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HEALTH

Here are the current rules on travelling to Italy

As Italy gradually restarts tourism, the country has reopened to some international visitors - but not all. Here's who can travel at the moment.

Here are the current rules on travelling to Italy
Travellers at Rome's Fiumicino airport on June 3rd. Photo: AFP

Italy has removed some of the travel restrictions imposed during the coronavirus lockdown, and tourism from some countries is now allowed.

Can I travel to Italy now?

Since June 3rd, Italy has allowed unrestricted travel, including for tourism, with no quarantine requirements from the following countries:

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

Likewise, Italian residents who travel abroad will not be required to quarantine when they return to Italy, under the government's latest emergency decree.

However, people travelling from Italy may face checks or restrictions imposed by other countries.

When will other foreign tourists be allowed back into Italy?

While tourism is allowed from within Europe, non-essential travel into Italy from elsewhere remains forbidden.

Due to a coordinated border closure by all European Union member states, the EU was effectively closed to all non-essential travel on March 17th. 

This move is now being reversed, and there were hopes that EU borders would reopen for all types of travel from July 1st.

EU countries formed an agreement to reopen to all travel from 15 non-EU countries on a “safe list”. The US was notably absent from this list.

However, Italy has chosen to opt out of the agreement, and has not reopened its borders to these countries.

Photo: AFP

When will other foreign tourists be allowed back?

While tourism is allowed from within Europe, travel into Italy from elsewhere remains restricted.

Due to a coordinated border closure by all European Union member states, the EU was effectively closed to non-essential travel on March 17th. 

This move is now being reversed, and there were hopes that non-EU travel could restart from July 1st. Some EU countries agreed to reopen to all travel from 15 non-EU countries on a “safe list”.

But Italy decided to opt out, keeping its ban on all non-EU travel in place.

Italian authorities are concerned that reopening external borders now would “spark a new chain of contagion,” writes Italian newspaper La Repubblica

Italy is also keeping the mandatory 14-day quarantine rule for all those arriving from a non-EU nation, including if they have passed through another internal Schengen country.

For example, a US resident who connected in Germany on their way to Italy would still need to quarantine when they reached Italy.

READ ALSO: Flights from the US to Italy are back on – but will you be allowed to board?

 


Italian authorities are reportedly concerned about non-EU travellers arriving in Italy via other Schengen countries, which is possible due to freedom of movement rules within the Schengen zone.

Instead, the government is reportedly considering additional police checks “other than those at the borders, such as checks in hotels: if it is found that a person has arrived from a non-EU country, they will have to remain in quarantine for two weeks,” Repubblica writes.

The Italian government has not yet given any indication of how long it expects the non-EU travel ban to remain in place.

The EU said it would be reviewing the list of safe countries every two weeks.

What if I need to travel to Italy from outside Europe for urgent reasons?

It is possible to travel to italy from outside the EU for certain reasons.

People who officially reside in Italy but are currently overseas may return to their Italian home, while anyone who can demonstrate that they need to enter the country for urgent work or health reasons or in an emergency will also be allowed in.

EU citizens, long-term EU residents, and their immediate family members may also return, according to a statement from the European Council on Tuesday.

The Council stated: “For countries where travel restrictions continue to apply, the following categories of people should be exempted from the restrictions:

  • EU citizens and their family members

  • long-term EU residents and their family members

  • travellers with an essential function or need

Travellers will be asked to explain their reasons to police and provide relevant documents, such as their residency permit. They will also need to fill out a self-declaration form

Upon arrival they must observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine, giving the address where they'll self-isolate and informing local health authorities.

For further details of requirements when travelling to Italy from your country, check with your airline or your country's embassy in Italy.

READ ALSO: 'How I managed to travel from the US to Italy during lockdown'

 

Many countries currently have issued travel warnings for Italy, or on all overseas travel, advising residents to cancel or postpone their trip if possible. Check your embassy's latest advice before planning to travel.

The US is currently advising citizens to “reconsider” travel to Italy. It has a Level 4 Health Advisory in place, which warns against all non-essential travel.

The British government's Foreign and Commonwealth office is also advising citizens to “avoid non-essential international travel”.

Such government warnings may invalidate travel insurance policies, and anyone thinking of making a trip when travel warnings are in place should check with their insurance provder that they will still be covered in the event of accident or illness.

You can find more guidance, in English and Italian, on Italy's health ministry's website or the the Italian foreign ministry's Viaggi Sicuri (“safe travels”) website.

The EU has also launched Re-open EU, a website aimed at helping tourists find the safest parts of Europe to visit, with up-to-date travel information for every country.
 
 

Member comments

  1. This article left an important bit of information. If you are an illegal immigrant then there will be NO restrictions concerning travel to Italy is! You see there ARE rules for law-abiding citizens and then there are NO rules for those who choose to violate them! And in fact, many government agencies condone this practice and even encourage it. Shameful!

  2. Absolutely Luigi, these migrants arriving by the thousands on Italy’s coast do not follow any rules and do as they please must be like paradise for them. Shame on this government who allows this to happen to Italy.

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COVID-19 RULES

Is Italy’s government planning to scrap all Covid measures?

The new Italian government has announced the end of some remaining Covid health measures. Here's a look at what will - and won't - change.

Is Italy’s government planning to scrap all Covid measures?

Few Covid-related restrictions remain in Italy today, six months after the nationwide ‘state of emergency’ ended.

The previous government had kept only a handful of precautionary measures in place – which the new government, led by Giorgia Meloni, must now decide whether or not to keep.

The cabinet is holding a meeting on Monday and will issue a decree this week detailing any changes to the health measures.

Many expect the government to scrap all measures entirely by the end of the year, after Meloni and her party criticised the way Mario Draghi’s administration handled the pandemic throughout its tenure. 

Meloni clearly stated in her first address to parliament last Tuesday that “we will not replicate the model of the previous government” when it comes to managing Covid.

READ ALSO: Five key points from Meloni’s first speech as new Italian PM

While she acknowledged that Italy could be hit by another Covid wave, or another pandemic, she did not say how her government would deal with it.

Meanwhile, new health minister Orazio Schillaci issued a statement on Friday confirming the end of several existing measures, saying he “considers it appropriate to initiate a progressive return to normality in activities and behaviour”.

Workplace ban for unvaccinated medical staff

Schillaci confirmed that the ministry will allow doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to return to work after being suspended because they refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Those who refuse vaccination will be “reintegrated” into the workforce before the rule expires at the end of this year, as part of what the minister called a “gradual return to normality”.

They will be allowed to return “in light of the worrying shortage of medical and health personnel” and “considering the trend of Covid infections”, the statement said.

Fines issued to healthcare staff aged over 50 who refused vaccination would also be cancelled, it added.

There were some 1,579 doctors and dentists refusing vaccination at the end of October, representing 0.3 percent of all those registered with Italy’s National Federation of the Orders of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists (Fnomceo) 

Daily Covid data reports

Schillaci also confirmed in the statement that the health ministry will no longer release daily updates on Covid-19 contagion rates, hospital cases and deaths, saying this would be replaced by a weekly update.

It said it would however make the data available at any time to relevant authorities.

Mask requirement in hospitals to stay?

The requirement to wear face masks in hospitals, care homes and other healthcare facilities expires on Monday, October 31st.

At a meeting on the same day the government is expected to decide whether to extend the measure.

READ ALSO: What can we expect from Italy’s new government?

While the government had looked at scrapping the requirement, it reportedly changed stance at the last minute on Monday after facing heavy criticism from health experts.

Media reports published while the meeting was in progress on Monday said government sources had indicated the measure would in fact be extended.

Confirmation is expected to come later on Monday.

Italy’s face mask rules in care homes and healthcare facilities are up for renewal. Photo by Thierry ZOCCOLAN / AFP

‘Green pass’ health certificate

There is no indication that the new government plans to bring back any requirements to show a ‘green pass’: the digital certificate proving vaccination against or recent recovery from Covid, or a negative test result.

The pass is currently only required for entry to healthcare facilities and care homes, and this is expected to remain the case.

‘Dismantling the measures’

Some of the confirmed changes were strongly criticised by Italy’s most prominent healthcare experts.

Head of the Gimbe association for evidence-based medicine, Nino Cartabellotta, said the focus on cancelling fines for unvaccinated healthcare workers was “irrelevant from a health point of view .. but unscientific and highly diseducative”.

He told news agency Ansa it was “absolutely legitimate” for a new government to discontinue the previous administration’s measures, but that this “must also be used to improve everything that the previous government was unable to do”.

The government should prioritise “more analytical collection of data on hospitalised patients, investments in ventilation systems for enclosed rooms … accelerating coverage with vaccine boosters,” he said.

However, the plan at the moment appeared to be “a mere dismantling of the measures in place,” he said, “in the illusory attempt to consign the pandemic to oblivion, ignoring the recommendations of the international public health authorities”.

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