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UPDATE: What are the Covid travel rules between Italy and the UK?

The rules for travel between Italy and the UK have changed again. Here's the latest information you need to know before you travel in either direction.

The travel rules between Italy and the UK have changed again.
Here are the latest rules on travel between Italy and the UK. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

This article was last updated on April 6th, 2022.

The rules on travel between Italy and the UK have been updated multiple times over the past few months in response to the changing health situation.

Here’s a summary of what you need to know.

What are the rules for travel from Italy to the UK?

All Covid entry restrictions to the UK were dropped effective from March 18th.

It is now the case that you will no longer need to take any Covid tests or even complete a passenger locator form if you are entering the UK from Italy or any other country.

Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
 
The changes apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers – that means that if you are in Italy and not fully vaccinated, you will no longer have to take pre-departure tests or a day 2 post-arrival test.

The changes mean travel should be as easy as it was before the pandemic began.

Mask wearing for travel into the UK varies: many UK airports and airlines have made it optional to wear a mask while travelling. However, masks are still required on planes if you’re flying into Wales or Scotland.

If in doubt, it’s best to carry one with you, because in any case, you still need them in Italy’s airports.

Travelling from the UK to Italy

While restrictions to enter the UK have been dropped, there are still health measures in place for travel to Italy.

Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

The current rules state that either a Covid vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or negative test result is sufficient for entry to Italy for travellers from any country.

These were the set of rules that came into force on March 1st, which have since been extended until at least the end of April.

Italy also requires arrivals to complete a passenger locator form (download it here and here’s how to fill it out).

As before, the dPLF must be completed by everyone arriving in Italy, by any means of transport, before entering the country. It can also be completed and shown in either paper or digital format.

For those coming from the UK, the current travel restrictions are therefore now the same for non-EU travellers as for those coming from within Europe.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about travel to Italy this spring

The Italian foreign ministry updated its guidance to clarify what counts as “vaccinated” for entry purposes.

According to the Viaggiare Sicuri website, this is either:

  • A completed primary vaccination cycle with an EMA-approved vaccine carried out less than nine months agoor
  • A completed primary vaccination cycle plus booster dose with EMA-approved vaccines, carried out at any time.

Remember that travellers without valid vaccination certificates can enter Italy with either a recovery certificate or a recent negative Covid test.

To be valid for entry, the recovery certificate should show proof from a certified medical provider that the holder has recovered from Covid within the past six months.

Both rapid antigen/lateral flow and PCR/molecular Covid tests are valid for entry into Italy; PCR tests must have been taken in the 72 hour window before arrival in Italy and rapid tests in the 48 hours before arrival.

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

Passengers who fail to present any one of these documents will still be allowed to enter Italy, but will be required to self isolate for five days on arrival and test negative for Covid on day five to exit quarantine.
 
Travel within Italy

Once you’re in Italy, you’ll need to be aware of the various restrictions still in place in order to access various venues and sites.

The Italian government has eased some of its coronavirus containment measures as of April 1st, but its health certificate, known as the ‘green pass’, is still a requirement at many places across Italy.

A tourist shows her Covid-19 certificates for scanning. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

The number of venues and services that require the ‘super green pass’ (or its equivalent in the form of a foreign-issued vaccination or recovery certificate) is reduced from this date.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Do I need a Covid green pass for my trip to Italy?

Some of these spaces will now only require a ‘basic’ green pass – which can also be obtained via a recent negative Covid test result from a pharmacy carried out in the preceding 72 hours (for PCR tests) or 48 hours (for rapid tests); while other venues will dispense with the green pass requirement altogether.

The rules apply to everyone in the country aged over 12.

Access to hotels, outdoor dining at restaurants, local public transport services, shops, banks and hairdressers will no longer require any kind of health certificate from April 1st. Indoor restaurant dining, long-distance public transport services, and outdoor shows and events will require only the basic green pass. 

You can find a complete list of all the places that require a reinforced or basic green pass from April 1st here.

READ ALSO: Where in Italy you still need to show the ‘super green pass’

For more information on the requirements for travel to Italy:

You can also call the Italian coronavirus information line:

  • From Italy: 1500 (freephone number)
  • From abroad: +39 0232008345 , +39 0283905385

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, see the Italian Health Ministry’s website or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

You can keep up with the latest news updates via our homepage or travel news section.

Find more information about Italy’s Covid-19 health restrictions on the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

Member comments

  1. I am currently a resident in Italy and I would like to know if anyone in a similar situation has applied for a tessera sanitaria? Basic tasks such as this always seem like such a complicated task. I look forward to anyone’s response.

  2. Audrey francés
    I have lived in Italy and have had residency for 13 years and had a tessera sanataria card all this time.
    This year I have been told my tessera sanataria card is no longer valid after Brexit although I am 80 years old. The uk government says nothing has changed, but now all I have for my healthcare is a piece of paper.
    Have other expats had this happen to them

  3. New rules for travel between UK and Italy? How about don’t. Travel somewhere with less silly covid restrictions.

  4. I am traveling to Italy from the UK the end of the month and wondered if anyone who has done so recently and can advise if a COVID-19 Rapid Lateral Flow Test (results available within 1 hour) taken at the airport is sufficient or if I need a PCR test? Any advice gratefully received!

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For members

TOURISM

Why Italian resorts are struggling to fill jobs this summer

Italy's tourist season is expected to be back in full swing this year - but will there be enough workers to meet the demand?

Why Italian resorts are struggling to fill jobs this summer

Italy’s tourist numbers are booming, sparking hopes that the industry could see a return to something not far off pre-pandemic levels by the summer.

There’s just one catch: there aren’t nearly enough workers signing up for seasonal jobs this year to supply all that demand.

READ ALSO: Will tourism in Italy return to pre-pandemic levels this year?

“There’s a 20 percent staff shortage, the situation is dramatic,” Fulvio Griffa, president of the Italian tourist operators federation Fiepet Confesercenti, told the Repubblica news daily.

Estimates for how many workers Italy is missing this season range from 70,000 (the figure given by the small and medium enterprise federation Conflavoro PMI) to 300-350,000 (the most recent estimate from Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia, who last month quoted 250,000).

Whatever the exact number is, everyone agrees: it’s a big problem.

READ ALSO: Dining outdoors and hiking: How visitors plan to holiday in Italy this summer

Italy isn’t the only European country facing this issue. France is also short an estimated 300,000 seasonal workers this year. Spain is down 50,000 waiters, and Austria is missing 15,000 hired hands across its food and tourism sectors.

Italy’s economy, however, is particularly dependent on tourism. If the job vacancies can’t be filled and resorts are unable to meet the demand anticipated this summer, the country stands to lose an estimated  €6.5 billion.

Italy's tourism businesses are missing an estimated 20 percent of workers.
Italy’s tourism businesses are missing an estimated 20 percent of workers. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

“After two years of pandemic, it would be a sensational joke to miss out on a summer season that is expected to recover strongly due to the absence of workers,” said Vittorio Messina, president of the Assoturismo Confesercenti tourist association.

Different political factions disagree as to exactly what (and who) is to blame for the lack of interest from applicants.

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

Italy’s tourism minister Massimo Garavaglia, a member of the right wing League party, has singled out the reddito di cittadinanza, or ‘citizen’s income’ social security benefit introduced by the populist Five Star Movement in 2019 for making unemployment preferable to insecure, underpaid seasonal work.

Bernabò Bocca, the president of the hoteliers association Federalberghi, agrees with him – along with large numbers of small business owners.

“What’s going to make an unemployed person come to me for 1,300 euros a month if he can stay sprawled on the beach and live off the damned citizenship income?” complained an anonymous restauranteur interviewed by the Corriere della Sera news daily.

“Before Covid, I had a stack of resumes this high on my desk in April. Now I’m forced to check emails every ten minutes hoping someone will come forward. Nothing like this had ever happened to me.” 

READ ALSO: MAP: The best Italian villages to visit this year

Italy is experiencing a dire shortage of workers this tourist season.
Italy is experiencing a dire shortage of workers this tourist season. Photo: Andrea Pattaro / AFP.

Five Star MPs, however, argue that the focus on the unemployment benefit is a distraction from the real issues of job insecurity and irregular contracts.

There appears to be some merit to that theory. A recent survey of 1,650 seasonal workers found that only 3 percent of the people who didn’t work in the 2021 tourist season opted out due to the reddito di cittadinza.

In fact the majority (75 percent) of respondents who ended up not working over the 2021 season said they had searched for jobs but couldn’t find any openings because the Covid situation had made it too uncertain for companies to hire in advance.

READ ALSO: MAP: Which regions of Italy have the most Blue Flag beaches?

Others said the most of jobs that were advertised were only for a 2-3 month duration, half the length of the season (again, due to Covid uncertainty), making it not worth their while to relocate.

Giancarlo Banchieri, a hotelier who is also president of the Confesercenti business federation, agrees that Covid has been the main factor in pushing workers away from the industry, highlighting “the sense of precariousness that this job has taken on in the last two years: many people have abandoned it for fear of the uncertainty of a sector that has experienced a terrible time.”

The instability brought about by two years of Covid restrictions has pushed many workers away from the tourism sector.
The instability brought about by two years of Covid restrictions has pushed many workers away from the tourism sector. Photo: Andrea Pattaro / AFP.

“I said goodbye to at least seven employees, and none of them are sitting at home on the citizen’s income,” Banchieri told Repubblica. “They have all reinvented themselves elsewhere; some are plumbers, others work in the municipality.”

READ ALSO: OPINION: Mass tourism is back in Italy – but the way we travel is changing

To counteract the problem, Garavaglia has proposed three measures: increasing the numbers of visas available for seasonal workers coming from abroad; allowing people to work in summer jobs while continuing to receive 50 percent of their citizen’s income; and reintroducing a voucher system that allows casual workers to receive the same kinds of welfare and social security benefits as those on more formal contracts.

Whether these will be enough to save Italy’s 2022 tourist season remains to be seen, but at this stage industry operators will take whatever fixes are offered.

“The sector is in such a dire situation that any common sense proposals much be welcomed,” the Federalberghi president Bocca told journalists.

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