One big worry for travellers planning on coming to Italy is that they could be asymptomatic, test positive upon arrival, and then end up spending their long-awaited Italian break in quarantine.
Do you need to be tested?
The first thing to know is that Italy does not have a blanket testing requirement for all travellers – so entering the country doesn't automatically require a nasal swab.
Hello Mario you can do the test at Ciampino airport from 9 to 18. The test is free and the result is in 30 minutes. After 18 there is the drive in in the park of Fiumicino airport
— Aeroporti di Roma (@AeroportidiRoma) September 16, 2020
If you test positive, the regional health authority will contact you and explain the next steps and your options, as the specifics can vary by regional authority.
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Hotels may refuse to allow you to quarantine on their premises, so if you can't go to a private address (and you will need to use private means of transport – so your own car – to get there) the local health authority will arrange quarantine facilities.
These may range from comfortable – such as a hotel that has been requisitioned for this purpose – to far less inviting: for example, the island of Sardinia's quarantine facilities reportedly include disused army barracks.
Does Italy waive travel and quarantine restrictions if you test negative?
No and no. In most cases Italy does not accept a negative test result as a substitute for quarantine.
So if you’re entering from outside Europe or from a designated ‘high-risk’ country, you will have spend your first 14 days in Italy in isolation whether you get tested or not. Find out which countries are currently on Italy’s quarantine list here.
Nor can you evade Italy’s ban on non-essential travel from outside Europe by showing a negative test result.
In other words, tourists from the United States, India, Russia or any other country on which Italy has travel restrictions can’t hope to enter by getting a coronavirus test before leaving. Read more about Italy’s travel rules here.
What else do I need to know about travelling to Italy right now?
While not every traveller will have to take a coronavirus test, the Italian Ministry of Health warns people not to travel to Italy if they have symptoms.
The main symptoms include a fever, with a temperature above 37,5°C, a dry cough and breathing difficulties.