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TRAVEL NEWS

TRAVEL: Italy to ease Covid rules for non-EU arrivals on March 1st

Italy will no longer require travellers to show both proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid and a negative test result, the health minister said on Tuesday.

A passenger shows an EU health pass on a mobile phone
Italy's travel rules will b simplified for non-EU arrivals from next month. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

“Starting from March 1st, for arrivals from all non-European countries, the same rules already established for European countries will be in force,” wrote Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza on his Facebook page.

He said either a vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or negative test result would be sufficient for entry to Italy from that date.

The change means arrivals from non-EU countries from February will no longer need to show both proof of vaccination or recent recovery plus a negative test result, as is currently the case.

It also appears to mean the removal of the requirement for unvaccinated passengers to quarantine for five days on arrival, and the lifting of restrictions on non-essential travel from ‘list E’ countries.

Speranza signed an ordinance on Tuesday night bringing the changes into law, according to Italian media reports, however the official text was not immediately available.

READ ALSO: How Italy has updated its Covid health pass rules for visitors

Speranza’s announcement came shortly after a recommendation on Tuesday from the EU council, made up of member states, that all countries “should lift the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU for people vaccinated with an EU or WHO approved vaccine, provided they have received the last dose of the primary vaccination cycle at least 14 days ago and no more than 270 days prior to arrival, or have received a booster dose.”

Separately to the requirements for travel, Italy has recently expanded the use of its domestic ‘green pass’ proving vaccination, testing or recovery.

Italy operates a two-tiered health certificate system, meaning proof of vaccination or recovery (not a negative test result) is currently needed for access to everything from hotels and restaurants to public transport under rules set to stay in force until at least March 31st.

READ ALSO: Where you now need to show a Covid green pass in Italy

Travellers from any other European member state can show their country’s version of the green pass, or health pass – which is recognised on par with Italy’s – to gain access to all venues where it is required.

Italy also recently announced special exceptions for some non-EU tourists meaning they may not have to show the same proof of vaccination as residents.

The Italian health ministry is set to review its other travel restrictions for arrivals by March 15th.

This article will be updated when more details become available.

For further details about Italy’s current Covid-19 rules for travellers please see the Italian health ministry website (available in English).

Find all the latest Italian travel news updates from The Local here.

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COVID-19 RULES

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

It will still be obligatory for passengers to wear masks on flights to Italy until mid-June, despite the end of the EU-wide requirement on Monday, May 16th, the Italian government has confirmed.

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

The Italian government reiterated on Friday that its current mask-wearing rules remain in place until June 15th, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This means the mask mandate will still apply to all air passengers travelling to or from Italy, despite the end of an EU-wide requirement to wear masks on flights and at airports across the bloc from Monday.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

National regulations take precedence, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed when announcing the end of the EU rules.

“Wearing face masks at airports and inflight should be aligned with national measures on wearing masks in public transport and transport hubs,” they said in a joint statement published on May 11th.

READ ALSO: Why are so many Italians still wearing face masks in shops?

“If either the departure or destination States require the wearing of face masks on public transport, aircraft operators should require passengers and crew to comply with those requirements inflight, beyond 16 May 2022.

“Further, as of 16 May 2022, aircraft operators, during their pre-flight communications as well as during the flight, should continue to encourage their passengers and crew members to wear face masks during the flight as well as in the airport, even when wearing a face mask is not required”.

The Spanish government also said on Thursday that air passengers would have to continue wearing face masks on planes.

Italy’s current rules specify that higher-grade FFP2 masks should be worn on all forms of public transport, including buses, trams, regional and high-speed trains, ferries, and planes.

Though rules were eased in some settings from May 1st, masks also remain a requirement until June 15th at Italy’s cinemas and theatres, hospitals and care homes, indoor sporting event and concert venues, schools and universities.

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