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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

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

As the infection rate rises sharply across the country, Italian virologists are calling for concerts and festivals to be rescheduled.

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

Italy has seen a large increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent days, so much so that a number of virologists across the country are now urging the government to postpone major live events in a bid to curb infections. 

According to a new report by Italy’s independent health watchdog, the Gimbe Foundation, 595,349 new cases were recorded in the week from June 29th to July 5th; a worrying 55 percent increase on the previous week. 

In the same time span, the country also registered a 32.8 percent rise in the number of hospitalised patients, which went from 6,035 to 8,003.  

The latest Covid wave, which is being driven by the highly contagious Omicron 5 variant, is a “real cause for concern”, especially in terms of a “potential patient overload”, said Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation. 

As Italian cities prepare to host a packed calendar of concerts and festivals this summer, health experts are questioning whether such events should actually take place given the high risk of transmission associated with mass gatherings.

READ ALSO: What tourists in Italy need to know if they get Covid-19

“Rescheduling these types of events would be the best thing to do right now,” said Massimo Ciccozzi, Director of Epidemiology at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. 

The summer wave is expected to peak in mid-July but, Ciccozzi warns, the upcoming live events might “delay [the peak] until the end of July or even beyond” and extend the infection curve.

Antonello Maruotti, Professor of Statistics at LUMSA University of Rome, recently shared Ciccozzi’s concerns, saying that live events as big as Maneskin’s scheduled Rome concert are “definitely not a good idea”. 

The Italian rock band are slated to perform at the Circus Maximus on Saturday, July 9th but the expected turnout – over 70,000 fans are set to attend the event – has raised objections from an array of Italian doctors, with some warning that the concert might cause as many as 20,000 new cases.

If it were to materialise, the prospected scenario would significantly aggravate Lazio’s present medical predicament as there are currently over 186,000 Covid cases in the region (nearly 800 patients are receiving treatment in local hospitals). 

Italian rock band Maneskin performing in Turin

Italian rock band Maneskin are expected to perform at the Circus Maximus in Rome on Saturday, July 9th. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

But, despite pleas to postpone the event, it is likely that Maneskin’s concert will take place as scheduled.

Alessandro Onorato, Rome’s Tourism Councillor, said that rescheduling is “out of question” and that “all recommendations from the local medical authorities will be adopted” with the help of the event’s organisers and staff on the ground.

At the time of writing, there is also no indication that the Italian government will consider postponing other major live events scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, though the situation is evolving rapidly and a U-turn on previous dispositions can’t be ruled out.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

On this note, it is worth mentioning that Italy has now scrapped all of its former Covid measures except the requirement to wear FFP2 face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings.

The use of face coverings is, however, still recommended in all crowded areas, including outdoors – exactly the point that leading Italian doctors are stressing in the hope that live events will not lead to large-scale infection.

Antonio Magi, President of Rome’s OMCEO (College of Doctors, Surgeons and Dentists), said: “Our advice is to wear FFP2 masks […] in high-risk situations.”

“I hope that young people will heed our recommendations and think about the health risks that their parents or grandparents might be exposed to after the event [they attend].”

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