*Note: since this article was written, Italy has updated its rules on travel from the UK. See the latest news here.*
Many British nationals resident in Italy are now effectively stranded in the UK after Italy on Sunday issued a ban on all flights and arrivals from Britain until January 6th.
Around 40 countries worldwide have now restricted travel from the UK amid concerns about a new, more contagous strain of the coronavirus.
Italian ministers told media on Tuesday evening that “all residents” will be allowed to return to the country, however no further details were given and no offical announcement has yet been made.
Italy is expected to confirm changes to the rules on Wednesday.
The EU has made it clear that residents in the EU who are stranded in the UK should be allowed to return home.
And even if residents can return, many Brits who travelled to the UK to spend Christmas with their families say they are worried about getting back into the country.
That's because the Brexit transition period ends on December 31st – and many Brits do not have their residency documents yet, meaning they may find it more difficult to prove they are Italian residents.
Despite Italy’s tough travel restrictions over Christmas, aimed at discouraging trips, many international residents had to go back to the UK for urgent reasons – from visiting sick relatives to making final Brexit preparations.
Now after navigating two sets of coronavirus restrictions, including testing and quarantine requirements, and with fewer flights available than in previous years, they have come up against a total ban on travel back to Italy.
Flights to and from the UK have been cancelled in Rome due to the travel ban. Photo: AFP