Five Americans who flew by private jet to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia were refused entry to Italy on Wednesday due to new EU travel restrictions on countries with high coronavirus infection rates, police told CNN.
The private jet – which took off from Colorado with 11 would-be holidaymakers on board – arrived in Cagliari airport on Wednesday morning, according to the Cagliari Police spokesperson.
Earlier this week, the European Union formally agreed a set of recommendations that allows travelers from outside the bloc to visit EU countries. But the list of 14 countries did not include the United States, whose current Covid-19 infection rate does not meet the criteria set by the EU for it to be considered a “safe country.”
The five US citizens were traveling with friends from New Zealand, the UK, Germany and Italy. There were also three children on board.
Italian authorities tried to “find a solution” to the problem of the American travelers, the police spokesperson said, but there was no way around the new decree that came into effect Tuesday.
After around 14 hours on the ground, the whole group decided to leave Cagliari on their jet the same day and headed towards Birmingham, England, the police said.
It was unclear if the travelers planned to disembark in the United Kingdom. The UK requires US travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days.