COVID 19 – Coronavirus Update

Update as of June 7

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.

– 13 regions are for now in the YELLOW, low risk zone. Three (7) regions in WHITE  (Abruzzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Molise, Sardegna, Umbria, Veneto) are free from restrictions. No ORANGE or RED zones currently. The zone status is updated weekly.

– Restaurants and bars can reopen for lunch and dinner, but only with outdoor seating. In orange and red zones, restaurants and bars can only stay open for take-out and delivery. From June 1, in lower risk White zones, restaurants may open for indoor seating at lunchtime.

– Museums reopen in yellow zone regions, as well as theaters and cinemas; if indoors, their capacity will be limited, masks and distancing will still be required.

– A national curfew remains in place between 12 pm and 5 am. Plans for eliminating entirely are to take place in June 21.

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

– Movement between regions has resumed between yellow zones; to move between regions of different colors, the government is currently considering a pass that would certify whether you have been vaccinated, have had Covid-19 or have a taken a negative PCR test.

The tourism minister has given approval for restarting non-essential travel (ie tourism) and entry into the country for other EU countries, the UK, Israel and eventually for the U.S. Also proposed an inter-regional travel “green pass”. Document to indicate full vaccination, previously COVID recovered individual or those travelers COVID negative tested within past 48 hours of arrival.

Outdoor stadiums may reopen at 25% capacity or with a maximum of 1,000 spectators. Indoors stadiums can also open, with a maximum of 500 people.

Other Key Dates:

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 with reopening plans.

Italy PM (Mario Draghi) states Italy is ready for visitors this summer with its “COVID Pass to be implemented in second half of May” and the European Union’s own version, a/k/a “Green Pass” or “COVID Passport” by end of June.

Foreign Visitors to be allowed Entry: Europe Reopens

Short and concise, Alitalia: COVID-19 Rules Summary

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.

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.

Other News

Vaccine programs have begun in all countries. Italy started slow, but is picking up speed, having as of June 7th, 22% of the population is fully vaccinated; 45% have received at least 1 dose. 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.

COVID Q&A

Are vaccinated persons free to travel to Italy?  Apparently YES. According to recent news from the EU Council, foreign travelers who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter the continent this summer. Negative COVID tests are also required.

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

Palio 2021 July and August Races: The July Palio for 2021 has been cancelled. The August Palio remains to be run on its traditional date of August 16th. A decision on if the August race can be run is pending continued COVID improvements.

Palio Reservations:  Effective May 29 (July Palio) or July 31 (August Palio) in the year you plan to attend, if the respective races are not cancelled and 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). Inside of 60 days, there are no refunds, nor will reservations be transferred if you are not able to travel due to testing positive for COVID and or are for any reason prohibited from traveling or boarding an airplane.

Opera Tickets

Milan La Scala: For details: http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/coronavirus.html  Refunds are available on cancelled 2020 or 2021 performances.

Verona Opera: The performance schedule for 2021 can be viewed here: https://paliotours.com/opera-tickets-italy/  2020 ticket holders can select the same or another performance from the 2021 schedule. 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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