that he has postponed - and not canceled - trips already booked and that he has not received refunds from Italian tour operators. If the conditions are met and a new visa is issued, the beneficiary will not be required to pay the visa fee again.

- Italian airports and railway stations remain open;

- in case of flight cancellation, contact the airline that issued the ticket or travel agents / tour operators;

Useful sites for updates and insights

South Africa

In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 cases, the authorities of South Africa have ordered, from midnight on Thursday 26 March and until 16 April, the suspension of any economic activity and movement of people not absolutely essential (" lockdown "). For the lockdown period, South Africa announced the temporary closure of borders, thereby suspending domestic and international air connections. In the case of a ticket purchased for the days from March 27 onwards, it is recommended to contact your airline as soon as possible. The closure will also involve land borders and ports. Only the transport of essential goods will be allowed. Movement between provinces and municipalities is prohibited.

People are asked not to leave their homes except for indifferent needs such as receiving healthcare, purchases of food and medicines, essential banking services. Those serving in key economic sectors such as health, safety, production and distribution of food and basic necessities, banking services and basic services such as water, energy and telecommunications will be exempted from the ban. Food stores and supermarkets, pharmacies, medical laboratories, banks, transport for essential services, fuel stations will continue to carry out their activities.

At this link are available the regulations published by the South African Authorities (which amend the regulations n.318 published on March 18, 2020 - text here) with detailed indications on what are the goods (Annexure B, paragraph A) and the services (Annexure B, paragraph B) considered essential. Persons engaged in the production of essential goods or services must produce, in accordance with article 11B (3), a declaration signed by the head of their own institution (Annexure C).

Pursuant to article 11B (6) (c) all tourists present in South Africa must remain confined to their temporary residence address in the country for the entire "lockdown" period and may be subject to health checks.

These measures are in addition to those launched since March 18: the entry ban for travelers from "high risk countries" (Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, UK, United States, Iran, China, Korea of the South); enhanced controls for passengers from Portugal, Hong Kong, Singapore ("medium risk countries"); reinforcement of controls at South African airports at passengers' airports of origin, to prevent anyone from attempting to circumvent restrictions; cancellation of all visas already issued for citizens from "high risk countries" (the measure does not concern those who have already entered South Africa but only those who have not yet used the visa) and the suspension of the granting of new visas for these past or anyone who has stayed or spent the past 20 days (for the "high risk countries" originally exempt from the tourist visa requirement, including Italy, this obligation was introduced, without prejudice to the current complete suspension; in the event of emergencies it is still possible to apply). In the case of stopovers, it is important to check for restrictions in transit countries.

The restrictions introduced do not apply to holders of diplomatic passports and laissez-passers from international bodies, who will in any case be subjected to medical checks and, where necessary, placed in quarantine.

Schools will be closed from March 18th until April 15th. Assemblies are prohibited.

All people who suspect that they have been infected must self-isolate themselves.

If symptoms occur in South Africa, contact the National Center for Communicable Diseases (NICD) at toll-free numbers + 27 800 029 999 or +27 800 11 1131 or at whatsapp number +27 60 012 3456 before going to the hospital or medical facilities.

Useful sites for updates and insights