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

As Italy continues to ease Covid restrictions, readers have got in touch with The Local to ask what they need to know about planning a trip to Italy. Here are your travel questions answered.

Q&A: Your questions about travel to Italy and Covid rules answered
Travel to Italy is opening up again, which has drawn a lot of questions about the rules. Here's what you need to know. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

This article was last updated on May 31st, 2022.

Travel to Italy and within the country has changed multiple times over the past two years.

Now, as the country has relaxed most of its restrictions and is opening up to international tourism, we have been receiving dozens of questions from readers of The Local about visiting Italy and what that entails.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What are the latest rules for travel to Italy from the US and Canada?

Below are further details of the Italian rules for travellers, and answers to the specific questions readers have asked most frequently about travel to Italy in the coming weeks and months, based on the Italian government’s latest decree and current advice from the health ministry.

Q:  What are the current entry requirements?

A: As of June 1st, Italy no longer requires arrivals to provide proof of vaccination, recovery, or a recent negative test result, following a press release from the ministry of health confirming that the requirement would not be extended beyond its expiry date of May 31st.

This means that from the start of June, travellers do not require any Covid-related documentation to enter the country.

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

Your travel to Italy questions answered. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Q: Do I still need to complete a passenger locator form when travelling to Italy?

A: No. This rule was abolished on May 1st.

Covid rules within Italy:

Q: What is Italy’s Covid ‘green pass’ and do I need to obtain one?

A: Until May 1st, Italy’s digital health certificate, known as the ‘green pass’, was required to access a large number of venues and facilities.

Since the start of May, the green pass (which can be obtained through proof of vaccination/recovery/a negative test result) has been almost entirely abolished, and remains in use only in hospitals and residential care homes.

That means that international visitors to Italy do not need to present an Italian green pass or its equivalent in the form of a foreign-issued vaccination or recovery certificate to enter any venue (apart from hospitals or care homes).

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

Visitors walk past a bed of tulips in the garden of the Pralormo Castle in Pralormo, near Turin. Spring has arrived in Italy. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Q: I had my booster shot more than six months ago. Will my vaccination certificate be recognised in Italy?

A: Yes. Although proof of vaccination (or recent recovery from Covid) is now only required in Italy to enter hospitals and care homes, so you’re unlikely to need it, the Ministry of Health website says that a booster shot after a primary vaccination cycle is accepted without the need for re-vaccination.

Italy’s green place is still in place for some weeks yet. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

Q: Are there any restrictions on unvaccinated travellers to Italy now?

A: Almost none. As mentioned above, travellers no longer need any kind of Covid documentation to enter the country.

Once in Italy, a valid vaccination or recovery certificate is required by law only to gain access to hospitals and care homes.

Q: What are the restrictions on travel within Italy, and on public transport?

A: Earlier in the pandemic, Italy placed various restrictions on interregional travel – but all such rules have now been dropped.

Travel within Italy is therefore unrestricted and no health pass of any kind is now required on public transport.

However, a high-grade Ffp2 face mask is currently required on all local and long-distance public transport in Italy until at least June 15th, and the requirement could be extended beyond this date.

Restrictions are still in place for long-distance public transport (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)

Q: Does Italy still have a mask mandate in place?

A: In some indoor public places, yes, until at least June 15th.

Though Italy’s mask mandate was mostly scrapped on May 1st, the requirement to wear a high-grade Ffp2 mask remains in place for all local and long-distance public transport and for indoor entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, live music events, and indoor sports events and competitions.

The health ministry has confirmed that for entertainment venues listed above, the requirement will be dropped from June 15th. Whether masks will continue to be required on public transport from June 15th is currently still in discussion.

Schools and health and social care environments continue to require masks, but in this case lower-grade surgical masks are accepted.

Although face masks are no longer required by law in other venues, local authorities and individual businesses can (and often do) impose their own, stricter rules – so it’s wise to have a mask readily available at all times, even if you’re not wearing it.

READ ALSO: Where do you still need to wear a mask in Italy from May 1st?

Q: I have a disability that prevents me from wearing a mask. Will I be exempt from the mask mandate in Italy?

A: Yes. According to the Viaggiare Sicuri website, if you have an illness or disability incompatible with wearing a mask you do not have to adhere to the mask-wearing rules in force.

Under rules first introduced in 2020, you may be required to present a valid medical certificate proving your exemption on health grounds in the event of a police check.

The mask exemption also extends to children under six years of age and anyone doing sports.

Q: Is the Italian government likely to change any of the rules before summer?

A: While the Italian government could announce changes if the health situation develops significantly, it is unlikely to revoke the recent entry rules relaxation any time in the near future.

While it looks unlikely, the Local will continue to follow updates closely and report on any changes to the rules.

Q: How do I get tested for Covid-19 in Italy?

A:  Getting a rapid antigen or PCR test in Italy is relatively straightforward – whether you need to get tested because you have symptoms or in order to travel on to another country.

A large number of pharmacies in Italy provide rapid testing services; look out for signs saying ‘test Covid-19’ in the window. 

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

If you need a PCR test you may have to book one at a specialist Covid testing centre, a medical lab, health centre or doctor’s office.

Once you receive your negative result (the test can not be a home test but must be administered by the pharmacy or lab itself), the pharmacy will issue you with a certificate that contains details of the test result and the time it was taken. In Italy this is known as a ‘basic green pass’ or green pass base, and comes with a QR code.

You can find detailed guidance on getting a Covid test as a visitor to Italy here.

Q: What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 while I’m in Italy?

A: Firstly, if you suspect you may have Covid-19, you need to minimise your contact with anyone else.

The Italian health ministry says you should isolate yourself where you’re staying and call a doctor, Italy’s nationwide Covid hotline (1500), or the regional helpline where you are (full list here) for assistance.

READ ALSO: The essential Italian phrases you need to know for getting tested and vaccinated

They will help you arrange an emergency test. Do not go to a medical centre or pharmacy in the meantime.

If you are positive following the test (either molecular or antigen), you will need to isolate for at least ten days from the first positive swab – of which the last three are symptom-free (excluding loss of taste and smell).

According to a decree passed on March 24th, the isolation period is reduced to seven days if you have had a booster shot or if you recovered from Covid or completed the primary vaccination cycle less than 120 days ago (four months).

You must show proof of a negative test to end isolation. If you are still positive after a molecular or antigen test and have had no symptoms for at least seven days (except loss of taste or sense of smell), you can end isolation after 21 days.

Q: Are there any regional variations in the travel rules?

A: Individual regions in Italy may introduce stricter measures, depending on the health situation of the area.

It’s recommended to check any additional rules before travel – you can see a full list of the regional websites for further information here.

For more information on the requirements for travel to Italy:

You can also call the Italian coronavirus information line:

  • From Italy: 1500 (toll-free number)
  • From abroad: +39 0232008345 , +39 0283905385

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.

Member comments

  1. Could you please be more specific about the unvaccinated and those who only have 2 doses more than 6 months ago? I’ve seen that they need to quarantine 5 days, but I’m not sure now.

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How will Friday’s strike affect air travel in Italy?

Airline passengers travelling to or from Italy can expect to face disruption on Friday, March 17th, as a nationwide strike is set to affect airports including Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino.

How will Friday’s strike affect air travel in Italy?

People travelling to and from Italy can expect delays or cancellations on Friday, March 17th due to a nationwide strike involving airport handling and security staff. 

The demonstration was called by Italian unions earlier this month in protest against staff shortages, precarious work contracts and “gruelling shifts”.

According to the latest Italian media reports, as many as 100,000 passengers might have their travel plans disrupted by Friday’s walkout. 

As is often the case with transport strikes in Italy though, the overall impact of the demonstration will vary greatly from airport to airport.

READ ALSO: Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this spring

Security and handling staff at Milan’s Linate Airport will strike for 24 hours, which may result in significant delays and queues for passengers checking in or collecting their luggage. 

Check-in desks

Friday’s strike may result in delays and queues for passengers checking in or collecting their luggage. Photo by Andre PAIN / AFP

Aircraft maintenance staff at Rome’s Fiumicino will strike from 1pm to 5pm, with flight departure times likely to be affected. 

Besides Rome and Milan, baggage handlers at Pisa’s Galileo Galilei Airport will strike from 10am to 2pm, as will ground services staff at the Vincenzo Bellini Airport in Catania.

Finally, staff at Air Dolomiti, a subsidiary of Lufthansa operating routes from Germany to 13 different Italian destinations, will strike from 1pm to 5pm.

At the time of writing, there were no details as to how Friday’s demonstration might affect other airports around the country. 

Current industry agreements however mean a number of flights will be guaranteed to operate during the day. 

READ ALSO: Should you travel in Italy when there’s a strike on?

According to Italian civil aviation authority ENAC, all flights departing between 7am and 10am and between 6pm and 9pm will operate as scheduled. 

Intercontinental flights, including those with layovers at Italian airports, will not be affected by the strike. 

Routes between Italy’s mainland and islands (Sicily and Sardinia) deemed ‘essential’ will be guaranteed, Enac confirmed.

A full list of guaranteed services is available on ENAC’s website

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.