Now the ships Ong they are no longer bound to the obligation of quarantine. As established in the past few hours in favor of Aita Mari, the ship of the Spanish NGO Salvamento Maritimo Humanitario, could represent an important precedent.
The crew had landed on May 31st in Augusta with 50 migrants on board rescued off the coast of Libya. The Italian authorities had given the green light to the landing, indicating the Sicilian port as a safe harbor. Since the health emergency related to the coronavirus, every NGO ship that brings migrants to our country must then observe a period of quarantine.
So, for example, it was, without going too far back in time, for the Sea Eye 4 ship, of the German NGO Sea Eye. After disembarking in Pozzallo in recent days with 407 migrants on board, the crew was forced to quarantine for 14 days, subsequently lowered to 10.
The Aita Mari, on the other hand, on 2 June was able to leave the port of Augusta: “After the landing and negative anti-Covid tests – wrote the Spanish activists
– in compliance with the law, the Italian authorities grant the exit mandate to Burriana, without quarantine “. For the crew, therefore, the return home is anticipated. In this way, the NGO will be able to organize new missions in the central Mediterranean ahead of time.
#AitaMari ¡Volvemos a casa!— Salvamento Maritimo Humaniario (@smhumanitario) June 2, 2021
Tras el desembarco, y los test covid, cumpliendo con la legalidad, las autoridades 🇮🇹 otorgan el despacho de salida con destino Burriana sin tener que realizar cuarentena.
Gracias a [email protected] los que hacéis esto posible. https://t.co/pgliPTv7pm pic.twitter.com/hOj7EixbfT
Activists celebrated this decision. Moreover, even in the last meeting held by representatives of NGOs at the Interior Ministry with the minister Luciana Lamorgese, many of them have complained of a “criminalization” of organizations pointing the finger at both administrative stops and quarantines.
The latter is a tool, as often declared by activists of various NGOs, considered as a brake specifically activated by the Italian authorities to avoid rescue at sea. This is why the Aita Mari crew rejoiced at the news of the possibility of resuming the journey home without any quarantine.
In reality, the blockade of ships for two weeks has never been a brake but, on the contrary, a measure of safety given the health situation in our country. Furthermore, both in summer 2020 and last spring, migrants who tested positive for the swab landed on several occasions from NGO ships.
The decision not to observe the quarantine could have influenced the improvement of the epidemic situation in Italy. But a political move aimed at extinguishing further controversies with the world orbiting around the NGOs cannot be ruled out. The Aita Mari could be only the first of the humanitarian ships to set sail without observing the days of quarantine. From now on, in the event of negative buffers, the activists’ ships could have more green light for their missions off the Libyan coast.