In this article I hope to share some information about what to expect and what is expected of you when you visit Italy this summer. I have added information about entering Italy, who needs to quarantine, mask protocols, what you will see at hotels, restaurants and shops and more. Regulations change frequently so follow the Milano Style page or sign up for the newsletter for updates.
Italy is one of the top travel destinations in Europe and has a rich history dating back to ancient times. Italy offers stunning coastlines with Mediterranean beaches that are perfect for relaxing on or diving into the refreshing water, beautiful cultural cities such as Milan, Rome and Florence with museums showcasing masterpieces form great artists as well as unexplored charming villages where you can try local foods and wine and where ancient traditions still live on.
After almost two years of struggle against the COVID-19 coronavirus, government-imposed restrictions and regulations are beginning to ease, the vaccination campaign in Italy is in full force and travel for leisure has opened for many countries.
Italy still has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders, which means that it is important to plan your trip to Italy keeping in mind that there are some rules and regulations.
What to expect travel to Italy
In regard to travel restrictions and quarantine, Italy looks at what other travel destination states like Spain and Greece are doing.
In a recent report by TheLocal, when asked about travel restrictions and quarantine for UK travelers, Prime Minister Mario Draghi answered, “It depends a lot on the contagion rate, if infections should shoot up … but this is not what we’re seeing in other European countries,” he added, pointing out that “Spain and Greece do not require quarantine from England.”
Travelers from all countries should keep track of Italian health decrees, as they change frequently. Check your country embassy page for updated information.
June 2021 – Current travel restrictions on entry into Italy are linked to several factors, including one’s country of departure and purpose for traveling there. The country that an individual departs from will determine whether they may enter Italy and what is required of them upon entry.
- Although Italy has granted US citizens permission to enter Italy, the US Department of State has issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory recommending that travelers reconsider travel to Italy due to COVID-19.
Travelers from the USA may enter Italy for leisure, without having to quarantine. As of June 21, 2021 it is no longer necessary that US citizens arrive with one of the COVID-tested international flights between the United States and Italy. However, they must prove that they have been vaccinated at least 14 days prior to traveling. A ‘white card’ bearing the CDC logo available at your vacation center or doctor demonstrating proof of vaccination or a recent negative test is acceptable.
- Even if a traveler has been vaccinated, a test is still required. Travelers arriving with non-tested flights must self-quarantine for 10 days.
- Travelers from the UK may enter Italy with a negative test result, but on their return must follow reentry regulations. The UK government has rated countries as red, amber or green for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and there are rules to follow on retry to England from Italy.
- For EU Member States, from July 1, 2021 the European green pass, digital certificate will allow travel between all EU states. This Green Pass is a QR Code stored on your smartphone or can be printed which holds all the information to certify immunity to the virus from Covid-19. Green passes are issued at European vaccination and test centers. With the Green Pass you will be able to fly into any of the airports in Italy and have your covid pass scanned.
- For entry to Italy from other countries, the Italian Foreign Ministry has created a quick and easy to use interactive questionnaire. You answer a series of questions, and it will tell you what documents you need and if quarantine is necessary.
- All travelers must fill out an EU digital Passenger locator form before boarding. Failure to fill out the locator form may result in delays upon arrival. EU passenger locator form Link https://app.euplf.eu/#/
- Read Italy embassy page here https://ambwashingtondc.esteri.it/ambasciata_washington/en/sala-stampa/dall_ambasciata/ingressi-in-italia-dagli-usa-e.html
What Italy expects of you
If you are one of the 30 million tourists planning on visiting Italy this year, there are some regulations and Covid-19 etiquette to follow.
Italy was one of the first European countries to face the Covid-19 pandemic head on and although the government was criticized for some extreme measures such as total lockdown, harsh curfews and police roadblocks, today, cases have dropped significantly, and regulations have lessened but caution is still in the air.
Know that you will be expected to behave and comply with rules, regulations and new norms of social etiquette.
Keep in mind:
- Wear a mask in public places*
- Wear a mask on public transportation
- Your mask must cover your nose and mouth
- There is no excuse for not having a mask. Masks are available most everywhere, pharmacies, supermarkets, tobacconists, newsstands and minimarkets.
- People may ask you to put on your mask or wear it correctly; do not argue, here in Italy it is the law
- Although no longer law, you may be asked to have your temperature taken (with a digital thermometer). Many places like restaurants, supermarkets and museums have kept this protocol as a safety measure. Again, do not argue, it is in your own interest for safety.
- Italians are known for kissing and hugging but now a fist bump or elbow bump is more common. Kissing and hugging is still a bit awkward. Close friends and family members hug while wearing a mask.
- Social distancing is still very much practiced. Keep at least one and a half meters (5 feet) away from others.
- Italian police can impose monetary sanctions for non-compliance
*At this time, June 2021, wearing a mask outdoors (except when exercising) is obligatory, but this is expected to change within days or weeks.
If you do not arrive on a Covid-free flight or with proper tests and documentation, you may be required to quarantine for ten days. The best way to understand if you will have to quarantine is to use the interactive questionnaire provided by Italian Foreign Ministry.
What to expect visiting Italy this summer
Since last year, Italy has assigned a new color code classification system classifying the Covid-19 risk of each region.
- White, low risk
- Yellow, moderate risk
- Orange, medium to high risk
- Red, high risk alert
As of now, 66% of Italy is in the “White Zone”, meaning restrictions are fewer and curfew has been lifted. Wearing a mask in public areas will still be required. The national goal is that all other regions and autonomous provinces be designated White Zones by or on June 21.
Covid-19 case have significantly dropped, and restrictions are now being lifted in Italy. However, some protocols and rules still apply.
Read on to learn more about what to expect on your next trip to Italy for summer 2021.
Hotels & Rental Properties
Staff in hotels will be required to wear masks and guests are expected to wear a mask in public areas. Reception areas may also have plexiglass partitions. You may even find digital only check in. Gatherings in the lobby are discouraged and you should keep a distance of one meter (3-5 feet) between the person in front or next to you when waiting in line for reception or to enter an elevator. Elevators may only be able to carry 1 or 2 people at a time.
In your room you will most likely find a kit with hand sanitizer, masks a leaflet about Covid protocols. Hotels are required to sanitize rooms and surfaces frequently and rental properties must do so after each guest. Breakfast buffets may be limited or served by a staff member rather than self-service.
Museums & Galleries
Museums and galleries are open in Italy. Many require advanced booking and entrance is staggered to avoid overcrowding.
Many tour companies have reduced their group numbers to keep their guests safe. Bus tours are limited to 50% capacity. Walking tours are often limited to 8-10 guests. It is recommended to pre-book tours in advance. Click here to search for tours in Italy.
Five meters spacing between tents, campers and caravans is expected. The use of a mask is mandatory in indoor common areas. Upon arrival, during check-in, you will be given a briefing on other rules and protocols.
Beaches & Pools
Beach and pool staff will be required to wear masks, but tourists and visitors will not. Visitors will only be required to wear a mask when walking through club houses, restaurants or in other pubic areas.
Sunbeds, umbrellas and blankets should be spaced apart three to four meters (each region has different regulations). Beach guards or local police may patrol popular resort areas. Fines may be issued for non-compliance.
Large gatherings and picnics are discouraged.
Restaurants, pubs and cafes
Restaurants and bars with outdoor seating no longer have limits on number of people per table, whereas indoor seating is open but limited to six people per table.
Upon entering you may be asked to sanitize your hands with gel or have your temperature taken or both.
You do not need to wear a mask when seated at a table, but you will need one to walk through the dining room.
Shops, boutiques, and outlets are now open normal hours. Shop keepers must be able to guarantee a meter distance between customers, so if it is a small boutique, you may have to wait to enter. Masks must be worn in the shops. A gel dispenser is available upon entry and a shop assistant may ask you to sanitize your hands. At many stores, you may try on clothes, they are often sprayed with an antibacterial after each customer.
At the moment, disco and dance hall openings are still on hold. Bars and restaurant areas in these establishments can open but the dance floor is off limits. Authorities are looking to implement a Green Pass, a digital QR code proving you have been vaccinated or recovered within the last 6 months or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 48 hours.
Weddings, ceremonies, trade fairs, conferences & stadiums
To attend large events, from June 15th, you will be required to have a Green Pass a digital QR code showing you have been vaccinated or tested. The Green Pass will be readily available for all European citizens from July 1, 2021. Non-EU nationals staying or residing in the Member States can get a Green pass in their country of residence.
It is not yet clear how non- EU citizens can acquire a Green Pass.
From our partner EasyMilano.com
Public transportation including airlines, trains, buses and ferries will continue to operate but with reduced frequency. Travelers should check carrier schedules for the latest updates and work directly with the carrier or travel agent to arrange or reschedule their trips. Masks are mandatory on all public transportation which can make it more difficult when traveling so be prepared!
Fines for Non-Compliance: Italian police can impose monetary sanctions for non-compliance with Italian anti-COVID-19 measures regarding social distancing, movement restrictions and mask mandates.
Taxi and private car service drivers are required to wear masks. Before entering the car, they may ask you sanitize your hands with gel. Many drivers will wipe down seats and spray an anti-bacterial sanitizer between fares.
Rental companies are required to sanitize car interiors for each client.
Get in touch
I hope that by knowing what to expect and what is expected of you before visiting Italy this summer will make your trip more pleasant. If you have any questions send me an email or if would like some firsthand advice, book a video call with me: Click here for more information.