UPDATED: When can I travel to my second home in Italy?

With Italy now lifting some restrictions under phase two of its lockdown, here's what second home owners need to know.

UPDATED: When can I travel to my second home in Italy?
Passengers boarding an Alitalia flight in summer 2019. File photo: AFP

**Note: This article is no longer being updated. Please find the latest updates on the current travel rules in Italy here.**

Italy has been on a strict nationwide lockdown since March 9th in an attempt to control the coronavirus outbreak

During this period, people in Italy have not been allowed to go to their second homes, or travel between regions or even towns within the counry.
On Monday, May 18th, the Italian government lifted some restrictions and allowed people to visit their second homes once again – within their own regions.
A lot of restrictions remain on travel to and within Italy, for the moment. These rules are set to be relaxed from June 3rd.

Right now, Italy is only allowing people to enter the country in emergencies or for urgent health or work-related reasons, or for repatriation.

So if you're returning to your place of permanent residence in Italy, that's permitted. But travelling to Italy in order to visit a second home, or anywhere you're not ordinarily resident, is not allowed before June 3rd.

Photo: AFP

After that date, it should be possible to visit Italy for tourism or to stay at a second home – depending on where you're arriving from. Not everyone will be able to travel freely to Italy.

From June 3rd Italy will drop the current 14-day quarantine requirement for people arriving from the following countries:

  • The 26 other members of the European Union
  • Schengen Area members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
  • The United Kingdom
  • Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City

Travellers arriving from these countries will not face any restrictions upon entering Italy, though depending on their own country's rules they may be required to quarantine when they return home.

Likewise, Italian residents can make a trip to any of these countries without being required to quarantine when they return to Italy. 

READ ALSO: 'This won't be a normal summer': How the EU hopes to save the holiday season

You will face restrictions, however, if you're coming from one of the approved countries but have visited somewhere not on the list within 14 days of travelling to Italy – for example, if you fly from the US to Italy via Germany.

Most of Italy's travel restrictions will be dropped from June 3rd, meaning that residents and visitors can also move freely throughout the country for any reason.

Some regions, however, may keep their own quarantine rules in place. As every Italian region has its own local rules, it's advisable to check your regione's website before you travel.

Find all The Local's coverage of the coronavirus crisis in Italy here

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Is the EU likely to reinstate Covid travel restrictions?

A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday in Brussels to discuss the latest Covid situation in China - so could this mark the return of vaccine passports and travel restrictions?

Is the EU likely to reinstate Covid travel restrictions?

Several EU countries including France, Italy and Spain (as well as non-EU countries including the UK and USA) have already imposed travel restrictions on arrivals from China, over fears of new variants of Covid-19.

The countries announced their restrictions – mostly amounting to compulsory tests and masks – on a unilateral basis at the end of last week, but there have been calls for greater co-ordination at an EU level.

There is now a meeting scheduled for Wednesday of the EU Integrated Policy Response Capability to discuss coordinating measures, with an insider telling Politico: “The idea is to harmonise, but without being extremely prescriptive.”

The meeting has been called by Sweden, which now holds the rotating presidency of the EU. 

So what measures are likely?

At present the countries that have announced restrictions have only imposed testing and mask rules – there is no requirement to show proof of vaccination and no travel bans. All measures only apply only to travellers from China.

A meeting of the European Health Safety Committee last Thursday did not produce any concrete measures, with EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides merely urging member states to coordinate quickly. It was after this that some countries announced their own restrictions.

If anything more concrete comes out of Wednesday’s meeting, it is likely to refer to testing or mask rules only and like the previous EU Covid travel policies, will be advisory for countries to follow.

Because borders are a national competence, countries can impose their own measures without having to consult the EU.

Despite the introduction of the EU digital vaccine passport, countries never managed to entirely co-ordinate their travel rules during 2020 and 2021.

In most EU countries the health pass or vaccine pass apps remain active, and could be used again if necessary. 

Will there be travel bans?

At this stage more draconian restrictions – such as the ‘red lists’ or ‘essential travel only’ rules of 2021 seem unlikely.

Most EU countries have a high level of vaccine cover, so would probably only resort to travel restrictions if new variants – against which current Covid vaccines are not effective – emergence in China (or any other country).