While other countries may be relaxing their rules over Christmas, Italy has announced it will crack down on travel both to and within Italy.
The government is especially keen to discourage residents from taking ski trips to other European countries such as Switzerland, which has reopened its slopes while Italy’s remain closed.
Its solution is to impose quarantine on anyone entering Italy over Christmas or New Year, as well as stepping up mandatory coronavirus testing for travellers.
The rules, introduced in a new emergency decree signed on December 3rd, come into force immediately but will get progressively stricter the closer we come to Christmas holidays.
They will ease off after the traditional end of the Christmas period on January 6th, and be replaced by a new set of rules from January 16th.
If you or loved ones are planning to travel, here’s what you need to know.
Mandatory quarantine for everyone arriving over Christmas and New Year
The biggest change is that everyone who enters Italy between December 21st and January 6th will have to quarantine for 14 days, including people travelling from within the European Union.
That applies to all travellers, regardless of nationality and whether you live in Italy or are just visiting, and including if you’re entering Italy by private transport.
Photo: Jure Makovec/AFP
Upon arrival, you will have to complete a form (available here or from your airline) giving your contact details and the address in Italy where you plan to quarantine. You will need to organise your own transport from the airport without taking trains, buses, coaches or other public transport to reach your destination.
Once you’re at your place of quarantine, you should not go outside unless there’s an emergency, nor can you invite anyone over or socialise with other housemates (unless you’re quarantining together).
You are also required to inform the local health service, or ASL, so that they can monitor you. Depending on where you are, you should be able to do this by phone, email or by filling in a form online: consult your region’s website for more information.
Pre-travel testing extended to all EU countries
While Italy previously imposed mandatory coronavirus tests on travellers from certain European countries, from December 10th the requirement will be extended to people arriving from any country in the EU, Schengen Zone or the UK.
In addition, the new decree states that you’ll have to get a test before you travel instead of on arrival in Italy. That means you should prepare to arrange a swab within the 48 hours before you depart for Italy, rather than getting tested at the Italian airport or station where you arrive.
People who arrive without proof of a negative test result will have to quarantine for 14 days.
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