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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.

Member comments

  1. It is still not clear if travellers from UK will still need a negative antigen test within 24 hours of arrival. Can you please clarify. Thank you.

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COVID-19 RULES

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”.

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