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COVID-19 RULES

UPDATE: How Italy’s Covid green pass rules change for tourists in April

Italy’s government has announced it will lift all Covid-19 health restrictions by early summer, with some set to end as soon as April 1st. What does this mean if you're travelling to Italy?

UPDATE: How Italy’s Covid green pass rules change for tourists in April
Italy plans to ease its 'green pass' rules for tourists are set to change at hotels and restaurants. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP

As Italy prepares, in the words of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, to gradually “eliminate all the restrictions that have limited our behaviour”, the text of the government’s latest decree has now confirmed which rules will be eased as of April 1st.

TIMELINE: Where and when will Italy relax its Covid rules?

The Italian government published the long-awaited final text (see it here, in Italian) on Friday, more than a week after it announced the document’s approval.

Italian media reports based on a draft of the decree had stated that some rules would be lifted sooner for international tourists than for residents. But the publication of the decree confirmed that all of April’s rule changes will apply to residents and tourists alike.

Here are the rule changes you should know about if you’ll be travelling in Italy from April 1st:

Bars and restaurants

As of April 1st, proof of a negative Covid test result will be enough for entry to indoor bars and restaurants.

Since January, entry to many venues, including bars and restaurants, has been limited only to those who can show a valid ‘super’ green pass – which is issued based on proof of vaccination against or recovery from Covid-19, but not via testing.

The change in rules opens up these venues to people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 as long as they test negative.

Proof of a negative test result must be shown via a valid green pass base, or ‘basic’ green pass – the digital health certificate released after obtaining a test result from a certificated provider in Italy (such as a pharmacy or clinic).

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

However, if you’re in Italy for a longer stay bear in mind that you will need to be tested every couple of days to retain access to a valid green pass.

Passes issued based on the results of PCR tests are valid for 72 hours (from the time of testing). For rapid tests, the validity period is 48 hours.

Hotels

From April 1st, visitors staying in hotels and B&Bs will also be able to access restaurants, bars and dining rooms located in their accommodation without any type of green pass.

Public transport

The health pass requirements for accessing long-distance public transport will also be downgraded, with only a basic green pass needed (rather than a ‘super’ green pass as is currently the case).

This applies to domestic flights, ferries, high-speed and intercity trains and coaches.

The ‘super’ green pass will remain mandatory on local or regional public transport (such as city buses and trams) until May 1st.

Until the same date, the use of Ffp2 face masks will remain mandatory on all means of public transportation; from trains and ferries to taxis and ski lifts.

Stadiums and theatres

The basic green pass (see above) will be adequate for “public participation in shows open to the public, as well as in sporting events and competitions which take place outdoors”, reads the decree text. 

In other words, proof of a negative test result will now be accepted in order to access stadiums, concerts and open-air theatre performances or cinema screenings.

For indoor venues, the ‘super’ green pass remains a requirement (proof of vaccination against or recovery from Covid-19, but not via testing).

Green pass requirements are then expected to be eased further from May 1st.

Masks

Italy’s existing requirement to wear a mask in all indoor and some outdoor public areas will remain in place for everyone in the country until May 1st.

Until the same date, the use of Ffp2 face masks will remain mandatory on all means of transport (including on ski lifts and in taxis) and at cinemas, theatres and many other venues.

The plan for easing Italy’s domestic restrictions does not affect the rules for international arrivals, which were last updated at the beginning of March.

The Local will continue to publish further details about the new decree as they become available.

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

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COVID-19 RULES

Reader question: What are Italy’s Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Italy's quarantine rules have changed so many times over the past couple of years, it can be hard to keep track. Here's the latest information on when and how visitors need to self-isolate.

Reader question: What are Italy's Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Question: “One of your recent articles says you can exit quarantine by testing negative for the coronavirus. But you can also exit quarantine by obtaining a certificate of recovery from Covid-19… true?”

Unfortunately, official proof of having recovered from Covid-19 won’t get you out of the requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid while visiting Italy – though it can shorten your quarantine period.

The health ministry’s current rules state that anyone who tests positive while in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days: that’s if the person in question is fully vaccinated and boosted, or has completed their primary vaccination cycle, or was certified as being recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

That period is extended to 10 days for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted, or those who recovered from Covid or completed their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago.

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, which can persist for some time after the infection is over).

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

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.

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

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days, at which point they will be automatically released.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative in order to enter its borders, as long as they are fully boosted or were recently vaccinated/ have recently recovered from Covid.

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

Some countries (including the US), however, do require people travelling from Italy to test negative before their departure – which means visitors at the tail end of their journey could be hit with the unpleasant surprise of finding out they need to quarantine for another week in Italy instead of heading home as planned.

It’s because of this rule that a number of The Local’s readers told us they wouldn’t be coming on holiday to Italy this summer, and intend to postpone for another year.

If you are planning on visiting Italy from a country that requires you to test negative for Covid prior to re-entry, it’s a good idea to consider what you would do and where you would go in the unlikely event you unexpectedly test positive.

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 updates via our homepage or Italian travel news section.

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