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EXPLAINED: Which travellers have to quarantine in Italy and for how long?

As Italy makes quarantine mandatory for almost everyone arriving from overseas, here's a breakdown of how many coronavirus tests you'll need to get and how long you're facing in self-isolation.

EXPLAINED: Which travellers have to quarantine in Italy and for how long?
A traveller arriving at Rome's Fiumicino airport. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Whether you’re visiting Italy or returning home there from a trip overseas, you’ll most likely have to get tested for coronavirus, quarantine, or both.

Here’s what you need to know about the different rules for different countries, the kind of tests you’ll need, how to quarantine, and who’s exempt.

READ ALSO: Italy cuts quarantine time for travellers from the UK and Austria

San Marino and Vatican City

  • Tests required: None
  • Days in quarantine: None

Congratulations: if you’re entering Italy from one of these two tiny states within its borders, you’re some of the only travellers in the world who neither have to get tested nor quarantine.

EU or Schengen Zone

  • Tests required: 2
  • Days in quarantine: 5

As of March 31st and until at least April 30th, people arriving from any other member of the European Union or Schengen Zone have to test negative for coronavirus no more than 48 hours before arriving in Italy, then spend five days in quarantine regardless. You must then take another test after self-isolating.

READ ALSO: Italy imposes quarantine for all travellers arriving from EU

The requirement applies to everyone who is departing from or has passed through one of the following countries in the past 14 days: Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Travellers from Austria are subject to separate rules (see below).

Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Austria

  • Tests required: 2
  • Days in quarantine: 5

From April 6th, Italy has shortened the required quarantine time for most travellers from Austria from 14 days to five. 

If you’ve spent more than 12 hours in Austria in the 14 days before coming to Italy, you’ll have to test negative no more than 48 hours before travelling. You must then spend five days in quarantine, then get tested a second time after self-isolating.

People arriving in Italy from the Austrian state of Tyrol, however, must continue to self-isolate for a full 14 days. 

United Kingdom

  • Tests required: 2
  • Days in quarantine: 5

From April 6th, Italy has shortened the required quarantine time for travellers from the UK from 14 days to five. 

If you are entering Italy from Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you need to test negative no more than 48 hours before travelling, then spend five days in isolation. You must get tested again after completing your quarantine.

Photo by Oli SCARFF/AFP

Israel

  • Tests required: 2
  • Days in quarantine: 5

As of April 6th, people arriving from Israel are now subject to the same rules as travellers from the EU or Schengen Zone: they must test negative no more than 48 hours before arriving, then quarantine for five days, and finally get tested a second time. 

Brazil

  • Tests required: 3
  • Days in quarantine: 14

Travellers who are eligible to return to Italy from Brazil have to test negative no more than 72 hours before travelling and again no more than 48 hours after they arrive. 

Even with two negative tests, you must spend 14 days in quarantine, then get tested a third time after self-isolating.

Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand

  • Tests required: None
  • Days in quarantine: 14

If you’re travelling to Italy from one of these ‘low-risk’ countries, you’ll have to go into quarantine for two weeks on arrival. You are not required to get tested at any point. 

Rest of world

  • Tests required: None
  • Days in quarantine: 14

If you meet the requirements to enter Italy from any other country not already specified, you need to quarantine for two weeks on arrival. You are not required to get tested at any point. 

Passengers on ‘Covid-tested’ flights from the United States

  • Tests required: 2
  • Days in quarantine: None

People flying from New York (JFK airport) or Atlanta (ATL) to Rome (FCO) or Milan (MXP) on one of the special ‘Covid-tested’ services offered by Alitalia, Delta and American Airlines are required to test negative no more than 48 hours before boarding. They are then tested again when they land in Italy.

Provided both tests are negative, they can skip quarantine.

READ ALSO: Italy hopes to expand ‘Covid-tested’ flights to more countries

The usual entry requirements continue to apply, however, meaning that only returning residents or people with an essential reason are eligible to take these flights.

Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

What kind of coronavirus tests does Italy accept?

Both molecular (PCR) and rapid antigen tests are valid for the purposes of entering Italy. Test results do not need to be in Italian.

How should I quarantine?

Travellers who are subject to quarantine should report the address where they plan to self-isolate to the local heath authorities on arrival, then make their way to it using only private transport, such as a taxi.

They must then remain inside for the duration of the quarantine period, avoiding contact with anyone else who shares the accommodation.

READ ALSO: ‘What it was like to quarantine in Italy after arriving from the US’

If you’re arriving in Italy by public means, you should be given a form to fill in at the airport, station or ferry terminal where you land to notify the relevant authorities of your contact details. If not, or if you cross the border by car, you’ll need to contact your destination’s local health authority yourself: find instructions here.

Are there any exceptions?

Cross-border workers, transport crew, business travellers and people briefly transiting through Italy are usually exempt from quarantine and may be exempt from testing, depending on where they’re travelling from and how long they plan to stay.

You may need to apply for special authorization from the Italian Health Ministry to demonstrate that you qualify. Check the requirements on the ministry’s website (in English). 

There are no special exceptions for people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19. EU plans for a ‘health passport’ remain in the early stages, and will likely take several more months to finalize.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on specific situations. You can find the latest Italian government travel information for your country here, or contact your embassy for further information.

Find all our latest news updates on travel to, from and within Italy here.

Member comments

  1. Is anyone aware if the 14 day uk quarantine will be reduced soon, given the very low rates and vaccination programme in the UK?

  2. I do hope that is the case, but I am assuming that they are afraid of the UK variant (that is with lots of cases there) as we are afraid of the South African variant, and in SA they don’t have too many cases now and we have some cases here of that variant… but we are still not taking SA from the list…. unfortunately bc I am desperate to go to my second home!

  3. Why are they ignoring vaccination? IMHO European countries need to recognize vaccination as the way out of the epidemic and that vaccinated people (fully vaccinated, 2 weeks post dose 2) pose very low risk.

  4. I don’t see in this article the mention of essential travel only for Americans, does this mean the end is in sight or that it was accidentally omitted?

    1. Hi Stacy,

      If you take another look you’ll spot that the article specifies that travellers from the rest of the world, including the US, still need to meet Italy’s entry requirements – namely having an essential reason to travel. This has not changed.

      You can find more information about the travel rules for Americans here: https://www.thelocal.it/20210112/when-will-americans-be-allowed-to-travel-to-italy-again-update/

      Thanks for reading,
      ~ Jessica at The Local

  5. I also don’t understand why 2 week post second vaccine dose doesn’t allow entry. I live in Graubünden on the Italian borders, and my Kanton allows re-entry from Italy without quarantine if fully vaccinated.

  6. Travel from UK to Italy now 5 day quarantine. However, you say a test in the UK no more than 48 hours before travel. Is this an error? On other sites it states 72 hours? The other big question is will I get a response?

    1. Hi Kevin,

      Not an error: as of April 7th travellers from the UK now follow the same timeframe as travellers from the EU, namely a test 48 hours before arrival, five days in quarantine and a second test after isolating.

      You can find more information about how Italy’s rules for travel from the UK have changed here: https://www.thelocal.it/20210407/explained-how-has-italy-changed-its-travel-rules-for-the-uk/

      Thanks for reading,
      ~ Jessica at The Local

  7. The Gov.uk website says that testing prior to entry to Italy is only required if you arrive by plane. Also, it states that entry is no longer restricted to residents or for reasons of absolute necessity.

  8. So wanting to get back to my home in Italy. As a Canadian it is tough to travel right now. Might you have any insight into defining what is an essential reason? I have not seen my home for over a year, and wish to ensure all is ok. If it was on fire, I guess that would be essential, but to ensure all is working , is that an essential reason?

  9. This needs to be updated as entry requirements have changed since the 19 April, regarding testing and quarantine.

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VENICE

EXPLAINED: How will the tourist-control system work in Venice?

Venice is introducing a new system to discourage day-trippers in hopes of curbing problems with overtourism in the popular hotspot. Here is what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: How will the tourist-control system work in Venice?

After years of discussing a possible “tourist tax”, the city of Venice has confirmed it will make day-trippers pay from €3 to €10 for access to the city centre starting on January 16th.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the goal of the new tourism fee is to discourage day tourism at certain times of the year and encourage overnight tourism. Day-trippers will have to pay a fee, but those who stay overnight continue only to have to pay the city tax of €2 to €5, according to a government press release.

The Commission and the City Council will now examine the regulatory text for the final green light scheduled for the summer.

“We are the first in the world to introduce this system, and we are aware that not everything will work well from the beginning, but we will be ready to improve in the course of work. We want to guarantee the tourist the best quality of the visit and make sure that the city is able to give visitors all the services they need”, said Tourism Secretary Simone Venturini.

READ ALSO: After flooding and coronavirus, is it time Venice stopped relying on tourism?

How much will I have to pay?

The contributo di acesso, or access contribution, will cost from €3 to €10, depending on factors such as tourism numbers for the day and season.

The city will determine a certain threshold of tourists, after which people will be required to pay higher sums. Travellers are encouraged to book in advance to avoid price increases.

Does the payment have to be made in advance?

The government said that nobody would be denied entry to Venice, meaning a pre-registration is not necessary. However, the mayor said that those who book their visit in advance would be “rewarded”. The reward will likely discount the fee.

How will the system work? Where do I pay?

According to the City of Venice, the payment is an alternative to the city tax. It will be required from every person that goes to the old city centre of Venice, as well as other major tourist destinations and islands in the region.

READ ALSO: 16 surprising facts about Venice to mark 16 centuries of the lagoon city

A single payment guarantees access to the old town and the smaller islands.

Tourists will be able to pay through an online and “multilingual” platform where they will receive a QR code to present in case of controls. Tickets should also be available to buy in connection with public transport – so if you are arriving by train, it will be possible to buy the train ticket and the entry pass together.

Who is excluded or exempt from the payment?

There are several exceptions to the payment, according to the website. Among them are residents from the Comune di Venezia, those who work or study there, and those who own homes in the city.

Additionally, exceptions include those born in the Comune di Venezia, children under six years of age, people with disabilities and their accompanying person, public workers, volunteers, people visiting family members, prisoners, or attending funerals, and many others.

Residents of the Veneto region “up to the thresholds that will be set by a specific Council resolution” are also exempt.

Those who stay overnight and, therefore, already pay the city tax through their hotel or short-term rental booking are also exempt from the fee.

The city of Murano, in the metropolitan region of Venice (Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash)

What about people arriving on cruises?

Venice is a very popular stop for cruise ships and people visiting the city on a cruise tour will also have to pay the fee as they disembark in the old town. However, the City of Venice said they might determine a lump-sum measure in agreement with the relevant carriers.

READ ALSO: OPINION: Why more of Italy’s top destinations must limit tourist numbers

Which smaller islands are included?

Only one ticket and payment is required for those travelling to multiple islands, including Venice. The islands that are part of the group are:

  • Lido di Venezia
  • Pellestrina
  • Murano
  • Burano
  • Torcello
  • Sant’Erasmo
  • Mazzorbo
  • Mazzorbetto
  • Vignole
  • S. Andrea
  • La certosa
  • S. Servolo
  • S. Clemente
  • Poveglia

What if I simply don’t pay?

If you fail to produce proof of payment or that you are exempt from the fee, the sanction is from €50 to €300. The fine is the same in the case of people making false statements trying to obtain exemptions or reductions.

Additionally, visitors who don’t pay in advance will have to pay the full €10 fee.

For more info click here.

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