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EXPLAINED: What are the current rules for travel to Italy from the US and Canada?

A new travel ordinance signed by Italy's health minister came into force on Tuesday. Here's what it means for arrivals from the US, Canada, and other countries.

Alitalia jetliners in Rome's Fiumicino airport. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
Alitalia jetliners in Rome's Fiumicino airport. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

Having significantly tightened its international travel rules for arrivals from North America at the end of August, Italy’s Health Ministry has now signed a new travel ordinance implementing minor changes for passengers from certain countries, with things staying the same for most travellers.

The new rules have been in force since Tuesday, October 26th, and will be in place until December 15th.

Here’s a closer look at what they say:

United States, Canada, Japan and Israel:

As of August 31st, passengers from the US, Canada, Japan and Israel have had to show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 plus a negative test result to avoid quarantining on arrival in Italy (previously only one of the two had been required).

This rule remains broadly the same, but the updated ordinance names only the US, Canada and Japan as countries from which passengers may present a recovery certificate in lieu of proof of vaccination.

Passengers travelling from Israel are now included among all other List D countries, meaning only a vaccination certificate showing the holder has undergone a full vaccination cycle for at least 14 days will be accepted as valid.

The Ministry of Health website states that anyone who arrives from the US, Canada, and Japan or has passed through one of these countries in the past 14 days must now present:

  • Either a Covid-19 vaccination certification showing that they have completed a full vaccination cycle for at least 14 days, or a certification showing that they have recovered from Covid-19 within the past 180 days, from their local health authorities.
  • And negative results for a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test taken in the 72 hours before their arrival in Italy.

The Ministry of Health website makes clear that arrivals from all List D countries, including the US, Canada, and Japan are subject to the five-day quarantine rule if they don’t have both proof of vaccination (or in the case of the three aforementioned countries, recovery) and a negative test result.

The website of the Italian embassy in Canada also says it is possible for arrivals from Canada to enter Italy without one of the required documents, but passengers who do so will be subject to a five-day quarantine, at the end of which they must take a test.

Arrivals from all the countries listed above are also required to fill out a passenger locator form.

All other List D countries:

With the new ordinance, a number of countries have been moved from the less-restricted List D to the more-restricted List E. 

Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, and Serbia all appear to have been removed from List D in the latest ordinance, joining the “Rest of World” in List E.

Meanwhile Bahrain, Chile, Kuwait, Rwanda, and Uruguay are new List D appearances, meaning travel is now allowed from these countries for tourism purposes.

Countries currently on Italy’s List D are: Saudi Arabia, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Israel, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland  (including Gibraltar, Isle of Man, of the Channel, British bases on the island of Cyprus) , Republic of Korea, Singapore, United States of America, Ukraine, Uruguay, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.

Anyone who has arrived from or within the past 14 days passed through one of these countries, must in order to avoid quarantining on arrival in Italy present:

  • A Covid-19 vaccination certification showing that they have completed a full vaccination cycle for at least 14 days from their local health authorities.
  • And negative results for a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test taken in the 72 hours before their arrival in Italy (UK arrivals must take their test in the 48 hours before their arrival in Italy, as opposed to 72 hours).

The Ministry of Health makes clear that anyone who arrives in the country without one of these two items may stay, but will be required to quarantine for five days, at the end of which they will need to take a test.

All arrivals from these countries will also need to fill out the passenger locator form.

Other information for travellers arriving from all List D countries

Passengers arriving with a certificate of vaccination must demonstrate that they have been inoculated with a European Medicines Agency (EMA)-approved vaccine. Currently, these are: Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson.

All certificates must be provided in Italian, English, French or Spanish.

Passengers travelling from any List D country who have passed through any List E country in the 14 days prior to arriving in Italy are subject to List E entry rules.

List E country rules

Travel to Italy from List E countries (all countries not included in Lists A, B, C, or D) for tourism purposes is not allowed. Travel from these countries is only permitted for reasons related to work, health, study, absolute urgency, or return to your primary residence.

Entry into Italy from List E countries is allowed for Italian, EU, or Schengen citizens, and their family members, as well as long-term Italian residents and their family members. Individuals who can demonstrate a proven and stable relationship with a partner who is resident in Italy may also travel from a List E country for reunification.

All passengers must take a Covid test before arriving in Italy, self-isolate for 10 days on arrival, and take a Covid test at the end of the isolation period.

The restrictions apply to anyone who has passed through any of these countries in the 14 days before arriving in Italy.

India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Brazil

Due to concerns about the high rates of Covid in these countries, travellers coming from these countries were previously subject to their own specific travel restrictions, with travel only allowed under certain specific circumstances.

With the updated ordinance, however, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Brazil now rejoin all other List E countries.

All passengers must take a Covid test before arriving in Italy, self-isolate for 10 days on arrival, and take a Covid test at the end of the isolation period.

The restrictions apply to anyone who has passed through any of these countries in the 14 days before arriving in Italy.

Member comments

  1. Also noting that this says 48 hours vs 72:
    https://www.esteri.it/mae/resource/doc/2021/08/normativa_covid_30_agosto_eng_471_aggiornato_30_agosto.pdf
    Canada, Japan and the United States: persons travelling to Italy after having transited through or
    stayed in these Countries in the prior 14 days shall be required to compile the digital passenger
    locator form (PLF) and present a green Covid-19 pass issued by the respective local health
    authorities and considered equivalent (vaccination with an EMA-approved vaccine; recovery from
    Covid-19 and completion of the isolation period; negative fast antigen or molecular swab test taken
    within the last 48 hours before entering Italy). Travellers without a green pass shall be subject to the
    same general restrictions provided in list D.

      1. Unless I pay even more to have 24 hour or same day results. Probably safest to do this. Fortunately I can cancel tests with 24 hours prior notice so I think I’ll book the most expensive ones right now and cancel if it turns out 72 hours is the correct information.

        1. For Canadians: I checked the Italian embassy website, which directed me to the four
          Canadian airports that provide antigen testing 24/7. Italy accepts antigen results, so we’re now booked at YVR at $129+GST each. We’ll have results in 15 minutes, four hours before our flight leaves for FRA.
          The moral of this story: these days you can never give yourself too much time to make an international connection. We have five hours between flights at YVR and had planned on a pleasant lunch. Now it’s a pleasant lunch + covid antigen tests.

  2. this is just too much…. the restrictions keep mounting and have reached a point where we just say “the hell with it” and we just cancelled our fall trip to Italy along with our 6 friends!
    we all had been vaccinated but it seems that’s not enough, it’s less restrictive in the USA than in europe! we are tired of having to jump through all the loops to come to Italy….NO MORE!
    Dan Lionello USA

    1. It’s really not that bad and they are really not that stringent. You show them the vaccine card, the negative test and plf form. They really are not hassling you either. My friend landed today and they didn’t even ask for plf form.. typical

    2. I have to say, if you are fully vaccinated, you need only show the authorities – if they ask for it — your full vaccination card. What is so onorous about that – you should carry it with you when you travel anyway. I went to Italy in June on a covid-tested flight and the Italian authorities did not want to see anything related to covid. So, there is no need to become upset about this. Take your trip and have a fabulous time – Italy is amazing!

  3. I travelled from Canada YYZ arriving today, August 31, in Rome. The rapid Antigen test is required 72 hours before arrival in Italy, not 48 hours. A negative test result can be presented digitally or by printout. The same applies for the locator form and your proof of vaccination. All of the screening is done by the airline at check-in and again at the boarding gate. On arrival In Rome you need only deal with passport control. Frustratingly, a significant number of passengers were not aware of the change in requirements for today to include a rapid test for fully vaccinated passengers (myself included) and had to scramble to get a test done in time for the flight at the airport. For those the couldn’t get a test done in time, they were denied boarding. Hopefully the wrinkles are ironed out now that guidelines have been published. Perhaps the next round of changes will be announced in a more timely and clear fashion….

  4. Does Italy accept mixed vaccinations of approved vaccines as ‘fully vaccinated’ to enter the country? ie. Dose 1: AstraZeneca, Dose 2: Moderna. I expect so, but am unable to find it written anywhere on the Government website, nor does it seem to have been addressed here at thelocal.it

    1. Patrick, the link in the article for the Italian Embassy to Canada has the following statement (4th paragraph down): Current legislation does not require that first and second doses must be of the same vaccine.

      I’m taking this to mean that travellers can have mixed doses as long as they are both one of the approved doses for use in Italy.

      Link is here, for reference:
      https://ambottawa.esteri.it/ambasciata_ottawa/en/ambasciata/news/dall_ambasciata/2020/03/focus-coronavirus.html

  5. If I have a connecting flight from Rome to Sicily, will I be required to quarantine in Rome or can I board my domestic flight and quarantine in Sicily?

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TRAVEL NEWS

EU delays passport scan system and €7 travel fee until 2023

Two major changes that were due to come into force in 2022 for travellers entering the EU - an enhanced passport scanning system and the introduction of a €7 visa for tourists - have been delayed for a year.

EU delays passport scan system and €7 travel fee until 2023

Although both the EES and ETIAS schemes are still due to be introduced in the European Commission has pushed back the start dates for both until 2023.

It comes amid a chaotic summer for travel in Europe, with airports struggling with staff shortages and strikes while some crossings from the UK to France have been hit by long delays as extra post-Brexit checks are performed during the peak holiday season. 

The two separate changes to travel in the EU and Schengen zone were originally due to come into effect in 2020, but were delayed because of the pandemic. Now the EES system is expected to come into effect in May 2023, while ETIAS will come into effect in November 2023. 

The EES – Entry and Exit System – is essentially enhanced passport scanning at the EU’s borders and means passports will not only be checked for ID and security, but also for entry and exit dates, in effect tightening up enforcement of the ’90 day rule’ that limits the amount of time non-EU citizens can spend in the Bloc without having a visa.

It will not affect non-EU citizens who live in an EU country with a residency permit or visa.

There have been concerns that the longer checks will make transiting the EU’s external borders slower, a particular problem at the UK port of Dover, where the infrastructure is already struggling to cope with enhanced post-Brexit checks of people travelling to France.

You can read a full explanation of EES, what it is and who is affects HERE.

The ETIAS system will apply to all non-EU visitors to an EU country – eg tourists, second-home owners, those making family visits and people doing short-term work.

It will involve visitors registering in advance for a visa and paying a €7 fee. The visa will be valid for three years and can be used for multiple trips – essentially the system is very similar to the ESTA visa required for visitors to the USA. 

Residents of an EU country who have a residency card or visa will not need one.

You can read the full details on ETIAS, how it works and who it affects HERE.

Both systems will apply only to people who do not have citizenship of an EU country – for example Brits, Americans, Australians and Canadians – and will be used only at external EU/Schengen borders, so it won’t be required when travelling between France and Germany, for example. 

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