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COVID-19 RULES

TIMELINE: When will Italy ease its coronavirus restrictions?

As Italy's vaccination rate rises and its health situation continues to improve, the country has started putting in place a roadmap for lifting its Covid-19 restrictions.

A man and a woman walk in a street of Ventimiglia on August 05, 2020.
Italy is preparing a roadmap for easing its coronavirus restrictions. Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP

As several countries across Europe have recently announced the end of many Covid-19 health measures, from mask mandates to vaccine passes, Italy’s government has also begun preparing a timeline for easing its own restrictions.

After weeks of speculation and uncertainty, Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Tuesday confirmed the end of the state of emergency and the lifting of certain rules from March 31st.

Separately, the Italian government also announced this week that restrictions on travel from non-EU countries will also be eased.

Here are the key dates to be aware of for changes to the rules, both within Italy and when crossing the border:

March 1st

From March 1st, Italy will allow all fully-vaccinated or recently-recovered travellers from non-EU countries to enter the country without the additional need for a negative Covid test, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced on Tuesday.

Any of a vaccination certificate, certificate of recovery or a negative test result will allow extra-EU arrivals entry into Italy without any quarantine requirement – so unvaccinated travellers and those not recovered from Covid-19 will be able to enter the country with just proof of a negative test.

This follows Italy’s introduction of the same rule for EU arrivals on February 1st.

EXPLAINED: How Italy’s travel rules change in March

Outdoor dining in Italian restaurants currently requires proof of vaccination or recent recovery from Covid. Photo: Andrea Pattaro/AFP

Passengers can present certificates of recovery, vaccination or testing in digital or paper format.

You also still need to complete a digital passenger locator form (dPLF) – find the instructions and download link here.

See further details of the upcoming changes to the travel restrictions here.

March 10th

From March 10th, it will reportedly once again be possible to consume food and drink in cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports stadiums in Italy, following a unanimous vote by the Italian parliament’s Social Affairs Commission on February 17th.

Consumption of food and drink in these venues had been banned and their bars and food counters closed since Christmas, when the rapid spread of the Omicron variant prompted the government to issue a series of emergency decrees tightening Italy’s health restrictions.

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

March 10th is also the date from which people will be allowed to visit their family members in hospital throughout Italy for 45 minutes per day, including in intensive care units, multiple Italian news outlets have reported.

Those who are fully vaccinated and boosted will be able to access health facilities to visit their relatives without any further requirements, while people who haven’t received a booster shot will need a negative test to enter.

March 31st

This is the date when Italy’s current state of emergency or stato di emergenza is next set to expire – and this time, it’s for good.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Tuesday that Italy’s emergency status would not be extended beyond this date.

“The epidemiological situation is greatly improving thanks to the success of the vaccine campaign, and this gives us room to remove the remaining restrictions on people and companies,” Draghi told a business conference in Florence on Wednesday.

Italy’s state of emergency, first declared on January 31st, 2020 as the first cases of coronavirus were detected in Rome, is the condition which has allowed the Italian government to bring in emergency measures by decree over the past two years.

By March 31st, 2022, following a series of extensions, Italy’s state of emergency will have been in place for 26 months – two months longer than the maximum period theoretically allowed under Italian law.

Removing the state of emergency doesn’t automatically mean that all current restrictions will be immediately dropped; however Draghi did announce on Wednesday the government’s intention to gradually remove the obligation to show proof of vaccination or recovery at many venues, without providing any specific dates.

April 1st

From April 1st, Draghi confirmed at Wednesday’s conference, Italy’s four-tiered colour coded system of Covid restrictions will be abolished altogether.

The outdoor mask mandate, school contact quarantine rules and the requirement to wear high-grade FFP2 masks in classrooms will also be lifted in April, he said, without giving specific dates.

Italian news outlets including Corriere della Sera suggest that April 1st is the date on which the requirement to show a ‘super green pass‘ – proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 – while dining outdoors at cafes and restaurants and to access outdoor sports facilities and swimming pools could be removed.

Currently, proof of recovery or vaccination from Covid (via an Italian ‘super green pass’ for residents of Italy or foreign-issued certificates for tourists) is required to dine both indoors and outdoors at bars and restaurants, as well as to access all public transport, hotels, cinemas, sports centres, and most other services and leisure venues in Italy.

READ ALSO: How long will Italy keep its Covid green pass system in place?

As things stand, this date appears to be purely speculative; the government has not yet provided any firm timeline for the lifting of green pass restrictions.

Draghi on Tuesday said only that the government would “gradually put an end to the super green pass requirement, starting with open air activities including fairs, sport, celebrations, and shows.”

June 15th

This is the date by which Italy’s vaccine mandate for over-50s is currently due to expire.

Anyone in Italy aged 50 and up, and anyone due to turn 50 by June 15th, is currently required to get vaccinated, with those who refuse facing a one-time €100 fine to be taken automatically by Italy’s Revenue Collections Agency (L’Agenzia delle entrate). 

As of February 15th, over-50s who work must also produce a ‘super green pass’ showing proof of having been vaccinated within the past six months or having received a booster dose in order to enter their workplace – those caught without one face fines of up to €1,500.

As things stand, this requirement is due to be lifted on June 15th; however it’s very possible that the mandate will be extended closer to the time.

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

Member comments

  1. I’m a New Zealander waiting to fly out 2 March for Venice. Sadly, we are still shown as needing a PCR test. Italy has relaxed the rules for “some” non-EU people.

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COVID-19 RULES

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

Italy has lifted almost all of its pandemic-related health restrictions, but there are still some rules to be aware of.

Italian police officer on patrol in Rome.
Police patrols have been stepped up in Italy in recent weeks as stricter Covid rules come in. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto

After years of frequently changing health measures in Italy, it can be hard to keep up with exactly what rules are in place.

For the first time in a long time, Italy now has almost no Covid restrictions in place and the rules are not expected to change in the coming weeks.

READ ALSO: Italy to keep quarantine rules in place as Covid cases rise

But, as the Italian health ministry remains cautious about managing the pandemic, there are still a couple of rules you’ll need to be aware of.

If you’re planning to visit Italy soon, here’s what to expect.

Travel to and within Italy

Travel to Italy for any reason, including tourism, is currently allowed from all countries.

As of June 1st, Italy has scrapped the requirement to show proof of coronavirus vaccination, recent recovery or a negative test result in order to enter the country.

This was the last remaining Covid-related rule in place for travellers to Italy, after the requirement for arrivals to complete an EU digital passenger locator form (dPLF) was lifted on May 1st.

Masks

Italy’s government on June 15th lifted its mask mandate for almost all public places.

However, higher-grade FFP2 masks remain a requirement on all forms of public transport, except for flights (both domestic and international) under rules which will stay in place until at least the end of September.

Masks also remain obligatory in hospitals, care homes and all other types of healthcare facilities.

Anyone refusing to comply with the rules can still face a fine of 400 euros.

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

Though it’s no longer a requirement, the government continues to advise people to wear masks in all crowded areas, including outdoors.

Private businesses and individual venues, including galleries and museums, may also impose their own mask mandates. 

Mask rules have been eased in Italy except for on public transport – though they remain recommended in crowded places. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

Quarantine rules

Italy still requires anyone who tests positive for coronavirus while in the country to isolate for at least one week.

Following public debate over whether the isolation rule should now the scrapped, Italy’s health minister confirmed in late June that he has no intention of changing it anytime soon.

The health ministry’s existing rules state that anyone who tests positive while in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days – if they’re fully vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid.

For anyone who is not classed as fully vaccinated or recently recovered, the isolation period is extended to 10 days.

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days in order to exit quarantine (with the exception of symptoms relating to a lost sense of taste or smell).

Reader question: How do Italy’s Covid quarantine rules work for travellers?

The patient must also test negative for the virus via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test on the final day of the quarantine in order to be allowed out.

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days.

Read more about getting tested while in Italy in a separate article here.

Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP

Green passes

Italy no longer requires people to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a recent negative test result under the ‘green pass’ system which was in place last summer.

That means you’ll no longer need to show any form of health certificate in order to eat in a restaurant, visit museums, stay in a hotel, or use public transport.
 
However, if you end up visiting a hospital you will need to show proof of vaccination or recovery, or of a negative test result within the past 48 hours.
 
You won’t need an Italian green pass if you’re just visiting; Italy recognises proof of vaccination or recovery issued abroad as equivalent, providing it meets certain requirements.

Other restrictions

Italy no longer has any restrictions in place on business opening times or capacity.

Within Italy, there are no restrictions on travel and movement between regions under current rules set by the national government, though local authorities can impose their own measures at any time.

Note that local authorities and individual businesses in Italy can still set different rules than those at the national level, meaning certain rules may continue to vary from one place to another.

Italy’s health authorities continue to recommend precautions including social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

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.

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