Italy now requires UK travellers have a negative COVID-19 test to enter

Oct 9, 2020

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Italy has changed its risk warning of the U.K., and as such, travellers heading to the holiday destination must now provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result.

On Thursday, the Italian government altered its restrictions on travellers heading to Italy from the U.K. to reflect that you must have a negative molecular or antigenic swab test. However, there are two options for providing that in order to get into Italy.

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The first option is to take a PCR or antigenic swab test and produce a negative result within 72 hours of entering Italy. This option requires that you order and pay for your own test and time the results accurately with regard to your travel. You’ll be asked to show proof of the negative test — along with the test date — at the border.

The second option is to take a molecular (PCR) or antigenic swab test on arrival at your airport, port or border location. This option is free, however, you will have to self-isolate at your hotel or accommodation until you get the results of the test back.

It’s worth noting that the government says that fast testing is available at some airports, and you’ll be able to get your results back within an hour if that’s the case. However, you won’t be allowed to leave the airport while you await the results.

Unfortunately, this option isn’t available at every Italian airport. If you’re going to rely on the fast testing option, make sure you research if your arrival airport offers that option. Italy’s Tourism Board Manager for the U.K. and Ireland said that the free and fast testing facilities are currently available at Rome and Milan airports, and it expects all international Italian airports to have the facilities “in the forthcoming weeks.”

If you test positive, you’ll be required to quarantine until two consecutive negative tests have been recorded. The cost of the quarantine — which could be weeks — would be up to the traveller.

As a reminder, you should not use the NHS testing service to get a test for travel reasons. You must arrange to take a private test, which can range in price up to £200 for a home delivery kit.

As of Thursday’s announcement, the U.K. joins Malta, Greece, Spain, Croatia, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic and France as high-risk arrivals. Passengers coming from any of the nine countries must follow the same testing requirement.

Keep in mind that in addition to having your negative test result, you must also complete the necessary paperwork in order to enter Italy. At this time, that means downloading and completing a self-declaration form from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The document must be completed before you travel and should be ready to show the airline or border police.

Additionally, some local governments require that travellers register before arrival. For travellers heading to Sardinia, Sicily, Apulia or Calabria, you must register with the local government on arrival.

Keep in mind also that there are strict requirements throughout Italy. This week, the government made it mandatory to wear face masks in outdoor spaces around the country. Additionally, masks are required in all indoor spaces — with the exception of inside private homes.

On 8 October, Italy reported 4,458 new daily cases. There are currently 65,952 active cases in the country.

Italy is historically one of the most popular holiday destinations for British tourists, and this year is no different. The country remains on England’s travel corridor list, which means you can travel there without having to quarantine for 14 days on return to England. In fact, it remains only one of 10 destinations Brits can visit without having to quarantine on either end of their trip.

Featured photo by Minoolifediary/Getty Images.

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