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HEALTH

Reader question: Can I travel to Italy if I’ve had both doses of the Covid vaccine?

Travel into Italy remains heavily restricted, but does it make a difference if you've been fully vaccinated?

Reader question: Can I travel to Italy if I've had both doses of the Covid vaccine?
Will being vaccinated make travel to Italy possible again? Photo: AFP
A reader asks: “We’re in the USA and haven’t been able to travel to our second home for almost a year now. But my wife and I have both had our second dose of the Covid vaccine – so is there an exemption in the travel rules for us?”

Travel into Italy has been heavily restricted for some time, with most travellers from the USA barred since March 2020, while tighter restrictions were placed on travellers from the UK in December.

READ ALSO: Who can travel to Italy at the moment?

All of which means that many second home owners have not seen their properties for many months, while families and couples have also been kept apart by the travel rules.

So does being fully vaccinated – having received both injections – give you a travel exemption?

Unfortunately the answer is no, or not yet anyway.

Several European countries has been discussing the idea of ‘vaccine passports’ or allowing access to certain services such as travel for those who are fully vaccinated, but at present there are no plans to introduce this. While the idea was embraced by Spain and Greece, Italy has not yet commented.

As Italy’s vaccine rollout is still in its early stages, only the first prority groups – including key workers and over-80s – are being offered the vaccine at the moment.

EXPLAINED

The rules could also vary by Italian region, as the governor of Sardinia has this week suggested that visitors to the popular holiday island be required to show vaccination certificates.

If a vaccine passport scheme is agreed, either at national or regional level, it seems likely this would only be put in place once the general population can be offered the vaccine – currently scheduled for late spring/early summer. 

Italy is due to review its current set of coronavirus restrictions by March 5th, but there has been no indication yet that rules may be relaxed.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on individual cases. To find the latest information about who is eligible to travel to Italy at the moment, click HERE.

See all our latest updates on the coronavirus situation in Italy HERE.

Member comments

  1. I am french. My mom is resident in italy since 1974. She is 97 and I have to take care of her for two weeks. Is this ok?

  2. Carmine, my understanding is if you are a resident here then by all means you are allowed back to your Italian home.

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For members

STRIKES

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travellers are once again set to face serious disruption as Italy will experience a new round of transport strikes in February. Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travel to, from and across Italy was disrupted by dozens of strikes in January

And, while many travellers might have hoped for a change in the trend, strikes are set to continue into February as Italian unions have already announced a further round of demonstrations affecting rail and public transport services as well as airline travel.

Here’s an overview of February’s main strike actions, including a national public transport strike on Friday, February 17th and another nationwide walkout from airport ground staff on Tuesday, February 28th.

Public transport

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 (Unione Sindacale di Base) to protest against precarious work and “wild privatisation” attempts on the part of the Italian state.

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

There currently aren’t any details as to what percentage of workers will take part in the action. As such, the amount of disruption travellers should expect on the day cannot be estimated yet. 

Air travel

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 in question 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 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.

Rail

February 5th-6th: Calabria-based Trenitalia staff 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.

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

It’s currently unclear whether Trenord will operate minimum services on the day. Any information regarding the strike will be released on the following website page

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 services in the region is available here.

February 19th: Veneto-based Trenitalia staff 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

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. 

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

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