EU to bar US travellers as bloc reopens in July. Image Source: IANS News

Rome, Sep 22 : Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza has ordered mandatory Covid-19 testing for travellers coming from seven regions of France, including Paris.

"I have signed a new order that extends the obligation of a test to citizens coming from Paris and other areas of France with a significant circulation of the virus," Speranza said in a statement on Monday.

"The European data must not be underestimated. Today Italy is better off (in terms of the coronavirus) than other countries, but we still need great caution in order not to render useless the sacrifices we have made so far," Xinhua news agency quoted the Minister as saying.

The Health Ministry on Monday reported 981 new cases over the past 24 hours taking the overall number of infections since the pandemic hit Italy in February to 299,506 A total of 218,703 patients have recovered and the overall death toll has reached 35,724.

Speranza's announcement came as France has witnessed a recent spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

On Monday, the French Health Ministry reported that the country's Covid-19 caseload has surged to 458,061 after 5,298 new infections were registered in the past 24 hours.

The death in France stood at 31,346.

Italy and France are the two hardest hit countries in Europe by the pandemic.

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