Written by Christopher Nye, Senior Content Editor, Property Guides
Last Modified: 25th January 2022

With Green passes and masks at the ready, you could safely be on your way to finding your dream home in Italy.

Travel guidance

When travelling from one country to another it’s important to check the travel guidance from both countries, plus any others you may be travelling through. In the first instance, seek travel advice from the government website of your country of residence. In the UK guidance for entry to the UK and travelling to Italy can be found on the GOV.UK website.

When looking at the Italian government websites, different entry requirements apply depending what country you are travelling from.

Returning to the UK

Someone fully vaccinated arriving in England from Italy currently needs to fill in a passenger locator form in the 48 hours before arrival and book a covid-test to be taken after arrival. You can get recommendations and discounts from your airline, for testing at the airport.

Entering Italy

You should also check Italy’s government websites. You need to know if your country will let you out, if Italy will let you in, and whether testing and quarantining will be necessary. Check frequently, as changes are being made regularly, and they aren’t always updated instantly on the websites.

Travel Updates for travellers can be found in English on the health authority website Salute.gov.it

Easy travel checker

To quickly check the current conditions of entry to Italy, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided a simple online questionnaire, which the website has called “Take the Survey”. Available in English it offers information for your specific country of departure.

Different entry requirements apply depending what country you are travelling from. Countries are put into “lettered” groups based on their current Covid risk. The United Kingdom, Australia and United States of America are currently in group D.

In January 2022 travellers from group D countries are required to:

  1. Fill in an online location form (also called digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF) and present it, on their mobile device or in paper version.
  2. Present to the carrier, upon boarding, and to anyone in charge of carrying out the checks, the “green” COVID-19 certification, issued upon completion of the vaccination cycle or equivalent certification, issued by a health authority following vaccination validated by ‘EMA (European Medicines Agency).
  3. Present to the carrier, at the time of embarkation, and to anyone responsible for carrying out the checks, a certificate attesting to the negative result of a molecular or antigen test, conducted with a swab, carried out in the seventy-two (72) hours  prior to entry into Italy (if molecular test ) or twenty-four (24) hours (if antigen test ), to be shown to anyone who is responsible for carrying out this verification. The deadline is shortened to forty eight (48) hours for the UK molecular test (24 hours for antigen testing).

The Italian government can also order random covid tests on travellers arriving at the border.

Italy’s levels of Green passes

There are now more situations where you will be required to have the Super Green Pass or the equivalent issued by your home country. Always keep it with you. The three grades of pass are as follows:

Basic Green Pass: COVID-19 Green Certification for vaccination, recovery, rapid or molecular antigen test with negative result.

Super Green Pass (Enhanced Green Pass): COVID-19 Green Certification proving full vaccination or recovery from covid within the past six months. The enhanced green pass therefore does not include the option of carrying out a rapid or molecular antigen test.

Green pass booster: means the COVID-19 green certification issued after the administration of the booster dose, following the completion of the primary vaccination cycle.

Can I use my NHS Covid Pass?

Your NHS Covid Pass can be scanned in Italy as a super green pass. However, note that while the EU recommends a nine-month validity for vaccination certificates, starting 1st February, 2022, Italy will adopt a six-month validity period. That means your NHS Covid Pass (super green pass in Italy) will only be valid in Italy for six months from the date of your most recent vaccine dose. You can get an NHS COVID Pass digitally through the NHS App or the online NHS COVID Pass service.

Where you need the Super Green Pass

To enter many places in Italy you are now required by law to show a Super Green Pass. In other words you must be fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid. For example, in restaurants and cafes the waiter must scan your QR code. Fines are being given to people who don’t comply and it can be hundreds of euros.

You must have a Super Green Pass to: go on public transport including planes, trains, buses and ski lifts; To access Bars and restaurants indoors and outside; hotels and lodging facilities; Fairs, festivals and conferences (inside and out); shows in theatres, cinemas, clubs and music venues (Eating or drinking is not allowed in these venues); Indoor Exhibitions, museums and other cultural venues; Theme parks, outdoor concerts and similar events with large crowds.

Colour-graded regions

Each region of Italy has been colour graded, white, yellow, orange and red. White being considered an area where Covid is most under control. This could affect what restrictions are in place and what facilities are open. Check the map before travelling.

Are vaccinations mandatory in Italy?

The government recently announced that vaccination for people over the age of 50 will be mandatory from 15th February 2022. Non-compliance with the mandate will result in a €100 fine. From 15th February 2022 to 15th June 2022, all workers in the public and private sector, starting from the age of 50, are required to have a Super green pass. It is already mandatory for healthcare workers and their administrators, military personnel, emergency services, police and teachers of any age to be vaccinated.

A mask must be worn outside as well as inside in Italy, by everyone over 6 years old (unless an exemption applies).

Always wear a mask

A mask must be worn outside as well as inside in Italy, by everyone over 6 years old (unless an exemption applies). You can remove the mask while eating, doing sport or in an isolated area away from non-cohabiting people.

You might also have your temperature checked when entering airports and other buildings. Hand sanitiser should be used when entering shops etc. and you should always keep a safe distance from other people. Small shops may be limited to how many customers can be inside at one time. The number will be displayed by the door.

What type of mask?

It is now recognised that surgical masks and FFP2 (N95) masks offer a greater barrier, and they are now easily available to everyone. You will find them to buy in Italian supermarkets, pharmacies etc.

In fact, in specific situations it is now mandatory to wear a FFP2 mask in Italy:

– for shows open to the public that take place indoors or outdoors in theatres, concert halls, cinemas, entertainment venues and live music and in other similar premises;

– for sporting events and competitions that take place indoors or outdoors

– for accessing and using: commercial flights; ships, ferries, trains, buses, coaches, cable cars.

Either a surgical mask or FFP2 must be worn for economic and social activities. For example: restaurants and cafes, tourist and hospitality activities, wellness centres, personal services, shops, museums, exhibitions and conferences.

Check the regions too

Before embarking on a trip to Italy, make sure that your Region of destination has no further measures in place. Here you can find the regional websites. Useful contacts phone numbers are available here.

You may be asked to inform the local health authority of the address where you will be staying.

Covid Cases in Italy

The director of WHO is quoted as saying that “In countries like Italy and Greece we are getting very close to the peak” of the Omicron variant, “The path followed by Italy is the right one, with vaccinations, third doses, masks”.

Daily cases have shot up since Christmas, but the average number of deaths is much lower than in previous waves. Since announcing mandatory vaccinations for over 50s, there has been a rise in people having the first dose. It is hoped this will help reduce the number of serious cases in the older age groups.

Italy’s vaccine programme

The Italian vaccination programme is rolling out at great speed, with over 120 million doses administered so far. Almost 87% of the population over 12 are now fully vaccinated in Italy, and the booster has been available to over 18s since the 1st December 2021. The vaccines being administered are mainly Pfizer and Moderna.

The 5-11 age group are also being invited to get their vaccination. With local authorities doing what they can to make the children’s visit to the vaccination centre a pleasant one, with balloons, bravery certificates and entertainers. So far, over 874,000 have had their first dose.

Flying to Italy

Many Italian regions have an international airport, so it is not always necessary to travel via Rome’s ‘Leonardo da Vinci airport (Rome Fiumicino) or even Malpensa airport in Milan. A wide range of flights are usually available from both traditional and low-cost airlines, covering a vast array of destinations.

Due to low demand this winter, there may be some flights cancelled in February, but look out for offers on spring and summer flights.

Italy’s track and trace app

The Immuni, app is available to download in English. When health facilities or local health authorities register a new positive case, following the consent of the individuals, the health operators insert a code into the system. At that point, the system sends a notification to the users who have been in close contact with the positive case. They can then isolate themselves to avoid infecting other people.

Can I view and purchase a property?

Estate agents, property lawyers and notaries are contactable and ready to assist you every step of the way. Finding a good estate agent to guide you through the process is invaluable. Property Guides can help by putting you in touch with a trusted lawyers and estate agents for advice about purchasing property, and you can see some of the properties they have to offer on our Property Search page.

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