If you’re planning a trip to Italy, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.© VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images Italy remains one of Europe’s least affected countries.
Italy is currently in a state of emergency until January 2021 because of the pandemic.
After being hard hit in the early stages of the pandemic, the country was one of the first to reopen to visitors in June, although entry is largely limited to European Union residents.
What’s on offer
This is one of Europe’s big hitters, known for its historic cities of art like Florence, one-off wonders such as Venice, and the seat of the Catholic church in Rome.
Incredible food, fantastic wine, unspoiled countryside and a string of beach resorts mean it’s always in demand.
Who can go
Until November 13, there’s unrestricted travel to EU residents, except those coming from Romania. Arrivals from Belgium, France, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain and the UK must test negative on arrival (see below).
Arrivals are also allowed from 10 non-EU countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. However, those visitors must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
Tourism is not currently allowed from any other country, including the US — and since overnight stays must be registered with the authorities, there’s no chance of sneaking in via a secondary country.
What are the restrictions
Arrivals from Belgium, France, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain and the UK must either present a negative test carried out in the past 72 hours, or get swabbed on arrival, either at the border or locally. Italy has received consistent praise for its swab-on-arrival program.
Arrivals from the 10 non-EU countries allowed must not take public transport to their destination, and must self-isolate for 14 days.
What’s the Covid situation?
As the first hit European country, Italy has been through a lot. However, a strict lockdown brought things under control. Although numbers have been rising since September and spiking heavily in October, it remains one of the less affected European countries.
There are currently 15,000 new cases a day, with recent rises in Lombardy, Lazio and Campania — where Milan, Rome and Naples are respectively located. The northern mountain areas are currently least affected.
App Immuni uses Bluetooth to track contact with potential infection.
What can visitors expect
Italy’s state of emergency has delegated power to individual regions, so it depends where you are. But across the country, masks must be worn at all times in public, even outside.
Bars and restaurants without table service must close at 6 p.m.; those with table service must close at midnight. Restaurant groups are limited to six people. Local festivals have been banned, but theaters and cinemas are open, with limited numbers.
Some regions, which are seeing particularly high spikes, have introduced additional curfews.
Lombardy, which was worst hit by the first wave of the virus and is seeing high spikes again, has imposed a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., and is shutting shopping malls and large stores on weekends. Lazio also has a curfew, starting from midnight. In the southern region of Campania, the curfew is from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., and residents must not leave their own province.
This means that Italy’s three largest cities — Rome, Milan and Naples — are under curfew.
Large groups are banned throughout the country, and there are no buffets in hotels.