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HEALTH

How Italy has changed its travel rules for certain countries

Italy has revised the rules for several countries in its latest emergency decree, though the news is better for some than for others.

How Italy has changed its travel rules for certain countries
Italy has updated its international travel rules with extra restrictions over Christmas and New Year. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

The new decree, effective December 4th to January 15th, updates Italy's travel restrictions for the first time since November.

It's marked by tougher rules as the government seeks to discourage residents from taking ski trips or other holidays abroad, wary of seeing another spike of the kind that followed the easing of restrictions over the summer.

READ ALSO: What are Italy's new rules for Christmas travel?

They notably include a requirement for all EU travellers to test negative before arriving in Italy, and mandatory quarantine for anyone travelling to Italy between December 21st and January 6th – regardless where they're departing from.

But the latest measures also reclassify specific countries, in some cases making it easier to enter Italy even as a visitor from outside Europe.

In others, however, the barriers to entry just got even higher.

Here's a guide to how the rules have changed.

The countries on which Italy has eased or lifted its restrictions

  • Romania: previously on Italy's mandatory quarantine list, the country has been reclassified in line with other EU countries including France and Spain. Starting immediately, people arriving in Italy from Romania can now avoid quarantine by showing a negative test result – until quarantine becomes mandatory for everyone from December 21st to January 6th.
     
  • Singapore: the city-state has been added to the list of 'safe' countries outside Europe where travel is allowed for any reason, including tourism. That means Singapore residents can visit Italy, but they will still have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival (even outside the Christmas period).
     
  • Armenia, Bahrein, Bangladesh, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Kosovo, Kuwait, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Peru: these countries were formerly classified as no-go areas, with travel to and from Italy all but banned. Now travel is permitted for essential reasons of work, study, health or family emergency, or for people who usually live in Italy and are returning home – so long as you quarantine for 14 days on arrival. 

The countries on which Italy has tightened its restrictions

  • Canada, Georgia, Tunisia: these countries have been removed from Italy's non-EU 'safe' list, meaning that residents now have to prove they have an urgent reason such as work, study or family emergency in order to travel to Italy. If they're eligible to travel, they'll have to quarantine for 14 days.
     
  • UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic: travellers from these countries already required a coronavirus test to enter Italy, but while it used to be possible to get tested on arrival at the airport or within two days of landing, you'll now have to show a negative test result before boarding your flight, or spend 14 days in quarantine (outside December 21st to January 6th, when everyone has to quarantine). This aside, people from these countries can continue to enter Italy for any reason. The same rules apply to Romania (see above).
     
  • Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco: Italy has effectively upped restrictions on travellers from most other EU and Schengen countries, who from December 10th onwards have to show a negative test result before entering Italy or self-quarantine (outside December 21st to January 6th, when everyone has to quarantine). This aside, people from the EU or Schengen Zone can continue to travel to Italy for any reason.

The countries on which restrictions remain unchanged

  • San Marino and Vatican City: there are no restrictions on travel to or from these two tiny  enclaves, which lie entirely within Italy's borders.
     
  • Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Rwanda, Thailand, Uruguay: these lucky few countries (plus Singapore) are the only ones outside Europe from which tourism to Italy is permitted, though travellers still have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. 
     
  • Everywhere else: people in any other country can travel to Italy for essential reasons of work, study, health or family emergency, but not as a tourist. If you are eligible to travel, you'll have to quarantine for 14 days.

 

Italian citizens and residents still allowed to return

People who are officially resident in Italy, no matter what nationality they hold or what country they're departing from, are still allowed to travel to their Italian home. You'll have to observe whichever testing and/or quarantine rules apply to the country you depart from.

The same goes for Italian citizens, who are allowed to enter the country even if they don't usually live here. Quarantine and testing rules apply.

For more information about which rules apply to you, use the Foreign Ministry's interactive questionnaire, available here.

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STRIKES

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travellers in Italy will face disruption again this month amid a new round of transport strikes. Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travel in Italy was disrupted by dozens of localised strikes in January, and this is set to continue into February as Italian unions announced a further round of demonstrations affecting rail and public transport services in many areas, as well as airline travel.

READ ALSO: Should you travel in Italy when there’s a strike on?

Here’s an overview of February’s main strikes, which are again mainly local or regional, but include a national public transport strike on February 17th and a nationwide walkout by airport ground staff on February 28th.

February 5th-6th: Trenitalia staff in the southern Calabria region will strike from 9pm on Sunday, February 5th to 9pm the following day. 

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 9th: Staff from Lombardy’s Trenord will take part in a 22-hour strike – from 2am to 11.50pm – on Thursday, February 9th.

It’s currently unclear whether Trenord will operate minimum services on the day. See the company’s website for further information. 

February 12th: Air traffic control staff at Perugia’s San Francesco d’Assisi airport will take part in a 24-hour strike action on Sunday, February 12th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the walkout will affect air travel to and from the airport on the day.

Travellers at an Italian airport

A national strike from ground service staff may cause delays and queues at many Italian airports on Tuesday, February 28th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

February 12th-13th: Trenitalia staff in Emilia-Romagna will strike from 3.30am on Sunday, February 12th to 2.30am on Monday, February 13th.

A list of guaranteed rail services in the region is available here.

February 17th: Public transport staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Friday, February 17th. 

The strike was called in late January by Italian union USB to protest against precarious work contracts and privatisation attempts by the Italian state.

There currently aren’t any details as to what percentage of workers will take part in the action or how widespread the disruption is likely to be.

February 19th: Trenitalia staff in the Veneto region will strike from 9am to 5pm on Sunday, February 19th. 

Guaranteed services are available here.

On the same day, there will be no service between Milan’s Milano Centrale station and Paris’s Gare de Lyon due to a strike from staff at France’s national railway company SNCF.

READ ALSO: Trains and planes: Italy’s new international travel routes in 2023

Empty train platform in Codogno, Lombardy

Staff from Lombardy’s regional railway operator Trenord will strike for 22 hours on Thursday, February 9th. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

February 20th: Trenitalia personnel in Lombardy are expected to strike from 9am to 5pm on Monday, February 20th. 

Guaranteed services haven’t been made available yet. 

February 28th: Baggage handlers and other airport ground service staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Tuesday, February 28th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the strike will affect air travel during the day, though a similar demonstration caused significant delays and queues at some Italian airports in late January.

ENAV air traffic operators based in Calabria are also expected to strike on February 28th, with the walkout set to start at 1pm and end at 5pm.

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.

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