Traveling to Italy amid COVID-19: What you need to know before booking a trip
With the decrease in the number of hospitalizations in Italy and the increase in vaccination rates every day, the COVID-19 situation has improved considerably in the country.
However, the country is currently in a state of emergency as it emerged from a lockdown that lasted a few months after battling a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, since the country has posted positive numbers, the state of emergency is expected to end at the end of 2021.
In order to control the Coronavirus situation, Italy launched its EU COVID-19 passport on June 15, which means the country has long since started issuing and accepting proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or negative COVID test certificates.
Nevertheless, due to the spread of the virus and its strains, the country has made several changes regarding the documents required to be allowed to enter the country.
If you’re planning to travel to Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic, here’s what you need to know and expect.
Travelers from which countries are allowed to enter Italy?
After the closures during the winter holidays, the Italian border reopened in January 2021.
The countries currently allowed to enter Italy are divided into two groups, European countries and non-European countries.
Italy allows entry into most European countries, more specifically Austria, Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania , Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Anyone arriving in Italy from any of the countries mentioned above can enter Italy for non-essential purposes. All they need to do is present the COVID-19 certificate, which proves whether travelers have been vaccinated, cured, or have a negative COVID-19 test result.
The five-day quarantine for these countries was abolished on May 17.
On the other hand, people who have stayed in or transited through the UK and Northern Ireland, including Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and the Channel Island, are required to present a COVID test result. -19 negative made within 48 hours before arrival and remain isolated for five days.
With the exception of EU countries, travelers reaching Italy from any of the following third countries are also allowed to enter: Albania, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Republic of Korea, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, Singapore, Ukraine, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, United States of America.
All the countries mentioned above are part of the so-called D-list of Italy. Based on Italy’s current rules, travelers arriving in Italy from any of the countries mentioned above must complete the passenger locator form, undergo a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before traveling. reach the country, and present a COVID-19 digital certificate or equivalent document
However, it should be noted that special rules apply to people who have stayed in or transited through the UK and Northern Ireland, including Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and the Channel Island. This group of people is required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of arrival.
Travelers who do not meet these requirements must remain isolated for a period of five days after entering Italy.
Travelers from Japan, Canada and the United States can also enter Italy under the same restrictions. They are required to present a passenger tracing form, a negative test result taken within 72 hours, one of the following EU Digital COVID certificates:
- Vaccination certificate
- Certificate of recovery
- Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result
>> ECDC says it is now safer to travel to most EU countries, including Italy
Italy’s current restrictions for countries with higher COVID-19 infection rates
Arrivals from European countries authorized to enter must present a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of arrival and complete a self-report form. They are also required to notify local authorities of their arrival.
The same rules apply to arrivals to Israel and the UK, but with a test performed 48 hours before arrival.
Arrivals from any country permitted to enter are exempt from the self-isolation requirement.
Strict rules apply to people traveling from a country heavily affected by COVID-19, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Brazil.
Anyone who has been in Brazil in the past 14 days or has transited the country for more than 12 hours must provide a negative test result within 48 hours and undergo a second test upon arrival. After that, they must quarantine themselves for 14 days and undergo another test at the end of the quarantine period.
Restrictions on arrivals from Brazil have been extended until July 30.
Only legal residents of Italy can enter from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka showing a negative test result taken within 48 hours of arrival. Anyone who has traveled through Bangladesh or India is required to take another test on arrival and then quarantine for ten days at a location designated by the authorities. They must undergo another test on the tenth day before leaving quarantine.
All people traveling for essential purposes from countries whose entry is prohibited must self-quarantine for 14 days.
Passport for COVID-19 vaccine
On May 4, Prime Minister Mario Draghi revealed his intention to create a national commission “Green pass”. The pass will show whether the holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the virus or recently had a negative test result, as part of the EU’s vaccination passport initiative.
Draghi confirmed that tourists will also qualify for the pass and said the country plans to launch it by mid-May, although no details have yet been given.
Italy launched its EU COVID-19 passport on June 15, and the country has already started issuing and accepting proof of vaccination, proof of recovery, or negative COVID test certificates. Nevertheless, due to the spread of the COVID delta variant, Italy plans to make some changes to the requirements of the document.
Italy’s Green Pass
The Italian Green Pass is an extension of EU COVID-19 digital certificate. This means that the pass shows proof that a person has been fully vaccinated against the virus, has recovered from it, or has a recent COVID-19 test result.
Since August 6, the pass is mandatory for all people over 12 years old who wish to have access to certain activities and services, including restaurants, bars, cafes, museums, theaters and many other events.
Fast forward, on September 1, the pass was made compulsory for all those who wish to use public transport modes like planes, ferries and buses, among others.
In addition, the Italian authorities have announced that from tomorrow, October 15, all people working in the public and private sectors must hold a Green Pass. Those who refuse to be vaccinated and are unable to provide a recovery certificate will be suspended and may not be paid after the fifth day.
What to expect when visiting Italy
In order to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy has categorized its areas. Currently, all regions of Italy are whitelisted, which means relaxed restrictions apply across the country.
The regions that are part of the white zone, which recorded less than 50 cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants, have almost returned to normal.
However, while staying in Italy, travelers must wear a mask at all times when using public transport. On the other hand, the obligation to keep a mask in outdoor places has been lifted.
In addition, everyone is required to keep a distance of at least one meter. Only high speed trains do not have social distancing rules.
As of Monday, October 11, cultural venues are allowed to operate at full capacity, meaning theaters, cinemas and concert halls have no restrictions on the number of people allowed to attend public and private events.
The capacity of sports stadiums has also been announced to increase to 60 percent for indoor events and 75 percent for outdoor events. In addition, the capacity of nightclubs has increased to 50% for indoor locations and 75% for outdoor locations.
Restaurants, bars and other shops are also open to everyone, provided security measures are respected.
In general, since all regions of Italy are now white, citizens of the country and travelers can now enjoy different activities and frequent different places. However, authorities have pointed out that in order to be allowed access to any of the aforementioned activities, everyone must be in possession of a Green Pass.
Travel insurance: a necessity for all travelers
Anyone wishing to travel to Italy or any other country during the summer is recommended to take out extensive travel insurance that covers epidemic and pandemic situations.
Such insurance would ensure that in the event of trip cancellation due to COVID-19 situations, a considerable amount of money could be saved.
You can buy travel medical insurance protection for Italy very cheaply from MondialCare, AXA Assistance or Europ Assistance.
COVID-19 situation in Italy
As the first European country to be hit hard by the pandemic, Italy has gone through many health-related challenges. However, a strict lockdown has brought the coronavirus situation under control.
Still, cases started to rise again in September and another third wave took off in February 2021.
The first quarter of 2021 has been spent with most of the country under lockdown restrictions, with infection rates rising regardless of the measures.
According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), as of October 14, 2021, Italy had recorded 4,704,318 cases of COVID-19 infection and 131,384 deaths.
As for the vaccination campaign, it is finally accelerating after months of delay. Based on data provided by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the country has administered at least 85,340,965 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with 78.3% of the total population so far fully vaccinated.
Italy mainly administers the vaccines offered by Comirnaty, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
REMARK: This article was originally published on June 9. Since then it has been continuously updated with the most recent changes. The last changes to the article were made on October 14, in line with the latest updates from the Italian authorities.