Answers to your 11 most frequent questions about Italy’s reopening
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
Earlier this summer, I was one of the first American tourists to return to Italy on a COVID-19-tested flight. While planning for this last-minute trip, I had lots of questions. After all, I didn’t want to be turned away before leaving the U.S., forced into quarantine in Italy or denied boarding on the way back to the U.S.
Luckily, Italy’s entry requirements for U.S. tourists have eased since my trip. In particular, travelers from the U.S. can now enter Italy via a green certificate. As such, you don’t need to fly on a COVID-tested flight to enter without quarantine. But, it may still be confusing to plan a trip to Italy. After all, transiting through select European airports may be complicated and could result in the need to quarantine when you reach Italy.
In the days and weeks since my trip to Italy, I’ve gotten many questions from travelers planning their own trips. Of course, I recommend reading my article about what it was like visiting Milan, Italy, as it reopens. And you’ll want to check out a Rome-based reporter’s take on what the scene in Italy is like right now. But here’s a quick run-down of some of the questions I’ve gotten since my visit in May, including answers that I’ve updated based on current regulations.
Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.
What’s the most reliable source for Italian entry requirements during the pandemic?
Italy’s ministry of health provides frequently updated and accurate information about the current entry requirements. However, you’ll also want to check your airline’s website. For example, even if you’re flying on a flight that Delta sold as a COVID-tested flight, Delta’s website notes you’ll no longer need to get multiple negative test results. Instead, now you can board your flight and enter Italy without quarantine if you have one of the following:
- Certificate of vaccination (last vaccination dose completed at least 14 days before departure)
- Delta’s website mentions a CDC-issued vaccination card or a European Union green certificate
- A negative antigen, PCR or molecular COVID-19 test result from a test taken within 48 hours of arrival in Italy
- Certificate of recovery
Likewise, you’ll find similar information on United’s travel notices page and American’s COVID-19 testing page. As your trip approaches, check the current requirements with your airline. After all, the airline will ultimately check whether you have the proper documents for travel.
Where can I get a test in Italy before returning to the US?
Some Italian airports, including Rome-FCO and Milan-MXP, currently offer rapid antigen testing facilities. For example, in Milan, you can go to Terminal 1 Arrivals Level at MXP airport and pay 50 euros (about $59) for a test. And in Rome, you can go to Terminal 3 Ground Level at FCO airport and pay 20 euros (about $24) for a test.
However, you should plan to arrive at the airport at least four hours before your scheduled departure if you want to get tested on-site. And you should confirm when you arrive in Italy that this service will be offered upon departure, as the initially planned end date for some of these facilities is approaching.
Multiple travelers have also reported that it was quick and easy to get a test for travel at pharmacies in Rome and Milan. So, if you don’t want to arrive at the airport four hours before departure or you aren’t sure the airport will offer rapid testing, you may want to stop by a pharmacy as your trip comes to a close. Your hotel may also be able to provide advice or even arrange for testing with a private doctor.
You could also pack one of the rapid at-home COVID-19 tests that the CDC has clarified is sufficient for travel to the U.S. However, note that the E.U. doesn’t accept self-tests for some purposes (such as the EU Digital COVID Certificate) because “self-tests are not performed in controlled conditions and, for the time being, are considered to be less reliable.” So, although the U.S. should accept a self-test for entry, you may not want to risk potential issues with European airport staff if you can get a test locally.
Is everything open in Italy now?
Italy classifies its regions and autonomous provinces into four zones (red, orange, yellow and white) based on a weekly COVID-19 risk assessment. So, depending on the current zone of your destination, there will be restrictions on how restaurants and attractions can operate. And, these restrictions could change if your destination moves into a different zone.
However, all regions and provinces in Italy are currently white. As such, you can eat and drink indoors at restaurants and most tourist activities are open. But, if you want to partake in a specific activity, such as going to a spa, attending an indoor sporting event or visiting an amusement park, it’s worth checking the restrictions to see whether this activity is allowable. Plus, you’ll want to check with the activity provider to determine whether it’s possible to get a reservation or tickets.
Can I take public transit in Italy now?
As long as you enter Italy without a self-isolation requirement, you can use public transit to get from the airport and travel within Italy.
Do I have to wear a mask outdoors in Italy?
As of June 28, 2021, you’ll no longer need to wear a mask outdoors in Italy in white zones. However, you should always carry a mask with you. After all, you’ll still need to wear a mask indoors (and outdoors if there is a crowd).
Should I fly on a nonstop flight from the US to Italy?
Travelers from the United States can enter Italy with a green certificate. So, if you have a green certificate (including a CDC-issued vaccination card), you may be able to transit in Europe on the way to Italy.
However, I still recommend flying on a nonstop flight between the U.S. and Italy if possible. After all, transiting in Europe during the pandemic can be complicated. For example, Italy or the country you’re transiting could change its entry or transit requirements without notice. And currently, if you’ve entered or transited the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland in the 14 days before entering Italy, you’ll need to undergo two COVID-19 tests and five days of self-isolation.
Do I have to test upon arrival in Italy?
Through July 31, 2021, travelers who have stayed in or transited Canada, Japan and the United States of America within 14 days of entering Italy must provide one of the following:
- Proof that you completed an approved COVID-19 vaccination cycle at least 14 days ago
- Your CDC-issued vaccination card bearing a CDC logo can satisfy this requirement
- Proof that you’ve recovered from COVID-19 (the certificate of recovery is valid for 180 days from the date of the first positive swab)
- Results of a negative molecular or antigen swab test in the 48 hours before entering Italy
- Children under 6 years of age are exempt from the predeparture swab test
Additionally, you must fill in the Digital Passenger Locator Form before entering Italy. However, a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival is no longer required for travelers from the U.S. But, as I describe in the following section, if you’ve also stayed in or transited any other countries within 14 days of arrival in Italy, you’ll also need to satisfy Italy’s requirements for those countries.
Can I enter Italy from other European countries?
Entry into Italy is still based on Italy’s lists of countries. In particular, Italy has five lists of countries: List A, List B, List C, List D and List E. And, Italy has additional rules for some specific countries on these lists, including the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the United States, Japan, Canada, Brazil, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
However, entry to Italy for tourism purposes isn’t based on residence. Instead, it’s based on where you’ve stayed or transited within the last 14 days. As such, if you’re traveling from a List C country but also stayed or transited in a List D country within 14 days of your arrival to Italy, you’ll need to satisfy the requirements for both lists.
Can I travel to other Italian cities once in Italy?
Once you are in Italy (and not subject to self-isolation requirements), you can freely travel within white zones at any time. And you can travel freely within yellow zones or between white and yellow zones subject to a regional curfew, if applicable. But, if you have a COVID-19 green certification, you can travel anywhere in Italy as long as you follow the curfew hours and other restrictions.
Does a US vaccination card count as a green certificate?
The Italian green certificate is only issued within Italy. However, according to the Washington D.C. Italian Embassy, your CDC-issued vaccination card bearing a CDC logo can be used to prove that you’ve completed an acceptable COVID-19 vaccination cycle. And, all three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. are acceptable for entry into Italy.
Is it worth visiting Italy now?
The final question I’ve received a lot is a personal one. After all, it depends on what you’re looking for in your trip to Italy. For example, I loved visiting Milan, Italy, as it reopened due to the decreased crowds. And the minimal crowds are the primary reason I’d recommend going sooner rather than later.
Featured image of Milan’s Naviglio neighborhood by Katie Genter/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees