LATEST: Italy restarts travel from UK for essential reasons only

Air travel from the UK to Italy can restart immediately, officals have confirmed - but entering Italy is only allowed for essential reasons, and there are strict testing and quarantine rules in place.

LATEST: Italy restarts travel from UK for essential reasons only
Travellers in the departures hall at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport on Wednesday. Photo: AFP
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.
In a statement on its website, the consulate confirmed:
– 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.”

Member comments

  1. Hi all,
    Does anyone know if having an avvio del procedimento is enough to confirm residency? Ours came through a week ago.

  2. What about those that need to transit by private car across italy to get to a port for onward travel to home in Greece. All details refer to flights in/out only.

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Italian monkeypox cases rise to ten

Monkeypox infections have now been confirmed in four Italian regions, Italian health authorities said on Thursday.

Italian monkeypox cases rise to ten

The total number of Italian monkeypox cases rose to ten on Thursday with the discovery of the first case in the Emilia-Romagna region.

There have now been five cases detected the Lazio region, which are being treated in Rome, plus three in Lombardy, and one each in Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.

READ ALSO: How is Italy dealing with rising monkeypox cases?

“There is no alarm, but the infection surveillance system is at a state of maximum attention,” Lazio’s regional health councillor Alessio D’Amato told the Ansa news agency after the seventh case was reported on Wednesday.

Researchers at Rome’s Spallanzani hospital for infectious diseases said the new cases are thought to be “part of a pan-European cluster” linked to cases in the Canary Islands, Ansa reported.

The first Italian case of monkey smallpox, or monkeypox, was also found in a man who had recently returned from the Canary Islands, doctors said last Thursday.

On Thursday morning the Italian health ministry published guidance on dealing with outbreaks of monkeypox as case numbers continued to rise across Europe.

More than 250 monkeypox cases have now been reported in at least 16 countries where the virus isn’t endemic, according to the World Health Organization.

They are mostly in Spain, the UK and Portugal, with single-digit cases in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as Italy.

READ ALSO: What is Spain doing to deal with rising monkeypox cases?

The illness has infected thousands of people in parts of Central and Western Africa in recent years, but is rare in Europe and North Africa.

Monkeypox is known to spread via close contact with an animal or human with the virus. It can be transmitted via bodily fluids, lesions, respiratory droplets or through contaminated materials, such as bedding.

Its symptoms are similar but somewhat milder than those of smallpox: fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, chills, exhaustion, although it also causes the lymph nodes to swell up.

Within one to three days, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. 

Although most monkeypox cases aren’t serious, studies have shown that one in ten people who contract the disease in Africa die from it.

The unprecedented outbreak of the monkeypox virus has put the international community on alert.

On Monday, the European Union urged member states to take steps to ensure positive cases, close contacts, and even pets be quarantined as this is a zoonotic virus (a virus that spreads from animals to humans).