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Can you travel to Italy plus current situation [May 2021]

can I travel to italy

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Many people are asking can you travel to Italy in 2021. In this article we outline the conditions for travel to Italy. We will continue to update this page as the situation changes. We do not speculate on the prospects for changes in legislation or on any health related matter.

Last updated: May 5th, 2021

Please note that as information can change quickly particularly with respect to different country advisories please check your own government travel advisories and call the Italian embassy in your country for specific information relating to your unique circumstances. We have provided links to these sources below.

Top news items

  • May 5th – the Italian government announced its intention to allow visitors who are fully vaccinated and/or test negative to enter Italy from mid May. A pass to prove eligibility will be used. No further details are available at this time
  • The US State Department and CDC upgraded their travel advice to Level 4 – Do not travel on April 20th – official advice
  • In an interview with the NY Times, European Union (EU) authorities announced the intention to accept visitors who have received E.U.-approved vaccines to travel from North America to Europe this summer – no further details are available at this time

This page is to assist travelers who have planned leisure or tourist trips to Italy. Different rules and regulations may apply if your travel relates to other purposes such as business, family reasons etc. While every effort is made to keep this page up to date, please check advice from your airline and local authorities for the latest information that applies to your situation.

If you wish to discuss your unique circumstances with fellow travelers please join our online community for people whose travels have been disrupted by Covid19.

FAQ about travel to Italy in 2021

can i travel to italy now

Is Italy allowing international visitors to enter the country?

Yes, however this is dependent on country of residence and a 5 day minimum quarantine period applies to most arrivals.

The latest advice for international travel from the Italian government was given on 29th April. It is expected to be updated in mid May 2021. You can read the official advice here. To check what the situation is for your country of residence and nationality, please go to this Italian government website that aims to clarify the situation for you.

Note – the announcements on 16th April with respect to reopening contains no advice on international travel arrangements

Does the advice apply if i have had a covid vaccine?

Yes. At this time there are no exceptions or changes to travel rules for people who have been vaccinated.

EU AND SCHENGEN ZONE RESIDENTS 

for citizens, foreign residents, or family members of a citizen or resident (spouse, civil or cohabiting partner, dependent children 21 years or under, other dependents)

  • SELF DECLARATION,
  • NEGATIVE TEST 48 HOURS BEFORE ENTRY
  • 5 DAYS OF QUARANTINE
  • NEGATIVE TEST REQUIRED WHEN LEAVING QUARANTINE

Applies to following countries:

European Union: Belgium, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Schengen Zone: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Plus: Andorra, Principality of Monaco

Note – if you traveled outside any of these countries in the 14 days prior to your arrival in Italy, the rules below applying to the country you visited applies.

AUSTRIA – a 14 day quarantine plus 3 tests apply for arrivals from Austria

LOW INFECTION RATE COUNTRIES

residents of the following countries with a low covid19 infection rate. Does not apply to citizens of these countries living in non-exempt countries eg an Australian citizen living in the United States:

Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand

  • FREE TO VISIT
  • 14 DAY quarantine required
  • NO TESTS reQuired 

Note – on arrival you will need to declare your plans for quarantine and self isolation including suitable accommodation and transfer from the airport (public transport is not allowed) using this form

REST OF THE WORLD INCLUDING USA

residents of all other countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India and Russia may not enter Italy as a tourist. You may enter for urgent reasons that must be declared on arrival under categories – work, health, absolute necessity, returning home or to a place of residence or to study.

  • Entry for EMERGeNCY only
  • 14 DAY quarantine required
  • No TESTS REQUIRED 

If you plan to enter under these conditions make sure to contact the Italian embassy in your country for the latest information before purchasing flights and making plans to depart.

Note – on arrival you will need to declare your urgent reasons for entering Italy and your plans for quarantine and self isolation including suitable accommodation and transfer from the airport (public transport is not allowed) using this form

COVID-TESTED SERVICES FROM THE USA

Passengers who fly on special ‘Covid-tested’ services offered by Alitalia, Delta and American Airlines from New York (JFK airport) or Atlanta (ATL) to Rome (FCO) or Milan (MXP) must test negative no more than 48 hours before boarding. Another test is taken on arrival in Italy. Quarantine is not required provided both tests are negative. Entry to Italy remains for emergency purposes only.

specific requirements for arrivals from the UK

If you have been in or transited through the UK within the past 14 days you must test negative no more than 72 hours before travelling and no more than 48 hours on arrival. A 14 day mandatory quarantine applies to all arrivals from the UK.

specific requirements for arrivals from BRASIL

If you have been in or transited through Brasil within the past 14 days you must test negative no more than 72 hours before travelling and no more than 48 hours on arrival. A 14 day mandatory quarantine applies and you must test negative again to leave quarantine.

For the latest information please check the Re-open EU website

Do I need to quarantine on arrival in Italy?

Yes. A minimum of 5 days quarantine applies to most arrivals .This depends on your country of residence and whether you have spent time in certain countries prior to arriving in Italy. Please review the above tables to determine your situation.

What tests are accepted in Italy?

Italian officials accept molecular (PCR) and rapid antigen tests for the purposes of entering Italy. Test results may be in English.

Do I need a visa to enter Italy?

Citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand may enter Italy and stay up to 90 days without a visa within an 180 day period. You must have 6 months validity on your passport.

All other nationalities should check this Italian government site that walks you through whether a visa is required for your visit.

European Union citizens can travel with photo identification.

Note – this information is subject to change and it is always best to check with your local foreign office for the latest advice on travel to Italy.

Am I allowed to leave the United States / Australia / United Kingdom / Canada / my country?

Currently the following advisories are in place. While every effort is made to keep this information current it is best to check with your country travel advisory in the “read more” links below.

  • United States – Level 4 Do not travel to Italy due to COVID-19 – The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of covid-19 – read more
  • United Kingdom – The FCDO advises against all but essential travel – government restrictions and travel info
  • Australia – There’s a ban on overseas travel from Australia. This ban is administered by the Department of Home Affairs. You can’t leave Australia unless you seek an exemption from Home Affairs – read more
  • Canada – Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada and avoid all cruise ship travel until further notice – read more
  • New Zealand – Do not travel overseas at this time – read more

Citizens of countries not on this list should refer to their country foreign affairs department.

Can I buy travel insurance to cover my trip?

Many travel insurance companies will not cover your trip for cancelations or health problems related to covid19. Most will not sell policies at all where a travel ban exists for your country of residence.

There are, however, many other reasons to take out travel insurance for Italy – you can read about them in this article.

No matter what decision you make, ensure you understand the risks associated with not having insurance and read the terms and conditions carefully should you decide to purchase a policy.

Are flights departing to Italy?

There are increasing numbers of flights to and from Italy, mainly from within European destinations. Here are the main airlines currently flying to airports in Italy however we suggest using Skyscanner or Google Flights for the most up to date information including smaller airlines

  • Alitalia – some trans-Atlantic flights
  • Delta – some trans-Atlantic flights
  • American Airlines – some trans-Atlantic flights
  • Air France – some trans-Atlantic flights
  • KLM – some trans-Atlantic flights
  • Aer Lingus – some trans-Atlantic flights with a change in Dublin
  • Lufthansa
  • Easyjet
  • Ryanair
  • Vueling
  • Qatar – connections via Doha (United Arab Emirates)
  • Etihad – connections via
  • Virgin Atlantic – some trans-Atlantic routes
  • British Airways
  • Turkish Airlines

Do I need to register with authorities when I arrive?

A standard World Health Organisation form is required when you arrive by plane

If you need to quarantine you will be required to complete this form on arrival.

Some regions – Sardinia, Sicily, Puglia and Calabria – also require visitors to register their arrival – more info

What is the situation in Italy now?

do i need to wear a mask in italy

Is there a state of emergency?

Yes. The Italian parliament extended the current state of emergency until July 31st, 2021. Italy has extended a national curfew that is in place from 10pm to 5am. Tavel between regions is allowed in yellow zones and you must be able to prove you have been fully vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid and can provide a negative test taken in the past 48 hours to travel to and within the orange or red zones.

Are many people still ill with Covid-19? Are cases increasing?

Cases are rising  in Italy. Restrictions are in place and there is a state of emergency in place until July 31st, 2021. To check the latest figures and updates by region visit the Italian Ministry of Health (use Google translate to see English language).

Sadly over 121,000 people have died due to covid-19 in Italy where there have been more than 4 million infections. To date 20 million people have been vaccinated with their first dose in Italy (population of 60 million). Over 6 million people have received their second dose.

There are currently around 500,000 active infections in Italy.

What is the plan for reopening – announcement of April 16th?

On April 16th Italy’s plan for reopening was announced with the reinstatement of yellow zones on 26th April. Regions will need to meet health criteria to move into the yellow zone where restrictions are relaxed in terms of movement and activities (see below for latest). A region can also move back into orange or red if the health situation worsens according to government criteria.

What restrictions and social distancing rules apply?

The situation in May remains fluid. The country is currently divided into red, orange or yellow zones with a review to take place weekly.

National rules / yellow zone:

  • Curfew from 10pm to 5am. You must stay inside unless you can prove you need to leave the house for work or health-related reasons. A form must be completed if you need to leave your home
  • Travel between different regions is allowed in yellow zones
  • Cruises are banned from departing from or stopping in Italian ports over the holidays, and Italy’s ski resorts are closed
  • Wearing a mask is mandatory in public at all times. Fines of up to €1,000 apply for non compliance.
  • Restaurants can open for lunch and dinner – outdoor seating only – until 10pm
  • Museums and galleries are open
  • Public transport is operating
  • Sanitizing hands frequently is recommended in all settings
  • Applies to – most regions

Orange zone – restrictions of yellow zone plus

  • travel only for reasons of work, study, health or emergency
  • bars, cafes, restaurants closed. Take away only
  • shops including hairdressers open
  • Applies to – Basilicata, Calabria, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily

Red zone – restrictions of yellow and orange zones plus

  • travel only for reasons of work, study, health or emergency
  • all shops closed
  • Applies to – Valle d’Aosta

White zone – fewer restrictions apply

  • Curfew may be removed and opening hours extended
  • In practice, the regional authority decides what measures they will take
  • Applies to – no regions currently

Please note that these requirements are changing quickly from region to region. Check with your accommodation provider – hotel, Airbnb, etc – for the latest information.

Are the main attractions open?

Museums and galleries can open in the yellow zones. Most of the other main attractions have restricted hours and capacity. Check the main websites regularly for latest updates.

Limited tickets and new restrictions apply to visits to museums and attractions when open. You must book your tickets online in advance and attend at your scheduled time. Wearing a face mask is mandatory in these setting as is following a set route through the attraction. Expect temperature checks as well as the usual security measures. Access may be denied if your temperature is over 37.5°C

Do I need to wear a mask?

You are required to wear a face mask in public at all times, including in restaurants (except when you are sitting down). Some regions, including Lombardy, require wearing masks in all settings where you come into contact with people outside your household. Check with your accommodation what is required prior to your arrival.

Can I travel by train?

Yes but there are some limitations between regions. You must be able to prove you have been fully vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid and can provide a negative test taken in the past 48 hours to travel to and within the orange or red zones. Special measures are in place to ensure safety when traveling by train. You are required to wear a face mask at all times and can be removed if you do not.

Can I eat out at restaurants?

Yes only in yellow zones outdoors until 10pm. Home delivery and takeaways are allowed in yellow zone regions and may be permitted depending on rules in place in the other zones.

FAQ about planned vacations

which countries can travel to italy

Sadly many people have had trips to Italy canceled in 2020 and 2021 and many more may be forced to do so while we face this pandemic. If you have travel plans in 2021 here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about reorganizing travel. While we do our best to keep this as accurate as possible, please refer to your own country consumer law and advice for the latest information.

Unfortunately we cannot assist with individual requests for assistance rebooking or canceling trips.

Will I need to prove I have received a Covid vaccine to enter Italy?

There is no information from the Italian government regarding vaccines for incoming passengers at this time. Recent announcements from the European Union suggest this will be a requirement when travel for non essential purposes resumes.

Is my flight / cruise / tour still departing?

Flights, tours and cruises may be canceled in 2021. Check with your travel agent or if you booked directly with relevant airlines and cruise companies for the latest information.

What should I do if my flights have been canceled?

If your airline cancels your flights you should be entitled to a full refund under most consumer jurisdictions. Once your flight cancelation is confirmed, the airline should advise when you will receive your refund. Make sure to also cancel accommodation, activity and tour bookings. You can also try to move your travel insurance coverage to new dates.

Refunds apply when the airline cancels your flight. If you choose not to fly then you will be subject to the change and cancelation rules of your fare and any special measures put in place by your airline to respond to the covid-19 situation.

Am I entitled to a refund on my flights / hotels and accommodation / tours?

This depends on the terms and conditions that you booked under and the consumer laws of your country and / or the country where the business is based. While many businesses are trying to refund customers who purchased non-refundable services, others are unable to or have chosen to offer vouchers for future use instead.

The Italian government issued this decree allowing travel companies to offer vouchers for future use instead of refunds. Many companies are applying this ruling to their businesses including the Colosseum and Vatican Museums.

If you are not happy with the compensation offered by the service provider you can file a dispute with your credit card company if you used one to book your travel.

What happens if I am offered a voucher and I would prefer a refund?

First, try and negotiate with the company. There are often very serious and legitimate reasons why people will not be able to travel in the future. You should state these clearly and most companies provide an exception in extenuating circumstances. If this does not produce an acceptable outcome, pursue a dispute with your credit card company as the next step.

Steps to take to reorganize  or cancel your trip

  1. Review all your bookings and understand the terms and conditions under which you booked
  2. Contact the providers to understand their position on refunds and / or rebooking
  3. Decide what you want to do with respect to rebooking. You may be offered dates in a different time of year than you originally planned to travel. If you want to know what it is like in Italy at different times throughout the year check this article
  4. Contact your insurance provider to understand if you can recover any funds owing for services you do not wish to rebook
  5. You may choose to pursue fund recovery with your credit card for services you are not happy with the recourse offered

Recommended official websites for up to date information

  • European Union ‘Reopen EU‘ – useful site with latest information on reopening in Italy – includes travel and health information plus details of differences by region
  • IATA Travel Center – the International Air Travel Association’s site for up to date travel information used by airlines
  • Italian Ministry of Health – tracks cases and issues related to coronavirus in Italy
  • Italian Tourism Board – latest information for tourists on visiting Italy at this time (site in English)
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