What rules will you need to follow if you’re visiting Italy this summer?

What rules will you need to follow if you're visiting Italy this summer?
Some tourism is restarting in Italy but it looks a little different this year. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
While Italy has relaxed many of its quarantine rules ahead of the summer holiday season, there are still a few things to be aware of if you're visiting the country soon.
Italy's coronavirus lockdown was Europe's longest, and its rules were among the strictest. Though the country was badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak, infection rates have now dropped. The government has now relaxed most of the quarantine rules, and some tourism is now allowed.
 
But not all rules have been relaxed just yet. Travellers to Italy should be aware of measures still in place in the country which might differ from those at home.
 
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Of course, if you’re planning to come to Italy this year the first thing to consider is the travel restrictions when getting to the country in the first place.
 
The rules on who can currently travel to Italy remain complicated, and have changed several times in the past month.
 
Since June 3rd, non-essential travel to italy has been allowed from within Europe, including from the UK, with no quarantine requirements on arrival in Italy.
 
 

If you're flying, you'll need to know that Italy currently has a ban on hand luggage on all flights to and from the country.

Small handbags and items which can be placed under the seat in front of you are still allowed.
 
Once you get to Italy, you'll find that tourism looks quite different this year.

While most restaurants, beaches and tourist attractions are now open for business, they're likely to be much quieter than usual, and will have rules in place to ensure social distancing.

Most businesses now either recommend or require advance bookings, and some may ask customers for their contact information in case tracing is required.

And when greeting Italian acquaintances, remember that the usual kissing and hugging is still a no-no. Handshakes are also discouraged.

Italy's normally packed museums and historical sites have reopened with strict measures in place to control crowds and reduce to risk of contagion, and are also experimenting with everything from bluetooth apps to vibrating necklaces intended to help visitors stay away from each other, so don't be surprised if you're asked to use something like this.

And whatever you plan to do on your trip, you'll need to be aware of the following rules set by the Italian government, as detailed in recent emergency decrees (you can find the most recent decree here, in Italian.)

Social distancing
 
Everyone is required to keep a minimum distance of one metre from anyone else at all times when out of the house. If that's not possible, wearing masks is mandatory.
 
Masks required
 
Wearing a face mask is a requirement in Italy inside closed spaces, such as in shops or on public transport. Masks are also required in bars and restaurants except when sitting down (for example when going to the bathroom or paying at the counter).
 
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
 
Temperature checks
 
To access offices and public buildings, body temperature scans are mandatory. If you have a temperature of 37.5 degrees, access may be denied. The government also recommends that restaurant owners should carry out these checks on customers at the entrance.
 
Temperature screening is also in place for passengers at Italian airports and some train stations.
 
Disposable gloves
 
Wearing gloves is recommended when shopping and is mandatory in some food stores. Many shops ask customers to use hand sanitiser or wear gloves before allowing them to enter.
 
Contact tracing app
 
Anyone arriving in Italy is also encouraged to download Italy's contact-tracing app Immuni. It's not compulsory, and authorities insist the information it collects is completely anonymous.
 
Regional differences
 
To complicate matters, the rules vary slightly from one Italian region or city to another because of local legislation – and some authorities are reportedly enforcing some of the measures more strictly than others.
 
 
Before you go, it’s advisable to check the current local rules in the part of Italy you're visiting with your hotel or travel agent.
And remember that your own country may have measures in place when you return.
 
For example, anyone travelling to the UK from Italy is being warned that they still need to complete a contact locator form.

For more information, check the Italian Foreign Ministry's website (in English), as well as the latest advice from the government of the country (or countries) you're travelling to or from.


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