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WEDDINGS

Planning a wedding in Italy this year? ‘Be patient’, says PM

Those hoping to get married in Italy this year will get an update after a key government meeting on Monday May 17th, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has promised.

Planning a wedding in Italy this year? 'Be patient', says PM
Couples hoping to tie the knot are still waiting to hear if their wedding can go ahead in Italy. Photo: Foto Pettine / Unsplash

Waiting for news on whether weddings can go ahead has caused much frustration to people hoping to walk down the aisle in Italy this year.

Many couples have already postponed from 2020 and some are unsure whether they’ll have to push back their big day another year, as the Italian government hasn’t yet approved any new Covid-related guidelines for wedding ceremonies or receptions.

READ ALSO: ‘We’re exhausted’: What it’s like planning a wedding in Italy during the pandemic

Although there are still no firm decisions, Draghi has indicated that an announcement will be made next week.

“Celebration is something we all want, but it is essential to have a little more patience to prevent a joyous occasion from turning into a risk for those taking part,” he told parliament during prime minister’s question time on Wednesday evening.

Weddings will be discussed at the next steering committee on Monday 17th May, he promised, when the government will look at how to “give greater certainty” to the sector.

The government has earmarked €200 million from the current Support Decree (Decreto Sostegni) to help an industry significantly affected by the pandemic, according to Draghi.

“The government is careful to balance the economy with health, and weddings, as occasions for gatherings, can foster infections. We need to take a gradual approach based on epidemiological trends,” he cautioned.

Distanced and in masks: Italian weddings in times of Covid look like this. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

At the moment, wedding receptions – indoor or outdoor – are not allowed.

Both civil and religious wedding ceremonies are permitted, although with restrictions in place including a limit on the number of guests at venues, distancing, and mandatory mask-wearing.

And the maximum number of attendees allowed at wedding ceremonies currently depends on the venue and on local rules where you get married.

This is likely to continue to be the case, no matter what the government decides the wedding protocol will be for 2021.

READ ALSO: 

Waiting to hear whether weddings can go ahead are also tied up with possible changes to Italy’s travel rules this summer. For international couples with wedding guests trying to organise flights and hotels, this is proving an added headache.

The Italian government said in early May that it would allow tourism to restart from mid-May using a new ‘green pass’ for vaccinated or tested travellers, including those from outside the EU.

But no firm date has been given, and ministers have since indicated that visitors from the EU, UK or Israel would be allowed back without quarantine first while other countries would have to wait until June.

For more information on the current restrictions see the Italian Health Ministry’s website (in English).

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COVID-19

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.

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