‘It’s time to book your holiday’: Italian PM announces new travel passes for summer

Italy is “ready to welcome back the world”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Tuesday as he confirmed a ‘green pass’ for international travel will be launched in mid-May.

'It's time to book your holiday': Italian PM announces new travel passes for summer
Italy's tourism businesses are gearing up for a big summer season in 2021. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

This article has been updated on Wednesday May 5th.

“From the second half of June the European Green Pass will be ready,” Draghi announced at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon following a meeting between G20 tourism ministers.

“In the meantime, the Italian government will introduce a national green pass, which will come into force starting in the second half of May”.

READ ALSO: How will the EU’s ‘Covid passport’ system work for tourists in Europe?

Photo: Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Itay’s tourism minister confirmed on Wednesday that the passes could be used by travellers from outside Europe, includng from the US and UK.

“It is valid for everyone, also and above all for tourists from outside the EU”, Massimo Garavaglia told news channel Sky TG24.

“All you need is a simple piece of paper certifying that you respect the rules” and either “you’re vaccinated, you’re immune because you’ve had the disease, or you have had a negative test,” he said, without giving further details.

The Italian announcement followed the European Commission’s suggestion last week that countries should open borders to vaccinated non-EU travellers, although the final decision is down to each individual member state.

READ ALSO: When can Americans travel to Italy again?

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

All arrivals from the EU must quarantine for five days on arrival and take two coronavirus tests.

With the introduction of the travel pass, this requirement looks likely to be dropped when it expires on May 15th.

“The world wants to travel to Italy, the pandemic has forced us to close, but Italy is ready to welcome back the world,” Draghi said.

“It’s time to book your holiday in Italy, we can’t wait to welcome you again,” he urged.

Italy’s tourism industry, worth around 13 percent of GDP before the pandemic hit, is one of the sectors worst-hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The tourism sector, Draghi said, must be made “more sustainable and inclusive, to protect the environment and also ensure the inclusion of local communities.”

“Our mountains, our beaches, our cities are reopening. Some economic sectors are destined to shrink, but others to grow. and I have no doubt that tourism in Italy will return stronger than before.”

While Italian tourism industry bosses expect to see a strong recovery in 2021, the government has so far been hesitant to announce firm dates for relaxing restrictions amid a still-high infection rate in Italy and a relatively slow vaccine rollout.

You can find the current Italian government travel information for your country here.

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

Member comments

  1. I’m confused ??? We have just come out of lockdowns and restrictions, hardly anyone is vaccinated, It was reported only last week that Italy had rang out of vaccines yet we are welcoming visitors with open arms???? What am I missing???

  2. What does that mean? Does that mean people from the USA can go to Italy in early June or even late May? Why don’t they give dates and clarity?

  3. I’m very happy to see this news. We’ve postponed two trips in the last while. We’ve been vaccinated in Canada, follow all rules and are sensible when out in public, with social distancing always being practiced. More news to clarify the details will follow I’m sure. But thank you to the Italian government for putting their intent out there for us to consider.

  4. “Italy’s tourism minister confirmed on Wednesday that the passes could be used by travellers from outside Europe, including from the US and UK.”

    Does this also mean from Canada? Is there an official list that has been posted somewhere of all the countries that
    will be allowed to travel for non-essential reasons?

    1. Hi, no further details have been given yet, although (as the article states) the tourism minister said: “It is valid for everyone, also and above all for tourists from outside the EU”.

  5. Short version: “We’re tired of being broke, so we’re going to try the honor system.” Which is fine by me, and US/UK coming in are almost certainly vaccinated, which is more than we can say here…

  6. What about people who live in Hong Kong and Singapore and are vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines?

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For members


Reader Question: What are Italy’s Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Italy's quarantine rules have changed so many times over the past couple of years, it can be hard to keep track. Here's the latest information on when and how visitors need to self-isolate.

Reader Question: What are Italy's Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Question: “One of your recent articles says you can exit quarantine by testing negative for the coronavirus. But you can also exit quarantine by obtaining a Letter of Recovery from Covid-19… true?”

Unfortunately, official proof of having recovered from Covid-19 won’t get you out of the requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid while visiting Italy – though it can shorten your quarantine period.

Anyone who tests positive in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days: that’s if the person in question is fully vaccinated and boosted, or has completed their primary vaccination cycle or recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

That period is extended to 10 days for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted, or those who recovered from Covid or completed their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago.

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days in order to exit quarantine (with the exception of symptoms relating to a lost sense of taste or smell, which can persist for some time after the infection is over).

The patient must also test negative for the virus via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test on the final day of the quarantine in order to be allowed out.

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days, at which point they will be automatically released.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative in order to enter its borders, as long as they are fully boosted or were recently vaccinated/ have recently recovered from Covid.

READ ALSO: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

Some countries (including the US), however, do require people travelling from Italy to test negative before their departure – which means visitors at the tail end of their journey could be hit with the unpleasant surprise of finding out they need to quarantine for another week in Italy instead of heading home as planned.

It’s because of this rule that a number of The Local’s readers told us they wouldn’t be coming on holiday to Italy this summer, and intend to postpone for another year.

If you are planning on visiting Italy from a country that requires you to test negative for Covid prior to re-entry, it’s a good idea to consider what you would do and where you would go in the unlikely event you unexpectedly test positive.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, see the Italian Health Ministry’s website or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

You can keep up with the latest updates via our homepage or Italian travel news section.