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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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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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