Divisions within the European Union have deepened over travel rules to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, after Italy and Greece followed Portugal and Ireland in announcing additional curbs on travellers from other EU states.

The EU’s 27 member states have been debating for weeks how to coordinate travel policy, with the aim of containing the virus without disproportionately disrupting travel within the border-free European Schengen area.

However, Italy said on Tuesday that from Dec. 16 until the end of January it would require all travellers from EU countries to show a negative test on arrival, even if they are vaccinated. The unvaccinated will face a five-day quarantine.

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