COVID 19 – Coronavirus Update

Update as of April 17

COVID-19 is a global situation that has interrupted and disrupted everyone’s travel plans, not to mention personal day-to-day living. We attempt to provide the most recent information regards travel to/from Italy.

Italy’s system of controls for dealing with COVID has the country under a color-code system (see Color Zone System below) to assess the level of restrictions necessary by region. With regions in either the Yellow (less restrictions), the Orange or Red (most restricted) zones.

Many of Italy’s current restrictions will be gradually relaxed beginning April 26th.

The lower-risk ‘yellow’ zone classification will return from this date.

All schools and universities will resume in-person teaching in yellow and orange zones.

Restaurants will be allowed to reopen in yellow zones, for both lunch and dinner – with outdoor seating only.

The 10:00pm – 5:00am curfew will remain in place.

The government did not confirm any plans to relax the current restrictions on travel into Italy. The tourism minister last week suggested June 2nd as a possible date for restarting non-essential travel (ie tourism) . This is likely to only include local Italians and some EU countries.

Testing and quarantine are currently required for almost all arrivals, and these requirements are expected to stay in place for many travelers as Italy’s vaccine rollout remains slower than in countries such as the UK and US.

Other Key Dates:

May 15th: Beaches and outdoor swimming pools reopen; Lidos, beach clubs and and outdoor pools are expected to reopen in mid-May, with some safety restrictions still in place, including limits on the number of customers allowed.

June 1st: Gyms and other indoor fitness facilities. Sports facilities will have to follow safety guidelines, including limiting the number of people allowed to exercise at once, requiring face masks in communal areas and asking users to book training in advance.

July 1st: Trade Fairs; Large trade fairs open to the public can go ahead from July, the health minister stated – good news for those planning to attend postponed major events like Vinitaly.

Short and concise, Alitalia: COVID-19 Rules Summary

Traveling to Italy? What to Expect as of April 6: CNN Travel

The following links are offered to help you stay informed with the most accurate information on pandemic conditions and or the travel restrictions issued by the Italian and U.S. Governments.

U.S. Embassy and Italian Consulate: Foreign Travelers in Italy

ITALIA National Tourism Agency: Travel To and Traveling In Italy

Entry rules for the United States for now remain unchanged: entry to Italy is only permitted for essential reasons (ie work related) or for residents to return home to Italy, but not to enter as a tourist.

U.K. residents can enter, but must present either a negative COVID (with 48 hours of the arrival) or written documentation that they have been infected, but subsequently recovered.

Essential travelers (under work allowed permit) who have a negative rapid antigenic test directly at the airport in the U.S., or who present a negative PCR or antigenic molecular test certificate issued within 48 hours before their departure will be able to enter Italy without needing to undergo health surveillance or a 14-day period of self-isolation. In both cases, these must be followed by second (negative) test carried upon arrival in Rome Fiumicino airport, in designated facilities that have already been set up. Equally, flights departing from Italy to the United States will be able to board passengers who have tested negative. Upon arrival, passengers will have to comply with the updated recommendations of US authorities.

Italy’s COVID Color-Zone System

Italy has implemented a nationwide color-code system to indicate how each region (or zone) is being viewed in terms of its COVID situation (ie white for no concerns, yellow for minimum concern, orange, more concern and red, the most concerning and most restrictive). Residents in “orange zones” are banned from leaving their towns (comune) except for work or health reasons — and bars and restaurants are closed except for delivery and takeout. Those in “red zone” regions may only leave home for necessities, health or work.

Italy is adding an extra color to its tier system: white, reserved for parts of the country where the coronavirus risk is lowest. These areas will be exempt from the restrictions in place in yellow, orange or red zones, including the nightly curfew (10pm to 5am) and 6pm closing time for bars and restaurants. On recent review of Italy’s 20 regions: 9 in Red, 11 in Orange, 0 in yellow, 0 in White. Italy Color Zones

Other News

Vaccine programs have begun seemingly in all countries. The U.S. is currently leading the way. Italy unfortunately is somewhat behind, having to date only 3% of the population fully vaccinated; 6% with one shot. Italy’s Transport and Foreign Affairs, authorized Alitalia Airlines to conduct “Covid-tested” flights between some U.S. airports (New York JFK, Newark Liberty and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson) and Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci (FCO) airport, plus now Milan Malpensa (MXP) will also provide this service. This service is up and running: More Details

This is a very important service, aimed at promoting air travel connections between Italy and the United States, in full compliance with high levels of health safety both for travelers and the country. Delta and American Airlines are expected to also offer the testing procedure.

Most recently the U.S. government has announced  a COVID testing requirement for all incoming airline passengers, regardless of citizenship; in order to board the airplane, each passenger must present proof of i) a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel or ii) be able to show proof that they have recovered from the virus. Anyone failing to do either will be denied boarding by the authority of the respective airline and otherwise will be responsible for any additional lodging costs.

United Airlines announces COVID testing and contact tracing for all passengers: United Airlines

Current COVID News in Italy

COVID Q&A

Are vaccinated persons free to travel to Italy?  Currently Noclick here for more details

Q: Is Italy open for travel? Can I travel to Italy right now?

A: Italy travel restrictions currently prohibit tourists from the USA and several other countries. Arrival from low risk and most of Europe countries are allowed but they are required to provide a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of their arrival, fill in a self declaration form, and/or quarantine for 14 days. Arrivals from United Kingdom (except Italian residents) are currently banned in Italy.

More details and links to related online information can be found below.

Palio Reservations:  Effective May 29, 2021 if you are unable to travel due to restrictions placed on international travel for your country of departure due to COVID-19 or if such restrictions exist in Italy for incoming visitors that prevent you from arriving to Siena, then your reservation (and any payments) can be transferred to the Palio in the following year. Any payments due will remain in effect. If you are not able to attend the race the following year, then we can resell the package (accommodations and or tickets) in order to provide for a refund (net of any transaction costs so incurred, including but not limited to credit card service charges, reservation transfer fees and or commissions).

Opera Tickets

Milan La Scala: Information on the 2020/2021 Season will be announced soon. For more details: http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/coronavirus.html  Refunds are available on cancelled performances.

Verona Opera: the summer program for 2020 was cancelled. The performance schedule for 2021 can be viewed here: https://paliotours.com/opera-tickets-italy/  Currently purchased 2020 ticket holders can select the same or another performance from the 2021 schedule up until December 15, 2020. More details provided here: Verona Opera Tickets

Other Useful Information and Resources

Compare Travel Insurance Policies – Squaremouth.com

CDC – Traveler’s Advisement

IATA –  COVID-19 Global Travelers’ Map

Italy:  COVID-19 Map

W.H.O. on COVID-19: World Health Organization

Travel Information and Restrictions for Italy: U.S. State Department

Italy COVID-19 Info: U.S. Embassy

Check the Center of Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for travel related updates.

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