The microstate San Marino, located in a mountainous region close to Italy’s Adriatic coast and with a population of some 35,000, only slowly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the International Organisation for Migration’s COVID-19 Travel Restriction Monitoring, San Marino did not implement travel restrictions until late 2020 and early 2021. As of 19 March 2021, entry into the country from areas outside of Italy and the Vatican City is subject to a negative PCR test or vaccine injection. Travels to and from orange and red zones in Italy are only allowed for work, health, and highly necessary reasons. There is also a night curfew and mask obligation in place.
The GDP has been unable to establish whether San Marino practices immigration-related detention. To date, the GDP has not identified any dedicated immigration removal facilities nor collected statistics related to immigration enforcement in the country. The country has not ratified the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, but allows for extraordinary residence permits to be given for humanitarian protection needs, and to victims of violence and/or trafficking.
In January 2020, the country only had two people in prison. Most people convicted of crimes in the state and sentenced to prison terms serve their sentences in Italian prisons. The country released its two inmates by 15 April 2020, however this was reportedly not a preventative measure related to COVID-19.
- Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics, “Prison stock on 1 January 2019,” accessed 30 March 2021, https://wp.unil.ch/space/space-i/prison-stock-on-1-january/prison-stock-on-1st-january/
- IOM COVID-19 Mobility Impacts, “San Marino,” accessed 30 March 2021, https://migration.iom.int/countries/san-marino
- M. F. Aebi and M. M. Tiago, “Prisons and Prisoners in Europe in Pandemic Times: An evaluation of the short-term impact of the COVID-19 on prison populations,” Council of Europe and Université de Lausanne, 18 June 2020, https://wp.unil.ch/space/files/2020/06/Prisons-and-the-COVID-19_200617_FINAL.pdf
- Republic of San Marino, “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates: Updated as of 19 March 2021,” accessed 30 March 2021, http://www.esteri.sm/on-line/en/home/right-banners/information-covid-19.html
- Republic of San Marino, “Legge 30 luglio 2015 n.118 – Modifica della Legge 28 giugno 2010 n.118 e successive modifiche (Legge sull’ingresso e la permanenza degli stranieri in Repubblica),” 30 July 2015, https://www.consigliograndeegenerale.sm/on-line/home/in-evidenza-in-home-page/scheda17142811.html
- UNHCR, “Submission for the Universal Periodic Review – San Marino – UPR 34th Session,” 2019, https://www.refworld.org/docid/5dee6f8f7.html
- Guaita Tower View, (TNT Magazine, “San Marino’s Only Prisoner Has a Private Library, Gym and TV Room,” 26 April 2012, https://www.tntmagazine.com/news/weird/san-marinos-only-prisoner-has-a-private-library-gym-and-tv-room)