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UPDATE: Italy to lift quarantine on vaccinated arrivals from UK

Fully-vaccinated travellers arriving in Italy from the UK with a negative Covid-19 test will no longer have to undertake a 5-day quarantine from Tuesday, the health minister said.

UPDATE: Italy to lift quarantine on vaccinated arrivals from UK
Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

Roberto Speranza tweeted Saturday that he had signed a new ordinance ending the “mini-quarantine of five days” for vaccinated arrivals from the UK.

Rome had re-imposed the quarantine for those arriving from Britain from June 21st as the Delta variant spread rapidly through the United Kingdom.

But from Tuesday all arrivals from the UK, no matter what their nationality is, won’t have to quarantine as long as they as they can produce certifications confirming that they are fully vaccinated and have tested negative, in either digital or paper format.

Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and British bases on the island of of Cyprus are all considered parts of the UK for the purposes of the new travel guidelines. 

There was some confusion about when the rule change would come into place with the Italian embassy in the UK initially tweeting that the relaxed rule of vaccinated travellers would start on September 1st, before making the correction to August 31st.

Arrivals from the UK will need to have taken either a molecular PCR test or a rapid antigenic test in the 48 hours before arriving in Italy, according to the ordinance.

Arrivals from all other “List D” countries can produce a test taken within the 72 hours prior to their arrival in the country. All arrivals must fill out a digital passenger locator form.

List D countries include the United States of America, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore; the full list is provided on the Italian Foreign Ministry’s Viaggiare Sicuri or ‘Travel Safe’ website.

The latest Viaggiare Sicuri update highlights that passengers arriving from Canada, Japan or the United States are still required to take a PCR or antigen test in the 72 hours before arriving in Italy, even if they have a Covid green pass or equivalent certification.

The new decree will remain in force until October 25, 2021.

Some coronavirus restrictions were reinstated for the region of Sicily again from Monday as the spread of the Delta variant caused concern — the first time such measures have been re-imposed on a regional level since the start of summer.

Member comments

  1. How do you think this works if you arrive on the 30 of august ? You would have to just do one day of quarantine or all five ?

    1. Unfortunately Milan health authority stating quarantine still applies for full 5 days if you have already arrived (even though wording of the decree doesn’t appear to depend upon the date you arrived, just that you showed your vaccination documents to officials when travelling).

  2. The article says that the decree is “ending “the mini-quarantine of five days” for arrivals from the UK”.
    The tweet says he is extending the restrictive measures for arrivals.
    This looks like no change.
    Is the article wrong?
    There is still no official announcement on the website of the Ministero della Salute.
    Government by Twitter is bound to confuse!

      1. Also ‘disporre/dispone’ has many contextual meanings.

        However, the official statement has now been issued: https://www.trovanorme.salute.gov.it/norme/renderNormsanPdf?anno=2021&codLeg=82596&parte=1%20&serie=null

        It makes clear that the 5 days isolation is only required of those who do not present evidence of vaccination and a negative test:
        2. In caso di mancata presentazione delle certificazioni di cui al comma 1, lettere a) e b), è fatto
        obbligo di sottoporsi a isolamento fiduciario per cinque giorni presso l’indirizzo indicato nel
        Passenger Locator Form e a un test molecolare o antigenico, effettuato per mezzo di tampone,
        alla fine di detto periodo.

  3. This end to the quarantine is great new for us UK visitors. Has anyone filled in the still required eu passenger locator form? Even with the guidance notes it’s a bit confusing. Any tips?

  4. Anyone got a suggested rationale why UK stays on 48 hours whilst everywhere else is 72 hours before arrival to do the PCR test? 48 hours is very challenging and hugely more expensive as a result. Almost impossible for flights on a Monday. With little scientific logic. The virus is now basically the same everywhere. I note the UK asks for 72 hours from Italy….

    1. Flights from the UK to Italy take as little as 1.5 hours. Flights from the US to Italy on the other hand can take up to 13 hours. Ideally you take a test as close to the arrival date as feasible, as evidently a (PCR/antigen) test only proves that you don’t have covid in that particular moment.

  5. my wife and i who are fully vaccinated have booked a flight to venice towards the end of october this year. Our son who will be 17 by then has had the first pfizer jab but the second will not be available by then. will we have to self-isolate

  6. I arrived in Umbria yesterday, 31/8, so don’t need to quarantine for 5 days. However, I believe I need to inform the Health authority in Umbria that I have arrived. But I can only find a telephone number and my Italian is not good enough. When I arrived in December I found email address for USLUmbria1 but I can’t find it this time. Help!

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TRAVEL NEWS

What’s it like travelling through Italy’s airports now?

As flight disruption continues in Europe during the August holiday season, passengers tell The Local how Italy’s airports are faring.

What's it like travelling through Italy's airports now?

Strikes and staff shortages have made air travel problematic across Europe since early June, but airports in some countries have been much more badly affected than others.

There are reports of ongoing serious disruption everywhere from Spain to Germany, with at least 15,700 flights already cancelled across the continent this month.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August

Outside of Europe, more travel chaos has been reported in Australia this month, while passengers travelling to and from the UK have suffered months of disruption and cancellations.

Despite some limited strike action earlier in the summer season, Italian airports by contrast appear not to be badly affected.

Between June 20th and July 24th, some 3,600 flights from Italian airports were cancelled, or 1.8 percent of national flights and 3.6 percent of international flights, according to data from Italian National Civil Aviation Agency ENAC.

The most cancellations (377) were recorded on July 17th, the date of Italy’s last transport strike.

Fewer Italian flights are likely to be cancelled in August, with no strikes planned. However, travel to and from the country hasn’t necessarily been a trouble-free experience for everyone this month.

Passengers wait in Barcelona’s El Prat airport during the first wave of Ryanair strike action in July. Photo: Pau BARRENA/AFP

“It’s clear that the Italian airport system has reacted differently to the difficulties, even if the recovery was sudden,” ENAC president Pierluigi di Palma said in an interview with Italian national broadcaster Rai.

“I would say that we are mostly suffering the consequences of what’s happening in continental airports.”

The knock-on effect of flight cancellations and delays elsewhere has caused some disruption for passengers in Italy, while things are particularly busy this month as the number of people travelling to the country has shot up, exceeding 2019 levels.

Tania Davis, 41, travelled from London Heathrow to Venice with her two children in early August and tells The Local that while she found travelling from Heathrow “stressful and chaotic” everything was “fine” on the Italian side.

“We arrived very late at night because our flight was delayed by just over two hours, but once we got to Italy coming through arrivals and then getting our flight home a week later, everything went smoothly. I can’t fault the airport. It was as busy as you’d expect at this time of year but the lines moved quickly.”

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

Some travellers reported facing long delays going both ways, for different reasons. Reader David and his wife flew from Manchester to Brindisi in late July and back again two weeks later.

“We made the mistake of arriving at Brindisi for our flight home three hours before flight time as we had done on the way out, advised by Ryanair,” he tells The Local.

“We sailed through security at Brindisi, no staffing issues there unlike in Manchester where it took 90 minutes to get through.

“But our flight was then delayed, by three hours in the end. Arriving early just meant we had to spend even more time waiting in departures,” he says.

“t’s a really small airport and every flight on the board was delayed, so we were packed in like sardines in this small space with no ventilation.”

“The pilot said our flight was late arriving due to missing an air traffic control slot at Manchester,” he adds.

Other than delays apparently caused by disruption across flight networks, there have been very few reports of problems such as long security queues and lost baggage at Italian airports.

The government warned Italian passengers last month to take hand baggage only when travelling – but this was due to concerns about luggage being lost at destination airports, not at those within Italy.

Passengers wait at Rome’s Fiumicino airport during a strike airline company staff on July 17, 2022. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Italy has escaped the worst of the travel chaos “both for structural reasons and for the measures that the government has taken to limit the consequences of the pandemic”, writes Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

Airport staff shortages are not a major problem in Italy, where “there are generally more worker protections and restrictions on dismissal than in other countries such as the United Kingdom,” Il Sole explains.

Italy was also the only EU country to ban layoffs amid the pandemic, Il Sole points out, with the government in 2020 forcing airline companies to keep their staff on even when flights were grounded.

This ban lasted until 2021, when it was replaced with financial incentives for companies that refrained from laying off staff.

Di Palma said the government’s interventions meant “we have been able to stem the haemorrhage of ground personnel that occurred at foreign companies during the pandemic, saving precious resources”.

READ ALSO: Italy’s summer tourism boom driven by American arrivals

While this is good news for passengers flying to and from Italy’s airports this summer, the ongoing situation across Europe means some disruption to travel plans remains likely.

The passengers we spoke to advised anyone flying this month to pack light, dress for comfort, and “lower your expectations”.

If your flight is cancelled or significantly delayed, you may be entitled to receive compensation from your airline. Find more information here.

Have you travelled to or from Italy in August? How did your experience compare to those featured in the article? Please leave a comment below to let us know.

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