Question: We are planning to visit Italy in September. Do you know how likely the five-day quarantine rule for arrivals from the UK is to remain in place after August 30th?
Italy reinstated quarantine and double-testing requirements for all arrivals from the UK (including anyone who has transited there within the past 14 days) back in June amid concern over the highly contagious Delta variant, and then extended the measure on July 29th just hours before the rule was due to expire.
The next review is set to come before the expiry date of August 30th.
As Italy is not currently making any exemptions for those who are vaccinated, and with steep fines for anyone found not following the rules, the last-minute extension proved a major problem for many of The Local’s readers – particularly those who had been planning to visit Italy this summer for shorter periods to attend weddings and other events.
The last-minute nature of the announcement left many people scrambling to change their travel plans – and travel businesses furious about the loss of income during peak tourism season.
And those with bookings for September are now anxious about whether or not to cancel.
Unfortunately there has been no indication yet from any official sources as to whether the government is likely to extend the measure, change it, or scrap it altogether from that date.
Any updates to the international travel rules are usually announced via ordinances from the Italian health ministry.
But if previous reviews of Italy’s travel rules are anything to go by, it’s unlikely that the government will announce anything until, at most, a few days before the August 30th deadline.
The last deadline was July 30th and the extension of the quarantine rule for UK travellers into August was only announced on the evening of July 29th, via the Italian health minister’s Facebook page.
With no word yet from any official source on what could happen at the end of August, it’s impossible to predict which way things will go.
However, as Italy says its travel rules are based on coronavirus infection rates in other countries, this doesn’t look good for the UK where numbers have risen again throughout August after a drop at the end of July.
The 7-day average number of of cases per million people in the UK is more than four times higher than that in Italy – although the UK is currently carrying out around three times as many tests.
While summer travel and tourism is an important part of Italy’s economy, authorities here have so far been more cautious when it comes to travel restrictions than some other southern European nations such as Spain.
The UK is currently the only country facing the so-called ‘mini-quarantine’ rule, while India, Bangladesh and Brazil face a stricter travel ban which is also up for review on August 30th.
Italy is allowing entry from all EU and Schengen zone countries using the Europe-wide ‘green pass’ scheme, and has also allowed entry from some non-EU countries under the same terms – namely the US, Canada and Japan.
While Italy recognises proof of vaccination issued by the UK’s NHS and allows it to be used in place of a ‘green pass’ within Italy, having this certificate does not also allow UK arrivals to skip the quarantine requirement.
It is also not known whether Italy may soon place renewed restrictions on arrivals from the US, where the infection rate has also risen again and is now around the same as the UK’s.
Note that the Italian travel rules are based on which country you travel from, and not which passport you hold.
You can find further details about the current Italian quarantine rules in a separate article here.
Please check our homepage or travel news section for the most recent updates regarding any changes to the rules.
For more information about the current coronavirus-related restrictions on travel to Italy please see the Foreign Ministry’s website (in English).