Italy stopped flights from the UK
on Sunday afternoon after the British government said a new strain of the Covid-19 virus, which it said was highly contagious, was “out of control” in the country.
As well as stopping flights, Italy banned all arrivals from the UK – including refusing entry to anyone who had been in the UK within the past two weeks.
After the European Commission recommended on Tuesday that the blanket ban on travel be loosened, Italy has now announced that some arrivals will be allowed – but strict testing and quarantine rules will apply.
Italy's Health, Transport and Foreign Ministries on Wednesday signed an ordinance allowing flights from the UK to Italy, the Italian Consulate in London has confirmed.
However, only certain groups of travellers will be allowed to enter Italy.
– The reopening of air traffic can begin on December 23rd.
– “Persons who have stayed in or passed through the United Kingdom from December 6th can enter Italy if they have registered residence in Italy. This residence must start from a date prior to 23 December 2020 and must be indicated using a self-declaration form.”
– “All those who have a reason of absolute necessity can also enter Italy”
– Travellers returning from the UK will be required to take two coronavirus tests – one before and one after the flight – and to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine after arriving in Italy.
A molecular or antigen swab test must be carried out in the 72 hours prior to entering Italy, the consulate stated.
Upon arrival in Italy by plane, another test will be carried out at the airport.
Anyone travelling into Italy by car or other means of transport will be required to contact the health authorities in the region of Italy they are travelling to in order to arrange a test.
There do not appear to be any restrictions on residents who are not Italian citizens.
It is not yet clear what evidence will be needed to prove residency.
These rules apply until January 6th, the consulate stated.
Between January 7th-15th, entry from the UK will only be allowed for emergency reasons or for repatriation, and while the quarantine requirement will remain in place testing will not be necessary.
It's not yet known what the rules will be after January 15th, when Italy is expected to announce a new emergency decree.
There had been speculation in the Italian media on Wednesday that the Italian government would arrange repatriation flights from the UK for stranded citizens. However, the Consulate stated that :”flights will be of a commercial nature, therefore tickets can be purchased directly through the airlines and not through the Embassy or Consulate General.”
“For information on refunds, ticket changes or other flight-related matters, you should contact the airline.”