Italy has renewed its travel restrictions in its latest emergency decree, which came into force on August 10th.
Under the new law, a ban on tourism from the United States and most other countries will remain in place until at least September 7th.
Meanwhile the EU continues to revise its list of “safe” countries which it recommends members allow travellers to enter from – but the US is still not on it.
So what does this mean for Americans?
At the moment, “non-essential” travel to Italy from the US is still forbidden.
Non-essential travel to Italy also remains banned from 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. They will also need to quarantine on arrival.
You can travel from the US to Italy for:
- Medical reasons;
- Family emergencies;
- To return home or to a place of residence.
This means US citizens who are permanent residents of Italy can travel – although they will need to show proof of residency at the border, for instance a valid permesso di soggiorno.
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.
Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
- They have dual citizenship of an EU country;
- They're travelling with a close family member who is an EU citizen or long-term resident;
- They're travelling for an essential function or need.
- Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals;
- Frontier workers;
- Seasonal workers in agriculture;
- Transport personnel;
- Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel, humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
- Passengers in transit;
- Passengers travelling for imperative family reasons;
- Persons in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons;
- Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of study;
- Highly qualified third-country workers if their employment is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad.
Italy's travel rules will remain in force until at least September 7th, barring any revisions to the new decree. The government will review them again when that decree expires.
Whether or not restrictions are lifted for travellers from the US depends on how the Covid-19 situation in the US develops.
To make the EU's “safe list”, countries must have controlled the coronavirus outbreak to the same degree as the EU or more. The bar was fixed at 16 new cases per 100,000 people over the last two weeks, which was the average across the EU when the list was first issued in June.
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Are flights available from the US to Italy?
Some flight connections have been reinstated, such as Alitalia's Rome-New York route, and passengers can freely purchase tickets. Yet this does not mean that restrictions for travelling into Italy have been lifted.
In fact many of those hoping to travel on these flights told The Local that they were turned away at the airport.
Some passengers said they had trouble finding clear, official travel information ahead of their flight, meaning they traveled unnecessarily to the airport hoping they may be able to board after being allowed to book tickets.
READ ALSO: What to expect when you're flying to Italy
Alitalia confirmed to The Local that the airline could not provide passengers with Italian travel information before they arrived at the airport.
“On our website we recommend that travelers check the entry restrictions of the destination country on the local Department of Foreign Affairs website,” an Alitalia spokesperson told The Local.
“Passengers should also inform themselves if they are eligible for travel to Europe,” they added, citing information from the US Embassy in Italy.
Official US advice
At the time of updating this article on August 10th, the US government was “recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Italy”.
The US Embassy in Rome directed us to the following advice for any US citizens planning to travel to Italy:
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information regarding foreign countries’ quarantine requirements and other global impacts.
- Have a plan to depart from Italy that does not rely on US government assistance.
- Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit the Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Italy.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions affecting travel to the U.S.
- Review the Italian National Institute of Health’s website (available only in Italian).
This also applies to those who are entering Italy via another European country on a connecting flight, such as via Germany or the UK, if they have been in the US (or anywhere else outside of Europe) within the past 14 days.
The rules change frequently in both Italy and other countries. Anyone with specific questions about travel to Italy at the moment should consult the Italian embassy in their country.