UPDATE: Italy to further relax rules on Americans

Jun 18, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post was updated with clarification of testing requirements.


 

In a big update from the Italian health ministry, Americans will now be allowed to enter Italy with few restrictions. That means Americans should soon be able to arrive on any flights to Italy instead of only those COVID-tested flights we’ve been reporting on.

The new rules go into effect on June 19, a health ministry spokesman told Reuters.

Italy will allow all American tourists as long as they have a so-called “green pass,” showing they are fully vaccinated.

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Roberto Speranza is Italy’s health minister, and made the announcement on Facebook:

“I signed a new order that:
1) allows entry from the European Union countries and the United States, Canada and Japan with Green Certificate requirements;
2) extends entry ban measures from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka;
3) introduces a 5 day quarantine with swab obligation for those from Great Britain.”

Note that you must still get a COVID-19 PCR test within 48 hours of arrival in Italy. There are some reports only an antigen test is required, but we’ve been unable to confirm that.

In May 2021, Italy initially approved “COVID-tested flights” from the U.S. (on Delta from Atlanta and New York to Rome and Milan as well as on select American and United flights) that allow quarantine-free travel. Passengers on these flights, regardless of vaccination status, must fill out the digital Passenger Locator Form, present a COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival, take a rapid test just prior to boarding and then test again upon arrival in Italy. With a negative result on all three tests, travelers do not need to self-isolate.

Passengers arriving on other flights were required to self-isolate—until today, June 19, 2021, when Italy lifted a quarantine requirement for U.S. travelers (as well as those from other EU countries, Canada and Japan).

Arriving passengers must have a certificate showing proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival to Italy. The latest updates by Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found here.

Related: Visiting Italy during COVID-19 pandemic

While it’s great news for Americans, Italy also imposed a quarantine on all arriving British tourists as a new, more virulent strain of COVID-19 continues to spread in the United Kingdom.

The news was fist reported by British newspaper Independent. All British travelers will need to self-isolate for five days on arrival.

 

Italy remains on the U.K.’s “amber” list of countries meaning British citizens returning from Italy are required to quarantine for 10 days.

Related: Reopening Europe: A country-by-country guide

It comes as the so-called “Delta variant” strain of coronavirus continues to spread in the U.K. despite increasing rates of vaccination. Reuters reporting today Public Health England data shows a 79% week-over-week increase in cases of the new COVID-19 strain first identified in India. Fortunately there has not been a corresponding rise in hospitalizations.

Related: Boris delays reopening by four weeks

According to Our World in Data and aggregated by Google, 46% of people in the United Kingdom have been fully vaccinated. Just today, anyone over the age of 18 can now get a vaccine in England.

Jenny Harries, Chief Executive, of U.K.’s Health Security Agency, told Reuters, “It is encouraging to see that hospitalisations and deaths are not rising at the same rate but we will continue to monitor it closely.”

 Several countries are increasing travel restrictions on British travellers due to fears over the new virus strain that is linked to rising COVID-19 cases.

Featured image by Kirill Rudenko/Getty Images.

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