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EXPLAINED: How has Italy changed its rules on travel from the US and Canada?

Fully vaccinated travelers who’ve been hoping to visit Italy this summer now have the green light after the country announced it would drop the quarantine rules from this week.

EXPLAINED: How has Italy changed its rules on travel from the US and Canada?
Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced in a Facebook post that Italy would allow entry from the United States, Canada and Japan under the same terms as the EU’s ‘green pass’ scheme as of June 21st.

That means the ten-day quarantine rule will not apply to passengers who can provide proof of being fully vaccinated or having recovered from Covid-19, or can show a negative result from a test taken within the 48 hours before arrival in Italy.

READ ALSO: ‘Health pass’: What documents do Americans need for travel to Italy?

Until now, Italy had only waived the quarantine rule for those who took special ‘Covid-free’ flights operated by four airlines.

The scheme allowed passengers flying from 10 designated airports to skip quarantine if they showed negative results in a series of tests – prior to departure, at boarding, and upon arrival. 

How do I enter Italy under the ‘green pass’ rules?

The Europe-wide health certificate scheme allows quarantine-free travel between EU member states as of July 1st.

Italy has already started rolling out its own version of the digital document, and has chosen to also recognise equivalent documents from some non-EU countries with high rates of vaccination – and to begin allowing those travellers to enter Italy before the EU-wide rollout date.

This means you don’t need to download an Italian ‘green pass’ – you can instead use documents issued in your home country and these will be accepted by Italian authorities.

The Italian government’s updated rules state that people can now enter Italy quarantine-free from the US, Canada or Japan by presenting one of the following health documents:

  1. Certificate of vaccination – such as a US CDC-issued vaccination card or EU green certificate. Keep in mind you must be fully vaccinated, meaning you have had your last vaccination 14 days before departure.
  2. OR
    A negative antigen, PCR, or molecular test result from a test taken within 48 hours of arrival in Italy.
  3. OR
    A certificate of Recovery from Covid dated no more than six months before arrival to Italy.

All passengers travelling to Italy still need to fill in a passenger locator form giving their contact details. Find it here.

Anyone who cannot show the requested documents may be required to undergo a ten-day quarantine period on arrival.

The Italian government reminds travellers that new restrictions “may be adopted at national and/or regional level depending on the risk assessment carried out on a regular basis by the Health Ministry.”

For further details of the requirements, see the Italian Foreign Ministry’s website (in English), or contact your airline or the Italian embassy in your country.

For more information about the current coronavirus situation and health measures in Italy please see the Health Ministry’s website (in English).

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TRAVEL NEWS

Italian low-cost airline staff to strike on October 1st

Pilots and flight attendants from Ryanair and Vueling will strike on Saturday, October 1st over wages and working conditions, unions said.

Italian low-cost airline staff to strike on October 1st

Pilots and cabin crew from Ryanair and Vueling will take part in a national strike action on Saturday, October 1st, Italian unions confirmed in a statement released on Monday. 

The statement said Ryanair staff will hold a 24-hour walkout, whereas Vueling staff will strike for a total of four hours, from 1pm to 5pm.

At the time of writing it wasn’t yet clear how the strike would affect passengers, though significant delays or cancellations can’t be ruled out. 

Italian trade unions Filt-Cgil and Uiltrasporti called the strike in protest against the employers’ failure to “grant acceptable working conditions and wages that are in line with minimum national salaries”. 

Unions also slammed Spanish airline Vueling’s decision to lay off 17 flight attendants based in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport “after months of hard work and professionalism”. 

A Vueling Airbus A320 plane.

Staff from Spanish airline Vueling will strike over working conditions and the recent lay-off of 17 flight attendants. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The upcoming strike will be the latest in a long series of demonstrations that rocked Europe’s airline industry over the summer, causing significant disruption to thousands of air passengers. 

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

The last significant strike was held on Monday of last week, when a 24-hour national strike from unionised ground staff caused Italy’s flag carrier, ITA Airways, to cancel several domestic flights. 

On that occasion, ITA said affected passengers were rebooked on the first available flights.

As with all previous strikes, passengers travelling with Ryanair or Vueling on Saturday, October 1st are advised to contact their airline for updates prior to setting off.

In the event of delays and/or cancellations, the rights of all passengers are protected by EU regulation EC 261. This applies to any air passenger flying within the EU/Schengen zone, arriving in the EU/Schengen zone from a non-EU country by means of a EU-based airline (all airlines involved in the strike are EU-based) or departing from the EU/Schengen zone. 

READ ALSO: Passports: What are the post-Brexit rules for dual-nationals travelling in Europe?

According to this regulation, airlines are financially accountable for any journey disruption they are responsible for. That includes disruptions caused by airline staff strikes. Therefore, should your flight be significantly delayed or cancelled, you might be entitled to receive compensation from your airline. 

For further information on what you might be entitled to and in which cases, check our guide here.

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