Italy extends quarantine for EU travellers until end of April

People visiting or returning to Italy from other parts of the EU will have to quarantine on arrival throughout April, the government has announced.

Italy extends quarantine for EU travellers until end of April
Passengers at Milan Malpensa airport. Photo: Piero Cruciatti / AFP

The quarantine requirement for travellers from the European Union or Schengen Zone, which mandates five days in isolation, will remain in place until April 30th, according to the Italian Health Ministry.

Introduced on March 31st, the rule was initially imposed until April 6th but has been extended from April 7-30th by a new ordinance.

It requires people arriving from any other member of the EU or Schengen Zone to test negative for coronavirus no more than 48 hours before arriving in Italy, then spend five days in quarantine regardless. They must then take another test after self-isolating.

Previously EU travellers were only required to test negative before arrival, with quarantine reserved for people arriving from outside the bloc. 

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

Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

The change in the rules was introduced shortly before the long Easter weekend, in a move that seemed aimed at discouraging residents of Italy from taking trips overseas while the country went into temporary lockdown over the holiday.

But it has been extended amid high case numbers in Italy and other European countries, several of which are currently in some form of lockdown.

Restrictions are set to remain tight across Italy until at least the end of April, with only essential travel between towns or regions allowed.

Tourism within the EU remains possible under Italy’s international travel restrictions, but is discouraged by the Italian Foreign Ministry which urges people to avoid any overseas trips unless absolutely necessary.

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

Under the Health Ministry’s latest ordinance, the five-day quarantine also applies to travellers arriving from the UK and Israel, who previously had to spend 14 days in isolation.

And most travellers from Austria, who had been subject to three coronavirus tests and two weeks in quarantine, will now follow the same rules as the rest of the EU, though people departing from the Austrian state of Tyrol must continue to spend 14 days in isolation.

Member comments

  1. Ah…no…when you’ve witnessed scores of people dying over the past year from this disease, or getting seriously sick, with long lasting damage, the protesters you mention in “Rome and other places” sound like more clueless Q followers or the such…
    This is about lives, not money. And frankly, if you think this is lockdown, just go to China or Hong Kong where their economy is thriving thanks to these lockdowns.

    1. A little lockdown period, testing non stop, tracing the cases. Result? No cases or deaths from Covid in China. This is not about left or right, it’s about common sense.
      No one is suggesting something that rigorous, but frankly, Italy has not done such a bad job considering they were on the forefront of it all. And so many lives were saved…but then you don’t seem to care about that…

  2. Does anyone know if the Lateral Flow Test is the same thing as the Rapid Antigen test accepted by Italy?

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EXPLAINED: What are the main obstacles to finding a job when moving to an EU country?

Moving to another country is never easy, as it requires going through cultural changes and administrative formalities. It can be even more complicated when looking for a job.

EXPLAINED: What are the main obstacles to finding a job when moving to an EU country?

According to new data released by the EU statistical office, Eurostat, the knowledge of the national language and the recognition of professional qualifications are the two most common obstacles experienced by foreign-born people in finding a ‘suitable’ job in countries of the European Union.

Overall, about a quarter of people born outside the EU who had experience in working or looking for work in the bloc reported some difficulties getting a ‘suitable’ job for level of education (without considering the field of expertise or previous experience).

The Eurostat analysis shows that the situation is better for EU citizens moving within the bloc. But there are major differences depending on countries and gender.

Life can be more difficult for women

In 2021, 13.2 percent of men and 20.3 percent of women born in another European Union country reported obstacles in getting a suitable job in the EU place of residence.

These proportions however increase to 20.9 percent for men and 27.3 percent for women born in a non-EU country with a high level of development (based on the United Nations’ Human Development Index) and 31.1 percent for men and 35.7 percent for women from non-EU countries with a low or medium level of development.

Finland (42.9 percent), Sweden (41.7 percent), Luxembourg (34.6 percent) and France (32.1 percent) are the countries with the highest shares of people born outside the EU reporting problems. Norway, which is not part of the bloc, has an even higher percentage, 45.2, and Switzerland 34.3 percent.

In contrast, Cyprus (11.2 percent), Malta (10.9 percent), Slovenia (10.2 percent), Latvia (10 percent) and Lithuania (6.7 percent) have the lowest proportion of people born outside the EU reporting difficulties.

Lack of language skills

The lack of skills in the national language is most commonly cited as a hurdle, and it is even more problematic for women.

This issue was reported by 4.2 percent of men born in another EU country, 5.3 percent of those born in a developed country outside the EU and 9.7 percent of those from a non-EU country with a middle or low level of development. The corresponding shares for women, however, were 5.6, 6.7 and 10.5 percent respectively.

The countries where language skills were more likely to be reported by non-EU citizens as an obstacle in getting a relevant job were Finland (22.8 percent), Luxembourg (14.7 percent) and Sweden (13.1 percent).

As regards other countries covered by The Local, the percentage of non-EU citizens citing the language as a problem was 12.4 percent in Austria, 10.2 percent in Denmark, 7.8 percent in France, 5.1 percent in Italy, 2.7 percent in Spain, 11.1 percent on Norway and 10.1 percent in Switzerland. Data is not available for Germany.

Portugal (77.4 percent), Croatia (68.8 percent), Hungary (58.8 percent) and Spain (58.4 percent) have the highest share of people from outside the EU already speaking the language as a mother tongue before arriving, while more than 70 percent of non-EU citizens residing in Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Norway said they had participated in language courses after arrival.

Lisbon Portugal

Portugal has the highest share of people from outside the EU already speaking the language as a mother tongue before arriving. (Photo by Aayush Gupta on Unsplash)

Recognition of qualifications

Another hurdle on the way to a relevant job in EU countries is the lack of recognition of a formal qualification obtained abroad. This issue was reported by 2 percent of men and 3.8 percent of women born in another EU country. It was also mentioned by 3.3 percent of men and 5.9 percent of women born in a developed country outside the EU, and 4.8 percent of men and 4.6 percent of women born in a less developed non-EU country.

Eurostat says this reflects an “unofficial distrust” among employers of qualification obtained abroad and the “low official validation of foreign education”.

The lack of availability of a suitable job was another factor mentioned in the survey. In Croatia, Portugal and Hungary, this was the main obstacle to getting an adequate position.

This issue concerned 3.3 percent of men and 4.5 percent of women born in another EU country, 4.2 percent of men and 5 percent of women born in a developed non-EU country It also worried 3.9 percent of men and 5.1 percent of women born in a less developed non-EU country.

Restricted right to work due to citizenship or residence permits, as well as plain discrimination on the grounds of origin were also cited as problems.

Discrimination was mostly reported by people born in a less developed non-EU country (3.1 percent for men and 3.3 percent for women) compared to people born in highly developed non-EU countries (1.9 percent for men and 2.2 percent for women).

Citizenship and residence permits issues are unusual for people from within the EU. For people from outside the EU, this is the only area where women seem to have fewer problems than men: 1.6 percent of women from developed non-EU countries reported this issue, against 2.1 percent of men, with the share increasing to 2.8 and 3.3 percent respectively for women and men from less developed non-EU states.

The article is published in cooperation with Europe Street News, a news outlet about citizens’ rights in the EU and the UK.