Reader question: What are the quarantine rules for unvaccinated children travelling to Italy?

The Italian government has announced a change to the rules on travel from the US, Canada, Israel and Japan. The entry requirements are now stricter for adult passengers - but do they also apply to children? Here's what we know so far.

Photo: Luis ACOSTA / AFP
Photo: Luis ACOSTA / AFP

Question: Following the changes to the rules on travel to Italy from the US, do kids who aren’t vaccinated have to quarantine on arrival or are they exempt?

Under revised entry rules, the Italian health ministry states that anyone entering Italy from the United States, Canada, Israel, or Japan or who 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.

Passengers arriving in Italy without both required documents will need to undergo a five-day quarantine, the Health Ministry confirmed to The Local.

However, as under-12s can’t be vaccinated in either Italy or the US, several readers have contacted The Local in recent days to ask for clarification on the requirements for children travelling with adults who have the required proof of Covid vaccination or recovery.

READ ALSO: Q&A: Answers to your questions about Italy’s new travel rules

Some families are wondering whether or not their children will have to quarantine during their long-awaited Italian vacation, while others who live in Italy and are currently visiting relatives in the US say they are concerned about what this means for the return to school in Italy in mid-September.

According to the Italian tourism board: “Persons under the age of 18 are exempted from the obligation of isolation (where applicable) only if they are accompanied by an adult (parent or other companion) in possession of a Covid green certificate (green pass).”

Meanwhile, children under six years of age are exempted from taking a pre-departure Covid test to enter Italy, according to the latest guidance from the Italian embassy in Washington. All children above this age must take the test, whether they are vaccinated or not.

Children under the age of 12 in Italy are also not required to have the ‘certificazione verde or ‘green pass’, which since August 6th has been required to enter many cultural and leisure venues across Italy, and since September 1st has been required to access long-distance public transport, including interregional trains and domestic flights.

Please check our homepage or travel news section for the latest updates.

Member comments

  1. Why is Italy’s rules on Under 12s different to most other member states? In most others, anyone under 12 is exempted. In Italy only under 6’s are exempted.

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Italy lifts mask mandate for private sector workers

Masks will no longer be required in the workplace but Italian companies will have the right to impose restrictions for employees deemed "at risk".

Italy lifts mask mandate for private sector workers

Representatives from the Italian Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Health and all major national unions collectively signed off on Thursday a new “shared protocol” (protocollo condiviso) for the implementation of anti-Covid measures in private workplaces. 

Although the full text of the bill will only be made available to the public sometime next week, portions of the document have already been released to the media, thus disclosing the government’s next steps in the fight against the virus.

The most relevant update concerns face masks, which will no longer be mandatory in private workplaces. 

However, the text specifies, FFP2 face masks remain “an important protective item aimed at safeguarding workers’ health”. As such, employers will have the right to autonomously impose the use of face coverings on categories of workers considered “at risk”.

READ ALSO: Italy’s transport mask rule extended to September as Covid rate rises

Notably, face coverings may remain mandatory for those working in “indoor settings shared by multiple employees” or even in “outdoor settings where social distancing may not be practicable”. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions (soggetti fragili) may also be subject to such rules, which, it is worth reminding, are left to the employer’s discretion. 

Alongside mask-related restrictions, employers will also have the right to have their staff undergo temperature checks prior to entering the workplace. In such cases, anyone with a body temperature higher than 37.5C will be denied access to the workplace and will be asked to temporarily self-isolate pending further indications from their own doctor.

In line with previous measures, companies will be required to continue supplying sanitising products free of charge and regulate access to common areas (canteens, smoking areas, etc.) so as to avoid gatherings.

Additionally, employers will be advised to keep incentivising smart working (lavoro agile), as it has proved to be “a valuable tool to curb infection, especially for at-risk individuals”.

Provided that the country’s infection curve registers no significant changes, the updated protocol will remain in place until October 31st, when it will yet again be reviewed by the relevant governmental and social parties. 

With the latest round of measures, Italy has now scrapped all Covid-related health measures, except the requirement to wear face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings, and self-isolation provisions for those testing positive. 

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

Italy’s infection curve has been rising significantly since the beginning of June. From June 1st to June 14th, Covid’s R (spreading rate) rate rose back over 1 for the first time since April 8th. Also, from June 17th to June 23rd, the virus’s incidence rate was 504 cases every 100,000 residents, up by 62 per cent on the previous week.

According to Claudio Mastroianni, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Sapienza University of Rome, “with 25 per cent of daily Covid swabs coming back positive and a R rate over 1, the infection curve will likely rise at least until mid-July”.

However, albeit acknowledging the rising number of positive cases, Deputy Health Minister Andrea Costa has so far categorically excluded the possibility of re-introducing lapsed Covid measures, saying that it’ll be a “restriction-free summer”.