Italy Reopens Borders for International Tourists
If you’ve been dreaming about touring the Colosseum or snacking on gelato on the Spanish Steps, you’re in luck! In a Facebook post on May 14, Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio announced that there would no longer be a quarantine requirement for travelers visiting from any EU country, the United Kingdom or Israel. All that’s required is a negative COVID-19 test prior to travel and upon arrival in Italy or proof of COVID-19 antibodies within the past 6 months.
Americans can also visit Italy starting now, but there is a pretty big catch.
Can Americans travel to Italy?
Americans are also allowed to visit Italy, but there are conditions. In order to be eligible, Americans must book flights designated as “quarantine free”. As of today, there are three airlines offering these types of flights; American Airlines from New York to Milan or Rome, Delta Airlines From New York to Milan or Rome, and Alitalia from New York to Rome. Before Sunday the 16th, Americans were not allowed to travel to Italy for tourism purposes. Americans who take one of these specific flights are not subject to 14-day quarantine protocols.
The “quarantine-free” flights require three rounds of COVID-19 testing. The first is taken within three days of departure, the second is a rapid antigen test at the airport immediately before flying and the third is another rapid antigen test upon arrival in Italy. Three negative tests means no quarantine at all.
The point of only allowing specific flights seems to be limited the number of tourists who can visit the country, at least for the time being.
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Italy’s COVID-19 Recovery
Italy was one of the first countries to institute a COVID-19 lockdown last year when cases spiked before much of the world. Now, the country is easing lockdowns and reopening certain businesses like restaurants, bars, coffee shops and more. There is, however, a 10pm curfew which remains in place. Italy’s reported cases of COVID-19 has been on a steady decline since mid-March and that’s led to renewed confidence in the safety of international travel.
Around 15% of Italians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but that number has been growing steadily as of late. At the end of April, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza tweeted out that the country administered half a million doses in a single day, a number they did not expect to reach until mid-May.
Will you be traveling to Italy this summer? Let us know in the comments below!