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TOURISM: Which countries will Italy reopen to in May?

TOURISM: Which countries will Italy reopen to in May?
Italy plans to "welcome back the world" this summer - but not all of it yet. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
Italy's prime minister has said international tourism will restart from this month - but the restrictions on some countries will be relaxed sooner than others, and a travel "pass" will be required.

Italian prime minister Mario Draghi announced last Tuesday that the country was ready to “welcome back the world” and urged people to “book your holidays to Italy”, saying tourism would soon be allowed using a new travel ‘green pass’.

But since then, few details have been given about the planned restart of travel this summer.

Italy is expected to start relaxing its travel restrictions from mid-May, when the next round of reopenings is due under the country’s roadmap.

READ ALSO: What will Italy’s coronavirus rules be for summer 2021?

While the government hasn’t yet named any specific dates, the current rules on EU arrivals expire on May 15th and it’s widely expected that Italy will allow tourism to restart from then – at least from some countries.

Italy is “hoping” to drop the quarantine requirement for visitors from the European Union, Britain, and Israel “by mid-May”, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, he said, the government is looking at putting an end to the quarantine requirement for US visitors from June.

“The aim is to reopen to visitors from foreign countries which have reached a high level of vaccinations, loosening some measures as early as mid-May,” Di Maio said.

The minister did not name any other countries, and the Italian government has not published a list of countries from which travel could restart using the ‘green pass’ travel document.

The government is expected to publish the dates and further information on restarting travel by May 15th.

READ ALSO: How the Italian government has left tourists angry and confused about summer plans

Italy’s tourism businesses are gearing up for the summer season. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

The pass will allow travel within the bloc to those with immunity, vaccinations or a negative coronavirus test.

Italy is set to adopt the EU-wide pass in June, and will be implementing its own version in the meantime, Draghi said last week.

READ ALSO: How to get Italy’s coronavirus immunity ‘green pass’ for travel

The Italian government has so far been hesitant to announce firm dates for relaxing travel restrictions, as the health situation in the country remains delicate.

While Italy’s vaccination programme has picked up speed in recent weeks, the level of coverage remains far lower than in the US, UK or Israel.

At the moment, Italy has strict quarantine or testing rules in place for almost all international travelers, including those from within the EU.

There are also restrictions in place on domestic travel as certain regions are still deemed high risk.

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

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

This requirement looks likely to be dropped with the introduction of the new travel pass, 

When (and if) travel to Italy becomes feasible this year will also depend on the rules set in place by other countries’ governments.

The US government in April increased its travel warning for Italy to ‘Level 4 – Do Not Travel’, while Canada is also warning against all non-essential travel at the moment. While these government warnings do not make it illegal to travel, this may invalidate travel insurance policies.

The UK has placed Italy on its ‘amber’ travel list, which does not prohibit travel but means that people will have to quarantine and test upon return to the UK.

You can find the current Italian government travel information for all countries here.

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


Member comments

  1. Don’t count on Italy to straighten things out anytime. I have been living here in Italy for the last few years. Every since the first REAL lockdown ended last May which was handled wonderfully, all the guidance from the Italian government has been confusing at best. Ordinances are written up. Rules are sporadically followed and police presence to enforce the rules is about the same…sporadic. I know of people who had no business coming to Italy over the last year from outside the EU traveling in and out of the country with no problem. Rules not enforced. So if you are counting on them pulling their act together over the next few weeks to straighten things out and give clear direction…don’t hold your breath. Also many places have remained closed and you must wear a mask at all times, no questions asked!! You might be better off waiting until the whole Covid situation here in the EU, the UK and the US really sorts itself out before making the long journey here. Just my humble opinion.

  2. Yes, totally frustrating. We are ramped up the wedding plans in Italy for June 15 after Draghi made his statement and indicated that it would be easy with the Italy paper green pass. There are too many cooks in the kitchen. I completely
    understand if the virus spikes again, that things could change. But just give us the details about dates and forms to fill out and requirements if the virus rates remain stable. I am just about ready to cancel Italy and go to Greece. Stop the
    tease and give us info.

  3. To The Local – Maybe you should write an article about how confusing their conflicting statements are to those of us trying to follow what they say and plan our trips. As @tpbar said above they said, “come to Italy”. Now they say maybe at some point in June and stuff about Covid free flights which implies all the testing. I am up against a deadline to make cancellations without losing all of the money. This is beyond ridiculous. Just give a date that we can come, so we know. There are probably thousands of people stuck, just like us, trying to figure this out and who will either stay home or go elsewhere.

    1. Hi Angela, thanks for the suggestion. We’re working on an article about all the confusion this is causing – if you (or any other readers) would like to get in touch and give us a comment about how this is affecting you, please email me: [email protected]

  4. If the top officials of Italy blab ” Come to Italy”, they should mean it and not back off. It is beyond painful to cancel and redo plans, especially for us who have responsibilities and commitments in Italy and have not been able to get back for almost 2 years.

    1. Yes, this has me pissed. “book your trips, Italy is open for everyone, especially those outside the EU” and then completely change the story…

  5. We have been watching carefully and waiting patiently!! Fully vaccinated and ready to go. Now open up tourism!! I’m sure Italy could use the money and I could use a break!! We’ve postponed 3 times!

  6. This is incredibly frustrating and completely lacks logic and sense on Italy’s party. Garavaglia and Draghi announce last week that the Green Pass is for everyone, specifically mentioning for countries non-EU, and tell people to book flights and vacations. Then over the weekend Di Maio walks back the comments on the re-opening? Also, if Italy is basing things off of vaccination rates, the UK and US are practically identical, so why is there discrimination? This is a complete mess on the Italian government’s part and things are very unclear.

    1. I totally agree with you on that.
      Very frustrating and discouraging.
      We planned a vacation before the pandemic that starts on May 21st.
      We were so happy with the announcements made last week, but all changed over the weekend with Di Maio made that statement.
      I’m just waiting to see the official decree that should be posted by the end of this week to make a final decision 🙁

    2. Sure is. I am just tired of it. I don’t know whether to cancel our (long-planned) trip in June or hang in there. I have to cancel soon, in order not to lose my money. Last week after he said that I finalized plans that were not done. Some flights had been cancelled, so I booked others. Now, maybe we can go, maybe not. Who knows? I don’t understand why there can not be clear dates and plans.

      To others reading this article – Do Not Travel from the US State Department means nothing, it is a suggestion or warning. It does not mean we can’t go, it means they advise against, that is all.

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