If you plan on travel to Italy, here’s what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Italy is currently in a state of emergency until April 30 (extended from January 31) due to the pandemic.
After being hit badly in the early stages of the first wave, the country became one of the first countries to reopen to visitors in June, although visitors are mostly restricted to residents of the European Union.
What is offered in Italy
It is one of Europe’s big hitters, known for its historic art cities like Florence, wonders like Venice, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome.
Amazing food, fantastic wines, unspoiled countryside and an array of beach resorts keep it in high demand.
Who can go
Following what was essentially a lockdown with borders closing over the holiday period, borders have now reopened.
The country is currently allowed entry, by quarantine, is divided into two lists:
Low risk countries are Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Rwanda, Singapore and Thailand. Residents of these countries are allowed to enter without restrictions, however they must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival at the place of their choice, and must not use public transport to their destination.
Also allowed are arrivals from most of Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and Switzerland. Arrivals from these countries must show negative Covid-19 test results taken within 48 hours of arrival, and must report to local health authorities upon arrival.
Arrivals from Great Britain (other than residents of Italy) are prohibited until at least March 5, and until January 31, no one who has entered or transited through Brazil in the last 14 days may enter Italy (not even Italian residents). In addition, flights to and from Brazil have been banned.
Tourism is currently not allowed from other countries, including the United States. Since overnight stays must be registered with the authorities, there is no possibility of sneaking in through the second country.
What are the limitations?
Arrivals from Europe must provide negative PCR test results taken within 48 hours of their arrival. They are also required to fill out a self-declaration form and report to local health authorities. Anyone arriving without a negative test result must be quarantined for 14 days, regardless of the negative test taken on arrival.
Those from an approved country outside Europe must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
Any arrival traveling for an important reason, from a country normally prohibited from entry, must be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival.
Due to this new variant, flights between Italy and the UK are prohibited until January 6, and only Italian residents and citizens are allowed to travel from the UK until March 5.
How is the Covid-19 situation?
As the first successful European country, Italy has been through a lot. However, the tight lockdown kept things under control and held up against a second wave longer than its European neighbors. However, cases started to increase in September and jumped sharply in October. It holds the second highest death toll in Europe (after the UK), with more than 2.2 million infections and more than 83,000 deaths as of January 20. On January 13, Health Minister Roberto Speranza warned that the situation is worsening nationwide, although as of January 19, experts have said things are improving, with Christmas restrictions starting to show if the cases load.
Application Immune uses Bluetooth to trace contacts with potential infections.
What can visitors expect
Non-essential travel between cities and regions is not permitted. This is a rule carried over for the holiday period, but has been extended to February 15, with the possibility of being extended in the next emergency decree.
Italy has been a state of emergency delegated power to individual territories, so it depends on where you are. But across the country, masks must be worn at all times in public, even outside.
On November 6, the country was divided into zones, depending on the level of infection: red, orange and yellow.
In the yellow zone (lowest case rate), bars and restaurants close at 6pm; restaurant groups are limited to six people. Local festivals have been banned, and theaters, cinemas and gyms are closed. Shopping center is closed on weekends. The museum, however, reopened January 16. Bars should not sell take-out drinks after 6pm in an attempt to keep people from gathering, although restaurants and bars selling food may take over the take-out service. People can travel once a day, within their own territory.
In the orange zone (higher risk), restaurants and bars are closed for meals, but may offer takeout food. Regional borders are closed. People can move freely within their own city, but cannot leave their area except for work or emergencies.
In the red zone (highest risk), all shops are closed apart from grocery stores and pharmacies. People can only leave their homes for work, health reasons or go to places of worship.
In both the red and orange zones, people can travel once a day, but only within their comune, or city area. If the comune is small (less than 5,000 inhabitants) they can travel within a 30 kilometer radius, although not to provincial capitals.
The entire country is set red and orange during the holiday period, turning yellow on January 7 for the first time since December 23. Now, the region again received individual rankings.
On January 16, Lombardy, Sicily and the autonomous province of Bolzano were changed to red.
The following regions are colored orange: Abruzzo, Calabria, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Marche, Piedmont, Puglia, Umbria, Valle d’Aosta and Veneto.
That leaves only Basilicata, Campania, Molise, Sardinia, Tuscany and the autonomous province of Trento in yellow.
The government has also created a “white zone” rating for areas of very low risk – where there are under 50 cases per 100,000 population. This area will be exempt from restrictions. However, at this time, none of the regions were eligible.
The ski season was scheduled to start on January 18, but has been postponed until at least February 15, when the rules will be reviewed. However, regional leaders now say there may not be a season this year.
TThe 10pm curfew applies nationwide until further notice, and there is no bar that sells take-out drinks after 6pm
Our latest coverage
Can’t go to Italy now? You can always buy a house for 1 euro – the price of a cup of coffee. A website has just been launched offers free visit sales across the country. If you don’t want to buy, state wide spread hotel, or scattered hotels, is the perfect travel solution in the Covid-19 era. Or take a look at our list small town perfect for social distancing.
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