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Travelling to Italy Amid COVID-19: What You Need to Know Before Booking a Trip

With the number of hospitalizations in Italy declining and vaccination rates increasing every day, the COVID-19 situation has improved significantly in the country.

However, the country is currently in a state of emergency as it emerged from a two-month lockdown after battling a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, since the country has shown positive numbers, the state of emergency is expected to end at the end of 2021.

In order to keep the coronavirus situation under control, Italy launched the EU COVID-19 passport on June 15, which means that the country has long started issuing and accepting proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or negative COVID test certificates.

However, due to the spread of the virus and its strains, the country has made several amendments to the documents required to allow entry into 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 closing during the winter holidays, Italian borders 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 to most European countries, more specifically to 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.

All people who arrive in Italy from any of the above countries can enter Italy for non-essential purposes. All they have to do is provide a COVID-19 certificate, which proves whether travelers have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative for COVID-19.

The five-day quarantine for these countries was lifted on May 17.

On the other hand, people who have resided in or transited through the UK and Northern Ireland, including Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Channel Island, are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours prior to arrival and stay in self-isolation for five days.

With the exception of EU countries, travelers arriving in Italy from one of the following third countries are also allowed: Albania, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Kosovo, Moldova and Al-Jabal Black, New Zealand, Qatar, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Republic of Korea, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, Singapore, United States of America, Ukraine, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

All of the above countries are part of the so-called List D. In Italy based on the current rules applied by Italy, travelers arriving in Italy from one of the above countries must fill out a passenger locator form, and undergo a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival at country, and show a digital COVID-19 certificate or equivalent document

However, it should be noted that special rules apply to people who have resided in or transited through the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, including Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Channel Island. This group of people is required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours prior to arrival.

Travelers who do not meet these requirements must remain isolated for 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 submit a Passenger Locator Form, a negative test result obtained within 72 hours of the following EU digital COVID certificates:

Certificate of Retrieval of Vaccination Certificate 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 on countries with high rates of COVID-19

Arrivals from European countries allowed to enter must submit a negative PCR test result, which is taken within 72 hours of their arrival and fill out a self-declaration form. They are also required to inform the local authorities of their arrival.

The same rules apply to arrivals from Israel and the UK, although the test is taken 48 hours prior to arrival.

Expatriates from any country that is allowed to enter are exempted from the requirement of self-isolation.

Strict rules apply to travelers from a country highly affected by the coronavirus, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Brazil.

All people who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days or transited the country for more than 12 hours must submit a negative test result taken within 48 hours and undergo a second test upon arrival. After that, they must quarantine 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 are eligible to enter from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka by submitting a negative test result 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 place determined by the authorities. They have to undergo another test on the tenth day before leaving the quarantine.

All people traveling for essential purposes from countries whose entry is prohibited are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

COVID-19 vaccine passport

On May 4, Prime Minister Mario Draghi revealed plans to create a national “green corridor”. The pass will indicate 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 Passport Vaccination Initiative.

Draghi confirmed that tourists would also qualify for the pass, and said the country plans to launch it by mid-May, although details have not yet been provided.

Italy launched the EU passport for COVID-19 on June 15, and the country has already started issuing and accepting proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or negative COVID test certificates. However, due to the prevalence of the COVID Delta variant, Italy plans to make some adjustments to the document requirements.

Italian Green Corridor

The Italian Green Corridor is an extension of the EU’s COVID-19 digital certification. This means that the card shows evidence of whether the person was fully vaccinated against the virus, recovered from it, or had a recent COVID-19 test result.

Since August 6, the card has been mandatory for all people over the age of 12 who wish to allow them access to certain activities and services, including restaurants, bars, cafes, museums, theaters and many other events.

Fast forward, on September 1, the pass became mandatory for all wishing to attend public transportation such as planes, ferries and buses, among others.

In addition, the Italian authorities announced that from tomorrow, October 15, all people working in the public and private sectors must have a Green Pass. Those who refuse to be vaccinated and cannot provide a certificate of recovery will be suspended and risk not getting paid after the fifth day.

What to expect when visiting Italy

In order to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy has classified its regions. Currently, all regions of Italy are part of the whitelist, which means that the relaxed restrictions apply across the country.

Areas that are part of the White Zone, which has identified fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, are almost back to normal.

However, while staying in Italy, travelers must wear a mask at all times when using public transportation. On the other hand, the requirement to keep a mask when outdoors has been lifted.

In addition, everyone is required to maintain a distance of at least one meter. Only high-speed trains do not have social distancing rules.

Since Monday, October 11, cultural venues have been allowed to operate at full capacity, meaning that theaters, cinemas and concert venues have no restrictions on the number of people allowed to attend public and private events.

It was also announced that the capacity of sports stadiums would be increased to 60 percent for indoor events and 75 percent for outdoor events. Furthermore, the capacity of nightclubs has increased to 50 percent for indoor venues and 75 percent for outdoor venues.

Restaurants, bars and other stores are also open to all, provided that safety measures are met.

In general, since all regions of Italy are now white, country citizens and travelers can enjoy different activities and attend different places now. However, the authorities have stressed that in order to be allowed to enter any of the above-mentioned activities, every person must hold a Green Pass.

Travel Insurance: A Must for All Travelers

It is recommended that all people who wish to travel to Italy or any other country during the summer period purchase extended travel insurance that covers epidemic and pandemic situations.

This insurance will ensure that if flights are canceled due to COVID-19 cases, a significant amount of money can be saved.

You can buy Italy medical travel insurance protection at very low cost 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 hardships. However, the strict lockdown has put the coronavirus situation under control.

However, cases started increasing again in September, and another third wave set off in February 2021.

Most of the country spent the first quarter of 2021 under lockdown restrictions, with infection rates increasing regardless of measures.

According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), as of October 14, 2021, Italy has recorded 4,704,318 cases of COVID-19 and 131,384 deaths.

The vaccination campaign is finally accelerating after months of delay. Based on data provided by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the country has provided at least 85,340,965 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with 78.3 percent of the entire population being vaccinated so far.

Italy mainly provides vaccines provided by Comirnaty, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Note: This article was originally published on June 9. Since then, it has been constantly updated with the latest changes. The last changes to the article were made on October 14, in line with the latest updates from the Italian authorities.

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