Italy extends ‘Covid-free’ flights to Canada, Japan and the UAE

Italy extends 'Covid-free' flights to Canada, Japan and the UAE
Photo: Piero Cruciatti/AFP
Under a raft of new travel measures that come into force from Sunday, Italy will extend the availability of so-called "Covid-free" flights from more countries.

Taking these flights allows passengers to skip quarantine on arrival in Italy, providing they test negative for coronavirus at both ends of the journey.

Such flights are currently only available from the US, but routes will soon be added between Italy and Canada, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, according to a health ministry ordinance published on Friday.

The cities of Naples and Venice will also be served by such flights, in addition to Rome and Milan.

However the government on Friday has not yet confirmed whether it plans to drop the current restrictions on entering Italy from these countries for non-essential reasons, including for tourism.

READ ALSO: Who can travel to Italy right now?

No further details of flight availability were published at the time of the announcement.

The extension of Covid-tested flights was announced as part of a package of rule changes aimed at enticing tourists from countries with higher vaccinaton rates.

Italy’s health ministry also said it was scrapping quarantine requirements for visitors from the European Union, Britain and Israel who can show that they have tested negative for coronavirus.

How do ‘Covid-tested’ flights work?

The US-Italy flights currently in operation are only open to those with an essential reason for travel.

To be permitted on the flight, passengers must test negative in a rapid antigen test for coronavirus no more than 48 hours before boarding and they must get tested again immediately on arrival.

Those wishing to travel must also fill in a digital location form before boarding, the Digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF).

After completion of this document, passengers receive an email with a QR code, which must be given at the check-in desk in order to be allowed on the flight.

Also during check-in, travellers must provide a completed self-declaration form, specific just to these Covid-tested flights, which states why you are entering Italy from abroad.

There’s more paperwork still. Upon landing in Italy, travellers must present another self-declaration form to the police. Again, this relates to Covid-tested flights only.

Who is allowed to travel to Italy from outside Europe right now?

The rules on international travel into and out of Italy vary according to country of origin.

Anyone who enters the country must quarantine for ten days, unless they take a Covid-tested flight.

The restrictions are set to change soon, the government has promised, without giving details of when.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the country wants to allow tourists from the United States, Canada and Japan to visit without quarantine if they have been vaccinated,

While the first step is to vaccinate as many residents of Italy as possible before the summer, Draghi said, he also indicated that Italy would revise its strict rules on entering from overseas. 

Stay up to date with Italy’s travel rules by following The Local’s travel section and checking the Italian Health Ministry’s website (in English).


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