Italy is a dreamy travel destination. It’s home to one of the world’s great cuisines, ancient history, tons of art and Renaissance architecture, some rugged coastlines, and more beautiful beaches than you can imagine. And, despite COVID-19, Italy is still up and running.
We’ve made this in-depth guide to the COVID entry requirements for Italy to give you all the information you’ll need to travel safely here. Throughout this post, we will cover who can visit Italy, what restrictions there are, and what visitors can expect to do once they’re there.
This guide is everything YOU NEED TO KNOW for visiting Italy in 2020.
A message from Will, the OG Broke Backpacker
Amigos, let’s face the facts: travel isn’t what it was. Things have changed.
We strive at The Broke Backpacker to be the best source of up-to-date and relevant information in the travel-sphere. All the information here was sourced, checked, double-checked, and published on 12/11/2020. While the information was correct then—and we will outline any changes and updates that we do make in the future—it’s important to respect the immense changeability of this topic.
If you’re going to be travelling amongst the coronavirus world, you need to, do your own research and do it hard. No one blog or website is a sufficient source, and even if it was, it might all just go tits up anyway.
This information changes more often than I fart in a day. Tread with caution.
And if you do see some misinformation, please leave a (constructive) comment so that we can patch it up! We really do appreciate your support and input in these weirdest of times.
Who Can Travel to Italy Right Now?
Italy is still open for tourism, but varying travel restrictions are in force depending on your country of origin. Since October 24th 2020, Italy has introduced a six-part categorisation system with differing limitations on travel.
The following, with some exceptions, is List B, comprising countries currently allowed to travel to Italy:
*List C countries, subject to entry requirements
**List D countries, subject to isolation on arrival at their final destination
Many countries not listed above (List E) are eligible to enter Italy, but only under specific reasons for travel, for example visiting a partner or family. This includes countries such as Mexico, Russia, and Argentina.
There is currently a travel ban in place for the following countries (List F).
If you are unsure of the details in Italy’s categorisation system, please check this government site.
Can Americans travel to Italy?
Though Italy’s borders are open to American tourists, the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel recommendation for Italy under a Level 3 Travel Advisory. This recommends against all but essential travel to Italy.
This is the situation as of 26th October 2020, but it is subject to change.
What Are the COVID-19 Entry Requirements for Italy?
As with travel restrictions for Italy, the requirements for entry vary depending on your country of departure. Requirements such as testing and quarantine may be the case for certain countries, while others are free to travel with limited restrictions to their trip.
Those travelling from List A (Vatican City and San Marino) and List B, as mentioned above, are able to travel to Italy without undergoing a test for COVID-19.
If you are travelling from a country on List C, you’ll need to show a negative test result on arrival in Italy. It must be taken up to 72 hours before you travel. This can be either a PCR test or an antigenic test.
The Italian authorities will ask for proof of the test date at immigration.
Alternatively, you can undergo a test in Italy within 48 hours of arrival, either at the airport or at a local health clinic. Tests are free of charge at airports; some airports offer rapid one-hour testing.
List D nationals will be subject to health screenings for high temperatures and COVID-19 symptoms.
All tourists bound for Sardinia are required to have their body temperature checked.
Only travellers from countries on List D and List E are required to self-isolate on entry into Italy. Visitors may isolate at their final destination in the country and must do so for 14 days.
In order to reach your final destination, you may only use private transport. Taking public transport is prohibited.
Those awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test (i.e. countries on List C) must also self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Those who test positive must quarantine until receiving a negative test result.
There are some exemptions from quarantine, for example diplomats, students, and for transit through Italy. For a full list of exemptions check this government site.
All travellers from all countries, apart from San Marino and Vatican City, are required to fill in a self-declaration form. This must be downloaded, completed, and printed. It must be provided to either your transport provider or border police, as requested.
You can find that form online here.
Visitors must also telephone regional information helplines for the area they’re visiting within 48 hours of arrival. You must inform them that you’re visiting the area. See here for the list of phone numbers online.
For those visiting Sardinia, you will need to fill out this online form and register your trip ahead of travel. Alternatively, registration can also be done through the Sardegna Sicura App. Either way, it is mandatory.
Italy’s visa requirements remain the same as they were prior to the spread of COVID-19. This means that if you want to apply for an entry visa to Italy, or enter visa-free, there will be no additional coronavirus paperwork to fill in.
Along with Schengen Area member countries and EU bloc states, there are 59 countries eligible for visa-free 90-day stays in Italy.
Check this site to see if your country is one of them, or if you need to apply for a visa.
Insurance isn’t a mandatory requirement for travel to Italy. However, if these times have taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen. For that reason, travel insurance is very important and we highly recommend you get comprehensive coverage.
See our insurance section for more information.
Italy’s Travel Restrictions – On the Ground in Italy
There are various measures in place in Italy to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The country is operating under many ‘New Normal Regulations’, which aim to keep its citizens and visitors safe. The main health recommendations include:
- Keeping social distance (1 metre)
- Regular washing of hands with sanitiser or soap and water
- Avoiding physical contact (shaking hands, hugging, etc.)
- Following good respiratory hygiene (covering mouth/nose when sneezing/coughing)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Not travelling by public transport where possible
You have to carry a face mask at all times. It is mandatory to have one on your person and must be worn on public transport, in enclosed public spaces, and outdoor spaces. You should pay attention to signs indicating where masks should be worn.
Children under 6 years of age don’t have to wear masks. You also don’t have to wear a mask if you’re engaging in physical exercise.
What Tourist Services Have Reopened in Italy?
Though there are some restrictions and closures, many tourist services and facilities are open for business in Italy. Many, if not all, remain open under New Normal guidelines, such as shorter opening hours. Services that are open currently include:
- Archaeological sites
- Public parks
- Restaurants, bars, cafes
- Hiking trails
But there are limitations in the operation of these services. In restaurants, bars, and cafes, for example, patrons may only sit in groups of up to four people; they must also close at 6 p.m.
You will also have to book in advance for tickets to museums and archaeological sites. In all cases, social distancing must be observed, and masks should be worn at all times.
Now, while travel insurance is not a mandatory entry requirement for Italy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. You really shouldn’t ever be travelling without insurance, and that goes double for the pandemic!
Keeping yourself covered against coronavirus mishaps is a complex subject, however, Americans get it easy. Our favourite insurance provider World Nomads just got favourite-r! They’re covering against COVID-related incidents and will also count for countries where corona coverage is a requirement.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple—just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Is there a backup option? Sure is—SafetyWing Travel Insurance! SafetWing is the cheap, long-term insurance for cheap, long-term travellers. And now, they’ve stepped up to the plate covering travellers and digital nomads against COVID-19 Medical Costs… at a bargain!
And if neither of those two choices are right for you? Well, in that case, I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend doing your own research on the top travel insurance companies and finding one right for your trip.
And Keep Smiling
You can still visit Italy. It still boasts bustling cities with ancient, charming streets and amazing food, still has idyllic countryside, and still produces wine and cheese. It’s still an experience.
There may be New Normal guidelines in place that limit that experience. There may be stricter entry restrictions for some countries. But between the officialdom, there’s Italy – still there.
You may be lucky enough to visit without too many restrictions, or maybe you’d rather wait until things are a little freer. Either way, who says you can’t start planning for a trip to Italy?
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