What will change when Italy eases the rules on travel from UK?

Italy's health minister announced that vaccinated travellers from the UK will no longer have to quarantine on arrival from Tuesday. But what exactly are the rules for vaccinated and non vaccinated travellers?

What will change when Italy eases the rules on travel from UK?
Photo: Piero Cruciatti / AFP

Italy initially re-imposed a 5-day quarantine for travellers arriving from Britain back in June, when the Delta variant was spreading rapidly in the United Kingdom. 

On Saturday, Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced that he had signed a new ordinance ending the ‘mini-quarantine’ for visitors from the UK, starting on the August 31st.

There was some confusion about when the rule change would come into place with the Italian embassy in the UK initially tweeting that the relaxed rule of vaccinated travellers would start on September 1st, before making the correction to August 31st.

Vaccinated travellers from the UK

Fully-vaccinated travellers arriving from the UK will therefore no longer have to undergo the 5-day quarantine upon arrival to Italy. However, they will still have to take a Covid-19 test and show proof of vaccination.

Italy recognises proof of vaccination issued by the UK’s NHS and allows it to be used in place of the ‘green pass’ within to access museums, concerts and other venues within Italy.

Travellers who have been in the UK in the previous 14 days must also present a negative molecular (PCR) or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before travel.

Children under the age of 6 do not need to take a test.

READ ALSO: Your questions about Italy’s quarantine rules for UK arrivals answered

Before travel, you must also complete an online digital form that will generate a QR code, which you may have to present to travel provider and Border Police if requested.

Some things were still unclear however such as whether vaccinated travellers who arrived before the change in rules would still have to spend five days in quarantine or whether it would end on August 31st.

It was also unclear what the policy would be towards those who had recovered from Covid and received one jab of their vaccine.

Note that the Italian travel rules are based on which country you travel from, and not which passport you hold.

Non-vaccinated travellers from the UK

For non-vaccinated travellers, the rules stay the same as before. Those coming to Italy from the UK will have to show a negative test and then quarantine for 5 days upon arrival. They must take another test at the end of the quarantine period.

Vaccinated travellers from the EU

Italy is allowing entry from all EU and Schengen zone countries using the Europe-wide ‘green pass’ scheme. 

What about travellers from outside the EU?

The health minister said that existing restrictions for visitors from other countries will remain in place.

READ ALSO: What to expect if you’re flying from the US to Italy

Stay up to date with Italy’s travel rules by following The Local’s travel section and checking the Italian Health Ministry’s website (in English).

Member comments

  1. Hi, I’m planning to visit Milan in October and I’m wondering how do I present a negative test when I go?

  2. If the health minister said that existing restrictions for visitors from other countries will remain in place, does that mean they are not changing anything for the US for September?

  3. Why does the Local focus on the UK and we hardly hear anything about US and changes in our restrictions?

  4. We are travelling to Sicily from UK (over the moon that we no longer have to self-isolate) and have seen suggestions that some regions might require a PCR test rather than rapid antigen test, but can’t find any information on this (I’ve looked on the Sicilian regional health website but can’t see anything useful there). Any advice would be extremely welcome.

  5. 2 points to consider:
    Returning to the UK will still involve proof of having booked and paid for a 2 day PCR test. This is often far more expensive than the actual flights.
    The UK QR code cannot at present be read by Italian lettori

  6. At the moment, because there are no changes to report for US arrivals? In fact, only a few days ago there was was an article about how there were no changes to report!

    1. Hi Elinor
      As far as I understand it, Italy accepts a certified rapid antigen test for arrivals, but the advice I have seen is that some regions might require a PCR. I am specifically trying to find out about Sicily, but the regional website is a bit impenetrable and I can’t find an answer.

      1. Thank you! If we could just do the antigen test it is much cheaper!! I guess it will become clear – hopefully!!

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TRAFFIC: The worst dates to travel on Italy’s roads this August

Heatwaves and traffic jams are not a good mix - but both are inevitable during an Italian summer. Here are the busiest dates to avoid when travelling on Italy's motorways this month.

TRAFFIC: The worst dates to travel on Italy's roads this August

Italy’s autostrade, or motorways, usually see little in the way of heavy traffic, at least outside of the major cities.

But in summer that all changes, as everyone escapes the baking hot cities for the cooler air of the mountains or the coast.

READ ALSO: The 7 signs that August has arrived in Italy

Not only do motorways become much busier, but many smaller roads, particularly in coastal areas and around holiday hotspots, become completely clogged with traffic.

The increased number of vehicles on the road isn’t just inconvenient: it can also be dangerous, with traffic deaths rising by an estimated seven percent in August.

That’s why the Italian government issues warnings each year advising motorists to avoid peak travel times, and even publishes its own calendar showing when traffic is predicted to be at its worst.

The official forecast, produced as part of the ‘Viabilità Italia’ summer travel plan drawn up by the government, emergency services, and and state road agency ANAS, notes particularly busy dates to avoid.

READ ALSO: How will Italy’s Amalfi Coast traffic limit for tourists work this summer?

The calendar is colour coded, with a ‘yellow’ spot indicating heavy traffic, ‘red’ indicating heavy traffic with ‘possible critical conditions’, and ‘black’ indicating ‘critical’ (i.e., dire) traffic. 

The roads in August are (predictably) set to be most crowded on weekends, the government’s forecast shows, with at least a ‘red’ level warning issued for Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month.

Italy's August traffic calendar warning.
Italy’s August traffic calendar warning. Source: Polizia di Stato

Traffic is anticipated to reach its worst levels on the mornings of Saturday, August 6th and Saturday, August 13th, which have been marked as critical ‘black’ periods.

Unlike in July, Fridays are also consistently a bad time to travel on Italy’s roads in August: ‘red’ warnings are attached to every Friday bar August 19th, which has a slightly lower-level ‘yellow’ warning in the morning (but a ‘red’ warning for the afternoon/evening).

READ ALSO: ‘Expect the unexpected’: What you need to know about driving in Italy

Traffic is expected to remain at broadly normal levels during the working week throughout the month bar the August 15th Ferragosto national holiday, which this year falls on a Monday; and August 31st, which will see a large number of Italians return from holiday (both ‘yellow’ days).

Yellow heavy traffic warnings have also been issued for the mornings of Monday, August 22nd and Monday, August 29th.

To cover the tail end of the holiday period, ANAS has also put out alerts for the first couple of weeks of September.

Motorists can expect to experience heavy traffic from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening on the weekends of September 2nd-4th and 9th-11th, with especially clogged roads (‘red’ warnings) on the morning of Saturday September 3rd and the afternoon of Sunday September 4th.

Generally speaking, congestion is usually seen on roads heading south or towards the coast in early August, while traffic jams are more likely going in the other direction in the first week of September as Italy begins il rientro, or the return to the cities for work and school.

Check the situation on the roads before you set off on motorway company Autostrade per l’Italia’s real-time online map.