The novel coronavirus pandemic has made international travelling difficult this year. Both in the EU and out, travel restrictions have been implemented to prevent the virus from spreading.
We’ve repeatedly found ourselves asking ‘Can I travel to X? Do I need to get tested before reaching X?’ and we’re not going to lie, we’ve found ourselves cancelling holiday plans because of the hassle that going abroad has turned into nowadays.
But with Christmas around the corner, there are family reunions that just can’t be postponed. If you’re planning on spending the holidays in Italy and taste some of the Bel Paese’s finest delicacies for Christmas Eve, keep reading to find out who can travel to Italy now and how.
Travelling to Italy from the UK and Europe
Brexit has left Britons and others on the European side of things confused about the future of travelling to and from the EU, of which Italy is a member state. Once the transition period has run its course on December 31st, 2020, it is likely that the UK will join the list of countries eligible for the ETIAS visa waiver for Italy and the Schengen Area.
Please note, however, that ETIAS will not go live before late 2022. Therefore, Brits do not have to worry about applying for ETIAS just yet and currently do not need another form of authorisation or visa for Italy.
If you don’t hold a British or European passport but reside in the UK, whether or not you need a visa to enter Italy depends on your specific circumstances. Get in touch with the closest Italian embassy or consulate for more information.
If you are in the EU with a Schengen visa, you may be able to travel to Italy without a visa but again, you should check before you make arrangements.
Do I need a visa for Italy from outside the EU?
If your passport was issued from a non-EU country and you live outside of Europe, you’ll likely need a visa or other form of authorisation for Italy. Check with your local Italian embassy or consulate to find out which one fits your needs best.
COVID Italy travel restrictions for December 2020
Besides the normal document requirements for a holiday in Europe, crossing the border now presents additional challenges.
Because of coronavirus and how easily it spreads, governments around the world have been announcing anti-COVID strict measures this year to avoid tourism from facilitating infections. Some countries have banned international travel altogether, others require tests, others ask passengers arriving from abroad to quarantine for 14 days.
So what is the situation in Italy? Can you go there this Christmas?
Who can go to Italy right now
At the moment, international travellers cannot enter Italy unless they are part of an exempt category. This is expected to be reviewed on December 3rd, 2020, when the situation will be evaluated again in light of the development of the pandemic and restrictions may be lifted or strengthened accordingly.
According to the current anti-COVID regulations, the following passengers can enter Italy right now:
- Italian citizens, their family members, and partners
- Nationals of: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Rep.), Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and Vatican City (Holy See), as well as their family members, but only if they haven’t transited through or visited a high-risk country in the last 14 days
- British citizens, their family members, and residents of the UK, but only if they haven’t visited or transited through a high-risk country in the last 14 days
- People travelling for business
- Foreign nationals returning to their country of residence via Italy
Please note that even if you are part of one of the exempt categories listed above, you may be subject to quarantine upon arrival depending on your specific circumstances and those of the country you departed from.
How to enter Italy during coronavirus
After having checked the information above and all official information issued by the Italian government, and having confirmed that you are allowed to go to Italy now, you will need to comply with all extraordinary anti-COVID measures.
These include, for example, filling out a self-declaration form before departure. Moreover, some Italian regions require their own specific health declaration form and/or health certificate from international passengers entering their territory. Check whether this is the case for your destination before you leave.
Finally, you must comply with all the measures regarding social distancing and curfews. Currently, Italy is divided into colour-coded zones according to the number of cases in the corresponding region. Each colour has a different level of activity restrictions. It is paramount that you follow the local rules for the entirety of your time in the country.