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Q&A: What you need to know if you’re travelling to Italy in summer 2021

Q&A: What you need to know if you’re travelling to Italy in summer 2021
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Here's everything you need to be aware of before you book an Italian holiday for summer 2021.

Travel has restarted to Italy (from some countries at least), which no doubt comes as a relief to many people who’ve been separated from loved ones abroad for more than a year, as well as to those who have simply missed visiting Italy on holiday.

READ ALSO: ‘I’m going crazy’: Why international residents in Europe will travel this summer despite Covid

But Italy has not dropped all of its coronavirus restrictions, and travel is far from straightforward just yet.

Though the health data continues to improve nationwide and the vaccination programme has picked up speed, authorities in Italy remain cautious and, unlike some neighbouring countries, have not yet relaxed certain restrictions.

As most of those rules and restrictions are subject to change, or still to be clarified, we’re getting a large number of queries here at The Local from people currently trying to figure out the details of their summer travel plans.

Here we answer some of the most frequently-asked questions:

How safe is it to travel to Italy now?

Italy has recently been reporting its lowest weekly rates of coronavirus infections since October 2020, and the Rt or reproduction number, which shows the rate of transmission, is at its lowest since this time last year.

Nearly all of Italy’s 20 regions are classified as ‘low risk’ in the latest health data monitoring report from the Italian health ministry on Friday June 11th.

Only Sardinia was deemed to be ‘moderate’ risk – however the island region still remains in the low-restriction ‘white zone’, which means most coronavirus restrictions have been dropped.

MAP: Which parts of Italy are now Covid-19 ‘white zones’?

Italy’s national Rt number, which shows the infection rate, has been under the critical threshold of 1 for several weeks.

The country reported 2,079 new cases and 88 Covid deaths within the past 24 hours on Thursday.

Some 13.5 million people, or a quarter of the Italian population over the age of 12, have been fully vaccinated. Around 26.4 million have received one dose of the vaccine, according to government figures.

Despite concern across Europe about the relatively low vaccination rate as well as the spread of the Delta variant, which originated in India, Italian health authorities have indicated that they are not currently planning to bring in any further restrictions.

Italy has so far recorded 170 cases caused by the Delta variant, which is responsible for a recent rise in infections in the UK. However, Italy collects and analyses far less data on new virus strains than the UK does.

How do I find out what the latest rules are on travel to Italy from my country?

With restrictions subject to change at short notice, it’s important to keep up to date before your trip.

Right now, the fastest and most reliable way to check what the rules are in your case is to use the Italian Foreign Ministry’s interactive questionnaire.

This official website is available in English, and is kept up-to-date with full details of the changing Italian government travel rules for travel from each country.

You can also stay up to date with news on Italy’s travel rules by following The Local’s travel section and checking the Italian Health Ministry’s website (in English).

Is Italy dropping the entry restrictions for vaccinated travellers?

There is currently no exemption to the Italian travel restrictions for people who have been vaccinated.

However, this may change soon as Italy and other European countries roll out their travel health certificate schemes.

The 27 member states of the European Union announced have agreed to allow fully vaccinated travellers to enter the bloc this summer.

Many details are yet to be clarified, and the rules for entry will be up to each individual country’s government.

The Italian government has not yet indicated what proof of vaccination will be needed for travel to Italy, or whether Italy will keep testing requirements in place for vaccinated travellers.

How do I get a ‘green pass’ for travel to Italy?

The certificato verde, the Italian version of the EU-wide health pass, will be requirement for travel and attending larger events such as as weddings and concerts in Italy from mid-June.

It is also expected to be valid for international travel from July 1st, but no further details on this have yet been announced.

The pass will be available to anyone who has either been vaccinated, has tested negative for coronavirus within the past 48 hours, or has recently contracted and recovered from Covid-19.

READ ALSO: Can I use a foreign vaccination certificate to access Italy’s health passport?

Paper certificates proving your negative test result are among the documents currently being used as travel health passes in Italy. Photo: Piero CRUCIATTI/AFP

What restrictions will be in place in Italy this summer?

By the end of June, all of Italy’s regions are expected to be classified as low-risk ‘white zones’, meaning very few safety measures will remain in place.

Restaraunts, bars, hotels and museums are already open again across the country, with safety restrictions in place.

Health precautions will also apply on the beach.

Although beach staff will be required to wear masks, holidaymakers won’t have to unless you’re in a enclosed space or if it’s not possible to maintain a distance of one metre from other people.

EXPLAINED: What are the Covid-19 rules on Italy’s beaches this summer?

For now, nightclubs and discos look set to be the last businesses to reopen, and they could require a ‘green pass’ or health certificate for entry when they do.

The country’s midnight-5am curfew will be scrapped from June 21st.

It is not known if or when Italy may relax the rules on wearing masks outdoors,

What tests do I need for travel to Italy?

All arrivals currently need to show a negative test result for travel into Italy. You should get either a molecular or antigen swab test from a testing centre, as you will need a certificate proving your negative result. Home tests or saliva tests are not accepted by the Italian authorities.

Find a full guide to tests for travel to Italy here

How do I get a test in Italy for the trip home?

Getting tested for coronavirus in Italy has become significantly easier over the past year, as the government approved new types of test and authorised more and more facilities to carry them out.

Private tests are now widely available without a prescription and most centres can provide the results in English.

Several international airports in Italy, including Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Bari and others, have on-site Covid testing facilities. Tests are usually rapid antigen swabs, though others may be available, and fees range from around €20 (Florence and Pisa) to €50 (Milan).

Italy’s Red Cross has free, walk-in testing centres at central train stations in 11 of Italy’s biggest cities: Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Florence, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Rome, Turin and Venice.

Many Italian pharmacies also offer rapid antigen testing, often in tents outside the building. Ask your nearest pharmacist: even if they don’t do tests themselves, they should be able to direct you to another pharmacy that does.

Find full details of getting tested while in Italy here.

What are the rules if I need to quarantine on arrival in Italy?

Passengers arriving in Italy from countries on travel list D or E (which currently includes the United States and Canada) will need to undergo a mandatory quarantine period.

The only exception at the moment is for passengers arriving on special ‘Covid-tested’ flights. Provided their results all come back negative, these passengers can skip quarantine in Italy.

READ ALSO: ‘What it was like to quarantine in Italy after arriving from the US’

Travellers who are subject to quarantine should report the address where they plan to self-isolate to the local heath authorities on arrival, then make their way to it using only private transport, such as a taxi or hire car. They cannot use public transport if quarantine is required.

They must then remain inside for the duration of the quarantine period, avoiding contact with anyone else who shares the accommodation.

If you’re arriving in Italy by public means, you should be given a form to fill in at the airport, station or ferry terminal where you land to notify the relevant authorities of your contact details. If not, or if you cross the border by car, you’ll need to contact your destination’s local health authority yourself: find instructions here.

There are no special exceptions for people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on specific situations. You can find the latest Italian government travel information for your country here, or contact your embassy for further information.

Find all our latest news updates on travel to, from and within Italy here.


Member comments

  1. Milan Malpensa webstie says that if you arrive from the US, you can’t use public transport. Is this also true for those arriving on covid-tested flights, or with vaccinations?

    1. Hi,

      Passengers who arrive on Covid-tested flights do not have to quarantine (provided their test results come back negative) and therefore the restrictions on using public transport do not apply. There are no exceptions for vaccinated travellers at the moment.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. There is word on some travel sites that Italy has just changed the rules to allow US and Canadian tourists to visit with proof of vaccination. If true, this means no quarantine requirements or need to fly on a special Covid flight. Is this true? If so, it is wonderful news!

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