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EXPLAINED: How has Italy changed its rules on travel from the UK?

As the re-introduction of quarantine and testing have changed plans for those travelling to Italy from the UK, here are the latest rules you need to know and what restrictions remain in place.

EXPLAINED: How has Italy changed its rules on travel from the UK?
Quarantine and testing are mandatory for UK arrivals. Photo: Oli SCARFF/AFP

Travel to Italy has got more complicated again, following the news that all UK arrivals will be required to undergo a mandatory quarantine and testing, amid concerns about the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant.

READ ALSO: How much is the Delta variant spreading in Italy?

After dropping the quarantine requirement for UK travellers just over a month ago, Italy is now joining other countries in Europe such as France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria in tightening the rules afresh.

Italy had been open to all travellers from the UK since May 16th without the need for quarantine on arrival, but due to the UK’s worsening health situation, Italian authorities have revised Italy’s entry requirements, effective as of Monday June 21st.

The new rules are in force from June 21st until at least July 30th, the Italian Embassy in London said on Saturday.

Five-day quarantine and testing

Compulsory quarantine now applies to anyone who has been on UK territory in the 14 days before arrival in Italy, regardless of nationality. 

Arrivals from the UK will need to isolate for five days at an address given to health authorities.

The address can be a private one or that of an accommodation provider (if the provider is happy to allow you to quarantine on the premises). Italy is not currently requiring arrivals from Britain to go into supervised quarantine under ‘Covid hotel’ system, as is being used in the UK.

However, you must notify the local health authority in the region of Italy you’ll be staying in within 48 hours of your arrival. Find contact details here.

READ ALSO: How should travellers from the UK quarantine in Italy?

Following quarantine, a negative test result will be required at the end of the quarantine period.

Travellers “must take a rapid antigenic or molecular swab test for Covid-19 and test negative for release,” stated the UK government.

Anyone found not to be following these rules could end up with a €450 fine.

What are the testing rules?

If flying to Italy, you must show the airline proof of a negative test taken no more than 48 hours before travel.

If you arrive without a negative test, you “will need to self-isolate for 10 days and undertake a test at the end of the isolation period,” added the UK authorities.

Anyone entering Italy – not just those flying – must be able to show proof of a negative test result on arrival.

READ ALSO: What Covid-19 tests do I need for travel between Italy and the UK?

Photo: MARCO SABADIN/AFP

Exemptions to the quarantine period

Italy does not have exemptions in place for vaccinated travellers.

The quarantine and testing rules apply equally to people arriving in Italy by car or other means of transport.

The only exemptions are for “specific categories of workers and for stays up to 120 hours for work, health or other urgent reasons,” read a tweet from the Italian Embassy in London.

“In case of symptoms everyone should isolate. 6-year-old or younger children do not have to take tests,” it added.

Travellers transiting Italy in a private vehicle for less than 36 hours are also exempt from the quarantine.

Entry paperwork

People travelling from the UK should fill out this online digital form. This will generate a QR code, which you’ll need to show to your travel provider or the Border Police if requested. There’s a paper form if you cannot access it digitally.

You should also inform the local health authority in the region of Italy to which you are travelling within 48 hours of arrival, stating where you plan to quarantine and how they can reach you. Find regional contacts here.

The UK government advice is to carry proof of your residence when entering Italy if you are a UK national resident in Italy.

Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Flying to Italy

Many people planning to fly to Italy this month had already reported a lack of flights on many UK-Italy routes, and there have been widespread reports of last-minute cancellations this week.

Further flight cancellations have ensued following the British government’s decision to impose a four-week delay to its so-called ‘Freedom Day’ – when the last remaining Covid-19 restrictions were to be lifted in the country.

The UK government has advised travellers to keep checking if their flights are still running.

TRAVEL:

“Many airlines and airports serving Italy are operating a reduced service and may be subject to change. You are strongly advised to check your airline’s website, as well as the website for the airport you are intending to fly to for the latest information,” stated UK authorities.

The UK’s rules on travel from Italy

Italy is on the UK’s ‘amber’ list for travel, which means travel is possible but the British government has stressed people should not be booking holidays to these countries at the moment.

It is not yet known if Italy may be moved to the ‘green’ list under the British government’s next review.

Passengers who have reasons to want to travel Italy despite the government advice, such as visiting loved ones after postponed trips or to attend weddings, must present a pre-departure test result and then quarantine at home for 10 days upon arrival in England, Wales or Scotland.

In addition, PCR tests are required on days two and eight of quarantine.

Restrictions within Italy are easing

Italy is restarting tourism for summer as the country eases its health measures.

The new travel rules came as Italy opens up to visitors from the US, Canada and Japan and announces the details of its health certificate for travel within the EU.

All Italian regions but one are due to drop Covid-19 restrictions from Monday 21st as the national infection rate has fallen further.

It means that almost all regional authorities are allowed to abandon most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions earlier than planned under the national roadmap for reopening.

EXPLAINED:

Only mask-wearing and social distancing rules must remain in place, the health minister has said. House parties and large gatherings are also forbidden.

Italy’s evening curfew, which doesn’t apply to Italy’s lowest risk so-called ‘white zone’ regions, currently starts at midnight and will be scrapped completely on June 21st.

Find more information about travelling to or from Italy on the Health Ministry’s website (in English).

You can also check the Italian Government’s online questionnaire (in English) for more advice on entry requirements and travel to Italy.

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STRIKES

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travellers in Italy will face disruption again this month amid a new round of transport strikes. Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travel in Italy was disrupted by dozens of localised strikes in January, and this is set to continue into February as Italian unions announced a further round of demonstrations affecting rail and public transport services in many areas, as well as airline travel.

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

Here’s an overview of February’s main strikes, which are again mainly local or regional, but include a national public transport strike on February 17th and a nationwide walkout by airport ground staff on February 28th.

February 5th-6th: Trenitalia staff in the southern Calabria region 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.

It’s currently unclear whether Trenord will operate minimum services on the day. See the company’s website for further information. 

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 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 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 rail services in the region is available here.

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 to protest against precarious work contracts and privatisation attempts by the Italian state.

There currently aren’t any details as to what percentage of workers will take part in the action or how widespread the disruption is likely to be.

February 19th: Trenitalia staff in the Veneto region 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

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

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. 

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.

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

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