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Which countries can use a Covid health pass to avoid quarantine in Italy?

Italy's latest travel rules allow visitors from certain countries to skip quarantine if they can show proof of vaccination, recovery or testing for Covid-19. Who qualifies, and who still has to isolate this summer?

Which countries can use a Covid health pass to avoid quarantine in Italy?
Does your country qualify for quarantine-free travel to Italy? Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

Quarantine requirements can make or break travel plans. With peak tourist season fast approaching, Italy has confirmed who will have to isolate this summer, and who can avoid it by showing a Covid-19 health pass.

In an ordinance issued on July 29th, the Italian Health Ministry set out the travel rules that will apply throughout the summer, from July 31st to August 30th.

READ ALSO: Italy extends quarantine requirement for travellers from the UK

Here’s what they say about who can visit Italy quarantine-free and how.

Which travellers never have to quarantine in Italy? 

Italy contains two tiny foreign territories within its borders, San Marino and Vatican City, and neither of them is subject to any travel restrictions.

Residents of either microstate can cross in and out of Italy freely without filling in a passenger locator form or a health pass.

Which travellers can use a Covid-19 health pass to avoid quarantine in Italy?

  • All countries in the European Union and/or Schengen Zone: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco.

People travelling from these countries – including certain overseas territories – can show a Covid-19 health certificate as proof of vaccination, recovery or a recent negative test in order to avoid quarantine (which would otherwise be five days, followed by a test).

National certificates from any of these countries are valid in Italy as part of the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate scheme.

  • Israel

People travelling from Israel can show proof of vaccination with a vaccine licensed for use in the EU (currently: Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson) in order to avoid quarantine (which would otherwise be five days, followed by a test).

Alternatively they can show a medical certificate of recovery from Covid-19 within the past six months, or a negative test carried out within the past 48 hours.

Either an official Coronavirus Certificate or Green Pass issued by the Israeli Ministry of Health (more details here), in digital form or on paper, will be accepted in Italy (though remember that if you’re claiming it via testing, Italy’s window is shorter than Israel’s: 48 hours instead of 72). 

Vaccinated people in Israel show their ‘Green Pass’. Photo: JACK GUEZ / AFP
  • Canada, Japan and the United States

People travelling from one of these three countries can show proof of vaccination with a vaccine licensed for use in the EU (currently: Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson) in order to avoid quarantine (which would otherwise be five days, followed by a test).

Alternatively they can show a medical certificate of recovery from Covid-19 within the past six months, or a negative test carried out within the past 48 hours.

READ ALSO: What documents do Americans need for travel to Italy?

Official certification in digital or hard copy from any of the three countries will be accepted in Italy – such as CDC-approved vaccination cards from the US, provincial immunization cards from Canada, or government-issued paper vaccination certificates from Japan (available in English). 

What about other countries?

Italy does not exempt any other countries from quarantine. If you’re travelling from a country that is not listed above, you will have to self-isolate – even if you’re fully vaccinated – as well as getting tested before your journey and after your isolation.

Quarantine lasts five days if you’re travelling from one of the following countries or territories: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Hong Kong, Jordan, Lebanon, Kosovo, Macao, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, or the United Kingdom.

READ ALSO:

Travellers from any other countries have to quarantine for ten days.

There are also extra restrictions on travel from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Brazil. For more information, see the Italian Health Ministry’s instructions for travellers (in English).

Italy’s quarantine rules contain a handful of exceptions if you’re travelling in particular circumstances, including if you’re transiting through Italy for 36 hours or less via private transport. For full details, see the Health Ministry’s website (in English). 

Please remember that The Local is not able to advise on individual cases. Contact your national embassy for more guidance on travel between your country and Italy.

Member comments

  1. We both have had two vaccinations in the UK. We are driving to France where we will stay for 15 days. Then we want to drive to Italy. Do we need to quarantine in Italy and do we need to take a test before we cross the border?

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COVID-19 RULES

What tourists in Italy need to know if they get Covid-19

Italy is a dream destination for many people, but the spike in Covid-19 cases this summer means visitors could still run into problems. Here is what you need to know.

What tourists in Italy need to know if they get Covid-19

Italy is full of unique destinations, from beautiful beaches to millennium-old architecture. No wonder the country gets so many visitors every year, especially during the summer months.

However, coronavirus infection rates are increasing in the country. Some regions, including Lazio, where Rome is located, and Veneto, the home of Venice, are classified by the Health Ministry as high risk.

With that in mind, here is what you should know about the pandemic in Italy and what to do in case you test positive.

What are the current entry rules?

First things first: what do you even need to enter Italy? Are there any coronavirus restrictions? The answer is no.

Travel to Italy for any reason, including tourism, is currently allowed without restrictions from all countries. In addition, since June, Italy has scrapped the requirement to show proof of coronavirus vaccination, recent recovery or a negative test from travellers.

There is also no need to fill in any online forms.

What restrictions do exist?

The main Covid-related restriction you will find in Italy is a strict face mask mandate for all forms of public transport, except for flights (domestic and international). These rules should remain in place at least until the end of September.

The masks required are the higher-grade FFP2 masks, and you should wear them on buses, trains, taxis, and all forms of public and shared transport.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

Face masks also remain obligatory in hospitals, care homes and other healthcare facilities.

However, there is no need to wear face masks in public open or indoor public spaces – though it is recommended, especially in crowded areas.

Where can I get tested?

If you want to be on the safe side or have any coronavirus symptoms, it is possible to get tested in Italy.

If you need to get tested while in Italy because you suspect you may have Covid-19, you must minimise your contact with anyone else.

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

The Italian health ministry says you should isolate yourself where you’re staying and call a doctor, Italy’s nationwide Covid hotline (1500), or the regional helpline where you are (complete list here) for assistance.

They will help you arrange an emergency test. Do not go to a medical centre or pharmacy in the meantime.

If you do not have symptoms, tests can be carried out without a prescription at Italy’s airports, pharmacies, labs, testing centres, or even at your accommodation via private doctors.

READ ALSO: The essential Italian phrases you need to know for getting tested and vaccinated

Fast antigen tests are also widely available in pharmacies in Italy.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 in Italy must undergo at least one week of isolation. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP

What are the self-isolation rules if I test positive?

The health ministry’s current rules state that anyone who tests positive while 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 was certified as being recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

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

READ ALSO: Italy to keep quarantine rules in place as Covid cases rise

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days 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 to be allowed out. If you keep testing positive after that, you may stop isolation only at the end of 21 days.

Italy has one of the strictest self-isolation rules, so keep that in mind if you plan your summer holidays here.

Where can I self-isolate?

That will depend. You might be able to stay in your existing accommodation but might also be required to transfer to a state hospital or other government-provided accommodation. Check with the local authorities.

Additionally, you may need to fund accommodation – if only to extend your hotel stay, for example.

What if I need treatment?

If you are an EU citizen, your country’s healthcare can cover state treatments. The same if you are a UK citizen and hold an EHIC or GHIC. The e-card, European health card, EHIC or GHIC will not cover private treatments, though.

If you are a third-country citizen, you must check exactly what your travel insurance covers. In general, people travelling to Europe from abroad are recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical treatments, and you might also be insured through a credit or debit card. So, it is worth checking and planning.

Where can I get more information?

The Italian Health Ministry has a Covid-19 hot site in English for travellers where you can find helpful contact and the latest restrictions and information.

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