The rules on travelling to Italy have changed several times in the past month, and they're different from the rest of the EU.
Some tourism is allowed; some travel to and from outside Europe is allowed; some journeys are allowed with a quarantine; and some places you just can't go.
Think of Italy's travel rules as a traffic light system: some countries have the green light for unrestricted travel, some are on amber with a quarantine requirement, and some are stuck on red with no tourism allowed.
Here are the rules, explained.
Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP
No restrictions, no quarantine
Most travellers within Europe can travel freely to and from Italy without having to justify their reasons for travel or quarantining upon arrival.
Most other European countries have also now dropped their own restrictions on Italy, meaning that travellers won't have to quarantine when they return home either: check with your government for its latest travel advice.
- All other members of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
- All non-EU members of the Schengen Zone: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
- The UK: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Microstates and enclaves: Andorra, Principality of Monaco, Republic of San Marino and the Vatican City State.
- Citizens of those countries.
- Foreign residents living in those countries.
- Family members of a citizen or resident: spouse, civil or cohabiting partner, dependent children aged below 21 years, other dependent lineal relatives.
Exceptions: people who have travelled outside any of these countries in the 14 days before arriving in Italy, who will have to quarantine themselves for two weeks.
For example, someone travelling to Italy from France on July 15th would be required to self-isolate if they had travelled to France from the US on July 10th; but would not be required to self-isolate if they travelled from the US to France before July 1st.
Since July 24th, Italy also requires people travelling from Romania or Bulgaria to quarantine for their first 14 days in Italy. The rule applies to anyone who has been to either country in the two weeks before arriving in Italy, however briefly.
And as of August 12th, travellers entering Italy from Spain, Greece, Croatia or Malta must get tested for coronavirus either within 72 hours of departing or 48 hours of arriving. Provided they test negative, they are not obliged to quarantine.
Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP
Free to visit, but subject to 14-day quarantine
In line with advice from the EU, since July 1st Italy has re-allowed travel from approved countries with a low infection rate however unlike in neighbouring countries they will need to follow quarantine rules.
Travellers from these countries are free to visit Italy for any reason, including tourism, but they must quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.
You are expected to make your own arrangements for self-isolation before your arrive, including planning where you will quarantine and how you'll get there from the airport: you must not use public transport. You should inform the authorities of your plans via this form (available in English), which you will expected to show to border officers on arrival.
As of the last update on August 7th, the EU's 'safe list' includes 10 countries:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
China has also been approved, but the EU is waiting for confirmation that the arrangement will be reciprocal before adding it to the list.
The list will be reviewed and updated every two weeks.
The exemption only applies to residents of these countries, not people who may be nationals but live elsewhere. For example, an Australian residing in the US still could not visit Italy as a tourist.
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Can only come in an emergency, subject to 14-day quarantine
Non-essential travel to Italy remains banned from the US, India, Russia and most other countries in the world.
People departing from these countries cannot come to Italy as a tourist, but they are allowed to enter for urgent, essential reasons that they will have to justify to border police.
- Absolute necessity
- To return home or to a place of residence
If you can prove your trip is essential and are allowed into Italy, you will have to quarantine yourself for 14 days after you arrive.
You must complete a form (available in English here) informing authorities of where you plan to isolate yourself and your arrangements for getting there: you must not travel by public transport.
Exceptions: You may not have to quarantine if you are only making a short trip to Italy (less than 120 hours) for proven work, health or other urgent reasons, or if you are only transiting briefly through the country on your way to somewhere else. People with connecting flights in Italy must simply remain inside the airport.
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Barred in almost all circumstances
As of July 9th, the Italian government introduced a travel ban on certain countries with high rates of infection. Four more countries have been added to the list since then.
Direct and connecting flights to and from these countries are suspended until further notice.
- Bosnia Herzegovina
- Dominican Republic
- North Macedonia
The ban applies to anyone who has been to any of those countries within the past 14 days, even if they were just transiting there.
Exception: Citizens of Italy, another EU country, the Schengen Zone or the UK who live in Italy permanently are allowed to return home from one of the countries on the 'risk list'.
For more information, check the Italian Foreign Ministry's website (in English), as well as the latest advice from the government of any countries you're travelling to or from.