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TRAVEL NEWS

How to use Italy’s Covid passenger locator form for travel

Italy has an ongoing requirement to fill out a passenger locator form for travel this spring. Here's what you need to know.

A passenger shows a shows a passenger locator form on his mobile phone at Brussels airport on January 1, 2021.
Despite having recently relaxed its travel restrictions, Italy still arrivals to complete a Passenger Locator Form. Photo by JASPER JACOBS/BELGA/AFP

**Please note that this article is no longer being updated. See all the latest travel news from Italy here.**

Italy has eased many of its pandemic-related travel restrictions since March, abolishing the restricted country of departure lists and ending the requirement for fully vaccinated and boosted passengers to take a test before travel.

However, that doesn’t mean all entry restrictions have been dropped.

Q&A: Your questions about travel to Italy and Covid rules answered

One of the ongoing requirements is for all travellers to fill out a ‘passenger locator form’. But this document continues to cause confusion for passengers, with readers of The Local getting in touch to ask when exactly they’ll need it and how to fill it out.

Here’s a quick look at what you need to know.

Q: Do I still need to fill out a Passenger Locator Form even though Italy relaxed its travel rules?

A: Although Italy’s entry rules have been eased (see more details of Italy’s current travel rules here) the requirement for all arrivals to complete a digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF) is still in place. 

In fact, the guidance says carriers have the right to refuse boarding to any passenger who fails to produce the form, while arriving at the Italian border without it could land you in quarantine for five days: so it’s very important to make sure you have your completed dPLF with you when you arrive.

Q: Are there any exemptions?

A: The form “must be completed by all passengers arriving in Italy, by any means of transport”, the Italian health ministry states.

This is a blanket rule that applies to all arrivals regardless of nationality, residency status, Covid vaccination status, or mode of transportation.

The latest health ministry travel ordinance does state that there is one exemption: for anyone travelling to a location in a foreign country that is less than 60km from their Italian place of residence for less than 48 hours does not require the form to re-enter Italy.

Those travelling a distance of less than 60km to Italy from their foreign place of residence for less than 48 hours are also not required to fill out a form – presumably to simplify things for people living in border towns.

Q: Where do I fill out the form and what information do I need to include?

A: The Italian health ministry instructs passengers to fill out the form online here.

You must then:

  • select ‘Italy’ as the destination country
  • register on the website by creating a personal account with username and password (required only the first time you use the website)
  • confirm the account via the link sent to the email address provided (required only the first time you use the website)
  • complete and send the PLF following the website instructions.

What information you’ll need to include will depend partly on how you’re travelling to Italy.

If you’re flying, you’ll be required to enter specific details of your flight on the form (see an example of the questions for airline passengers below).

You’ll also need to enter your personal information including an ID or passport number, a permanent address, details of the address(es) you’ll be staying at once you arrive in Italy, and contact details including a phone number.

Q: Do I need to print out the completed form?

A: You can show your completed form in either printed or digital format, according to the health ministry’s instructions.

“Once the form has been sent, passengers will receive the PLF in PDF form and as a QR code at the email address entered during registration, which must be shown directly from a smartphone (in digital format) when boarding,” the health ministry states.

“Alternatively, passengers can print a copy of the dPLF to show when boarding,” it says.

“In exceptional cases, namely exclusively the lack of the required technology, passengers may complete a paper-based form.”

Q: What if I’m travelling by train or car?

A: Italy requires all people entering the country to fill out a form, whether they’re arriving by air, sea, or land.

Minors are included in this requirement; their form should be completed by the adult accompanying them, or if they are travelling alone, by their legal guardian.

For those travelling with a service provider, you simply need to provide the name of transportation company.

For passengers entering the country by private vehicle, the form is a little more involved. You will need to provide your car’s registration plate and the name of the Italian border town through which you intend to enter the country. 

A dropdown list of possible entry points is provided; if none of these look right to you, you have the option of selecting ‘Other’ and inputting a different name.

You’re also required to enter your anticipated time of arrival into the form; obviously if you’re travelling by car, you can only make a reasonable estimate.

Q: What if I’m just transiting through Italy?

A: Italy doesn’t require passengers who are merely transiting through its airports to fill out a dPLF.

The EU Digital Passenger Locator Form websites states that passengers who remain within the Transit Area of the airport are NOT required to complete a dPLF. If for any reason one exits the airport, a dPLF will need to be completed.

However, if you decide to leave the airport for any length of time during your layover, you will need to fill out the form.

The website says: “All passengers wishing to enter Italy, via all means of transportation, will be required to complete the digital PLF prior to entering the country”; so it appears that if you intend to transit through Italy by car or train, a dPLF is required.

Q: If Italy is my final destination, do I still need to fill out a dPLF for any other countries I’m transiting through?

A: That depends on both the country and your means of transportation. 

The EU Digital Passenger Locator Form website’s FAQs section says “Travellers travelling by car need to submit a dPLF every time they enter a country that requires submission of dPLF.”

However, the rules vary country by country: France, for example, says that only arrivals coming by plane need to fill out a form.

Drivers likely require a PLF to enter Italy, even if they're just passing through.

Q: How far in advance of my journey can/should I fill out my Italian passenger locator form?

A: The Italian health ministry’s guidance says the dPLF should be completed “before entering national territory”.

It says the form “can be completed at any time (weeks, days) before the trip, but must be sent before boarding and can always be amended until the time of boarding.”

A completed form can be edited at any point before it is sent by logging in to your account and clicking the edit button. 

Depending on the country, some parts of the form will locked and not editable. If you find that to be the case, you ought to be able to delete your form and start over.

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

Member comments

  1. In case it helps, I have a comment on:

    “The EU Digital Passenger Locator Form website’s FAQs section simply says that the form should be completed before departure/embarkation and in the case of a flight, after check in.”

    Unless things have changed, BA won’t let you check in online unless you have uploaded the PLF to their website, i.e. well before check-in. I haven’t had any problems arriving in Italy from the UK having completed the form well in advance of travel.

    Tom

  2. Last Friday we arrived in Rome having filled out our dPLFs and showed them to an airline employee at Heathrow (along with our Australian Government issued vaccination certificates).

    When we got to Rome we got our phones out to show the immigration officer but he just waved us through!

    Presumably they are relying on the airlines to do the check for them.

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For members

CHRISTMAS

Nine things to know if you’re visiting Italy in December

From dazzling Christmas markets to succulent festive meals, December is one of the best months to visit Italy. So, here are some things that you should know if you’re planning on visiting.

Nine things to know if you’re visiting Italy in December

December in Italy is nothing short of magical.

Most cities across the boot light up with twinkling light displays and local life is energised by enchanting Christmas markets, which tend to turn even the most ordinary of urban landscapes into a cheerful wonderland. 

So, if you’re planning on (or, perhaps, just considering) travelling to Italy in December, here are some things that you should know prior to setting off.

No travel restrictions

People who travelled to Italy last December were required to show proof of Covid vaccination, recent recovery from the virus or a negative molecular (PCR) or antigen test result in order to enter the country.

The above mandate expired on May 31st, which means that travel to the bel paese for any reason, including tourism, is no longer tethered to any health requirements.

As for the requirement for arrivals to complete an EU digital passenger locator form (dPLF), that was also scrapped last May.

Face masks required in healthcare settings

The requirement to wear FFP2 face masks on public transport lapsed on Friday, September 30th.

However, Italy’s new government has recently extended the requirement to wear face masks in all healthcare settings and care homes until the end of the year.

So, if you’re planning on paying a visit to a relative or friend who’s currently staying in one of the above structures, you’ll have to wear a mask. 

Anyone refusing to comply with face mask rules can still face fines ranging from a minimum of €400 to a maximum of €1000.

Current quarantine rules 

Italy still requires anyone who tests positive for coronavirus while in the country to self-isolate, with the minimum isolation period currently standing at five days.

In order to exit quarantine, the infected person must be symptomless for at least two days, and must test negative to a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test at the end of that period.

Testing should be carried out at a registered pharmacy or testing centre as the results of home tests are not seen as valid for this purpose.

Should the patient continue to test positive, they must remain in isolation until they get a negative test result. However, the maximum length of the self-isolation period has now been cut to 14 days, down from 21.

National strike on December 2nd

After months riddled with nation-wide demonstrations, travel to, from and across Italy will continue to be disrupted by strikes during the last month of 2022. 

The demonstration that’s currently expected to create the greatest amount of disruption will take place on Friday, December 2nd and it’ll be a 24-hour national strike affecting airline and rail travel as well as local public transport lines.

Staff from Spanish airline Vueling and public transport companies in Udine, Trieste, La Spezia, Naples, Foggia and Bari have already announced that they will take part in the strike.  

At the time of writing, it isn’t yet clear if essential services will be guaranteed and, if so, which ones and at what times.

As always, The Local will keep you abreast of all the latest developments.

Local public holidays 

Italy has three public holidays in December. Those are:

  • December 8th – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  • December 25th – Christmas Day
  • December 26th – St Stephen’s Day (or Boxing Day in English-speaking countries)

As you might have already realised, December 24th (Christmas Eve) and December 31st (New Year’s Eve) are not official public holidays in Italy. However, most local companies do give their staff both days off as a gesture of goodwill. 

It’s worth noting that on all of the above-mentioned days the country will pretty much collectively stop, with all public offices and nearly all shops remaining shut. 

Even transport services are usually very limited on the days in question, so, if you’re planning to visit around those dates, make sure to make all the necessary arrangements well in advance.

Christmas markets 

This Christmas looks set to be Italy’s first in two years without any Covid restrictions.

This means that the country’s traditional Christmas markets, a number of which were cancelled last year due to safety concerns, should be up and running again this December.

Italy’s most popular markets are located in Trentino-Alto Adige, the northern region bordering Switzerland and Austria – Bruneck, Bolzano and Brixen are all well known for their gleeful stalls.

That said, the northern mountain cities don’t claim complete ownership of Italy’s Christmas markets, as Rome, Perugia and Gubbio also have some of the best set-ups in the entire peninsula.

Galleries and museums’ special openings 

Most galleries and museums in the country tend to have special opening hours during the festive season, which means that you might be able to admire artworks by some of the most famous Italian painters and sculptors even on public holidays and as late as 10pm on some days.

For instance, in Venice, Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr and Murano’s Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum) will be open every day (public holidays included) in December, with their doors remaining open to visitors until 9pm on some dates.

As always, you’re advised to check the websites of the museums you’re interested in visiting to know what they’ll offer visitors in December.

Christmas’ culinary wealth 

READ ALSO: Six quirky Italian Christmas traditions you should know about

The quality of Italy’s cuisine is no secret, but the country dishes out some of the best examples of its long culinary tradition over the Christmas holidays.

While the evening meal on Christmas Eve (known as ‘La Vigilia’) tends to be quite frugal, the Christmas Day meal is anything but.

A pasta dish (tortellini, lasagne or baked pasta) is followed by a veal-, ox- or poultry-based second course accompanied by a variety of vegetables.

Finally, the festive meal is finished off with a scrumptious slice (more like, three or four for some) slice of panettone or pandoro.

Prosecco or another variety of sparkling wine is generally used to wash down all of the above.

Extravagant New Year celebrations

READ ALSO: Red pants, smashed plates and bingo: Six reasons Italian New Year is awesome

If you’ve never spent New Year’s Eve in Italy, you might be in for a surprise.

The Italians have a reputation for being a superstitious bunch, and some of their New Year customs can truly startle the uninitiated foreigner. 

Apart from ladies wearing red underwear to fend off evil spirits and people eating lentils by the bucketload to bring wealth and prosperity to their families, some residents, especially in the south, throw crockery out of their windows to show that they’re ready for a new start in the new year.

An alternative tradition – which, to be fair, seems to be slightly more friendly towards passers-by – is crashing pots and pans together right by the front door to frighten away evil spirits.

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