UPDATE: Italy brings back mandatory quarantine and testing for all UK arrivals

UPDATE: Italy brings back mandatory quarantine and testing for all UK arrivals
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
The Italian health ministry has announced it will reinstate quarantine and testing requirements for all UK arrivals amid concerns about the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Friday that Italy will require all travellers from Britain to quarantine for five days upon arrival.

“I have signed a new ordinance introducing a five-day quarantine with a swab test requirement for those coming from Britain,” Speranza announced in a Facebook post on Friday afternoon.

 A health ministry spokesman said the order would come into force on Monday, AFP reported.

READ ALSO: Delta variant in Italy: What’s the risk of another Covid-19 surge?

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

A negative test result will be required at the end of the quarantine period, with a €450 fine for anyone found not to be following the rules.

The new rules remain in force until at least July 30th, the Italian Embassy in London said on Saturday.

“No quarantine is required for specific categories of workers and for stays up to 120 hours for work, health or other urgent reasons,” read a tweet from the Embassy. “In case of symptoms everyone should isolate. 6-year-old or younger children do not have to take tests.”

Unlike some European countries, Italy does not currently make any exceptions to the rules for vaccinated travellers.

Speranza’s order also extends an existing ban on arrivals from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The move came as the number of coronavirus cases in the UK continued to rise, now exceeding 10,000 for the first time since late February.

The country on Thursday reported 11,007 new daily infections.

After dropping the quarantine requirement for UK travellers just over a month ago, Italy is now tightening the rules again as the UK’s health situation continues to worsen.

Italy had been open to all travellers from the UK since May 16th without the need for quarantine on arrival.

France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria had already put quarantine rules and other tough travel restrictions back in place for travellers from the UK in late May amid concerns about Delta

Spain on the other hand still has no restrictions in place for British tourists.

Italy is on the UK’s ‘amber’ list for travel, which means travel is possible but passengers 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.

The new restrictions come 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.

Italy has been one of the European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but infection rates have fallen sharply in recent weeks and the country said this week that almost all domestic restrictions would be lifted by Monday.

For more information on international travel to and from Italy, see the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on specific cases.

Member comments

  1. I have a query about the five day quarantine. Does this mean the five full days starting from the day after your arrival ie not including your arrival date? Can the follow up test be done in a local chemist or do you have to be tested via the local health system? Presumably, the test has to be done on the first day following the quarantine period. I have family coming from the UK next week and am crossing my fingers that Ryanair do not cancel their flight.

  2. Does anyone know how you go about getting a test at the end of the 5 day quarantine? Do you leave the house to get one?

  3. Claire, another thing, if we arrive and stay the weekend in quarantine, I guess we can still get out of the country by land (to Switzerland) and then stay some days in Switzerland (to go to a biz meeting) and back into Italy later. When back into Italy, the quarantine will kick back on, or should we be free bc we’ve been already in the EU?

    1. Hi Martina,

      The five-day quarantine rule applies to “anyone who has been in the UK in the preceding 14 days”, according to the Italian Embassy. Italy does not currently make any exceptions to the travel rules for people who have been vaccinated.

      We’ll publish any further information as we get it. There are links to the official Italian government information websites here for more details: https://www.thelocal.it/20210519/explained-who-can-travel-to-italy-right-now/

      Thanks for reading The Local.

      – Clare

  4. Claire, coming from Britain in a car, do you know if we stay in another country before entering for five days, for example in Switzerland or France, will then we need to quarantine in Italy? Are they asking you not to have been in the UK in the last 15 days or 5 days? I am trying to see the detail. Read that Switzerland and even Germany might relax the quarantine for those double vaxed? Also, didn’t France relax the regulations for those doubly vaxed? I’ve seen in the Guardian the day that it was announced that kids of those double vaxed don’t have to quarantine either but need negative PCR tests (or antigen too?) Sorry for all these questions, but I have to go to Italy to fix things in our house and also I have to go to a biz meeting in Switzerland, so seeing if we stay somewhere else can avoid us doing the quarantine. The one I worry the most is my dog as we have an apartment, is not that I can open the door for him to go to the garden to do his necessities! If not I’ll get someone to take him out in walks, at least is not 10 days as in the UK!

  5. My 2 sisters (both doubly vaccinated) were due to come and spend a month at our home from the beginning of July – if they come straight to us from the airport, can they self isolate at our home provided we self isolate with them?

  6. Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for your reply. I’m hoping that if we change our plans and get straight in a hire car we can drive to our house and quarantine there?

  7. David, it says in the article on 30th July, I do hope they review early as we are going on the 24th! (23rd into Italy and then out)

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