If you’re planning to travel to Italy, it can be difficult keeping up to date with new restrictions and current travel advice. Here we outline some of the recent changes, including useful links to Government webpages, to enable you to access official updated information.
Can I travel to Italy?
The current Prime Ministerial Decree of 3 November 2020 regulates travel up to 3rd December 2020. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website provides updated information regarding “Travelling to Italy from abroad and travelling from Italy”. There is also a useful “survey” that provides information specific to the route you plan to travel.
The current guidance (26/11/2020) for those travelling from the UK is that you can enter Italy. However, you must provide a negative Covid test result. This can be taken a) within 72 hours before travelling, or b) on arrival at airports with facilities, or c) within 48 hours of arrival.
Travellers from Canada and Australia must self-isolate and undergo supervision by the health authorities for 14 days.
The latest news is that you can also travel from the USA too, at least from certain US airports into Rome. Travelers arriving from New York JFK, Newark and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, who have taken a test before leaving and on arrival, won’t have to quarantine.
Will I need to self-isolate?
Italy has gone down the route of testing people from some countries rather than imposing self-isolation or a ban. If you are travelling from one of these countries you are obliged to use a private means of transport to reach your destination and to self-isolate until you receive a negative test result. However, if the test is positive you will be required to self-isolate.
Each Italian region can impose additional restrictions and the timings of tests and results may vary. It is important to visit the website of the region you are travelling to, for local information. Conditions relating to individual countries is constantly under review. If you are returning to, or travelling through another country, you should also check their official guidance.
Will I have to self-isolate on my return home?
If you plan to return to your home country, you should check the travel guidance on your home government website. Currently those returning to the UK must self-isolate for two weeks. However, according to a government news release on 24th November, this is about to change from 15 December. You may have the option to take a Covid test five days after you arrive home and end your self-isolation once you have received a negative result. In Australia they insist on 14-day quarantine and testing.
Can I travel to Italy by plane?
Some flights to Italy were cancelled from mid-November to mid-December. Check with the websites of the individual airlines. There are some cheap deals to be found. It’s recommended to make bookings directly with the airlines, to make it easier to change a flight or get a refund if your flight is cancelled. Surgical face masks are mandatory in the airport and on board any flights to, from and within Italy or you may be denied boarding.
Are any forms required?
Italy require you to fill out a form before entering the country. The “Self-declaration form for entering Italy from abroad” can be found on the Italian Foreign Affairs website (esteri). In addition, Sardinia, Sicily, Puglia and Calabria each have their own forms. If you want to travel to the UK, you are required to submit an online UK form 48 hours before entering the country.
Does Italy have a tracing app?
Yes, it is called Immuni and it is available in English. The Immuni app has been downloaded by nearly 10 million people and helps to contain the COVID-19 epidemic.
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.
Are face masks compulsory?
Yes. Since the 13th October the new measure states that it is “mandatory throughout the country to always have respiratory protective devices with you”. There is an obligation to wear masks in all indoor places, other than private homes.
However, it is also “strongly recommended” the use of devices “even in private homes in the presence of non-cohabitants”.
Masks must also be worn in all outdoor places. The only exception is situations where you are in an isolated location where it’s guaranteed you won’t meet people you don’t live with. You can be fined for not having a mask. More Coronavirus updates can be found on the Ministry for Health website (Ministero della Salute).
New restrictions in Italy
On Friday 6th November new restrictions were introduced to contain the spread of Covid-19. Regions have been placed in one of three colour zones; yellow, orange or red. Allocation is based on recent epidemiological data and the ability of the hospitals to cope. A region may be moved into another zone at any time, and updates can be found on the Ministry of Health website. On the 20th November the zone allocations were as follows:
Yellow: Lazio, Molise, Autonomous Province of Trento, Sardinia, Veneto
Orange: Basilicata, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Marche, Liguria, Puglia, Sicily, Umbria.
Red: Abruzzo, Calabria, Campania, Lombardy, Piedmont, Tuscany, Valle d’Aosta, Autonomous Province of Bolzano.
What restrictions apply in each zone?
The measures relating to orange and red zones are in addition to those listed in zone yellow. Previous restrictions also still apply, such as wearing masks. Regional Presidents (Presidente Regione) and even your local town Mayor (Sindaco) may also introduce further measures. It’s worth searching them out on social media for updates. The main restrictions are:
– From 10.00 pm to 5.00 am of the following day, you are only allowed to travel for proven work needs, situations of necessity or for health reasons. A self-declaration form is required.
– Public access to parks, villas and public gardens is subject to strict compliance with the ban on gatherings.
– Closed – Theme parks and amusement parks
– It is allowed to carry out outdoor sports or physical activities where accessible.
– Allowed only events and competitions concerning individual and team sports organized by the respective national sports federations, without the presence of the public.
– Closed – Amusement arcades, betting shops, bingo halls and casinos.
– Closed – Theatres, concert halls, cinemas, even outdoors.
– Closed – Dance halls, discos and similar venues, outdoors or indoors.
– No Parties indoors or outdoors, including those resulting from civil and religious ceremonies.
– Conventions, congresses and other events are suspended, with the exception of those that take place remotely.
– Access to places of worship can take place with organizational measures that avoid gatherings of people.
– Closed – Exhibitions, museums and other cultural institutes.
– The activities of the catering services (including bars, pubs, restaurants, ice cream parlours, pastry shops) are allowed from 5am to 6pm; after 6pm it is forbidden to consume food and drinks in places open to the public; catering with home delivery is always allowed in compliance with the hygienic-sanitary rules for both packaging and transport activities, as well as catering with take-away until 10pm, with a ban on consumption on site or nearby;
– Public transport at 50% capacity.
– Any movement into and out of the region is prohibited, except for movements motivated by proven work needs or situations of necessity or for health reasons. A self-declaration form is required.
– Any movement by public or private means of transport to a municipality other than that of residence, domicile or home is prohibited except for movements motivated by proven work needs or situations of necessity or for health reasons. A self-declaration form is required.
– Closed – bars, pubs, restaurants, ice cream parlours, pastry shops.
– Catering with home delivery is permitted in compliance with health and hygiene regulations for both packaging and transport activities, as well as catering with take-away up to 10pm, with a ban on consumption on the spot or nearby.
– Any movement into and out of the region, as well as within the same territories (from and to one’s home, for example), is prohibited, unless for movements motivated by proven work needs or situations of necessity or for health reasons. A self-declaration form is required.
– Retail commercial activities of all sizes are suspended, with the exception of the sale of food and basic necessities.
– The markets are closed, except for some that only sell food. Newsstands, tobacconists and pharmacies remain open.
– The activities of the catering services are suspended (including bars, pubs, restaurants, ice cream parlours, pastry shops)
– Only catering with home delivery is allowed in compliance with health and hygiene regulations for both packaging and transport activities, as well as catering with take-away up to 10pm, with a ban on consumption on site or nearby.
– All events and competitions organized by sports promotion bodies are also suspended.
– It is allowed to carry out exercise activities individually in the vicinity of one’s home provided you respect the distance of at least one metre from any other person and with the obligation to use respiratory protection devices; it is also allowed to carry out sporting activities exclusively outdoors and individually.
– Activities relating to personal services are suspended.