Touring to Italy throughout Covid-19: What you want to know earlier than you go
Editor’s Note – CNN Travel updates this article regularly. It was last fully updated on October 22nd.
(CNN) – When planning a trip to Italy, here are some things to know and expect if you plan to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.
Italy is currently in a state of emergency due to the pandemic until January 2021.
After badly hit in the early stages of the pandemic, the country was one of the first to reopen to visitors in June, though entry is largely restricted to residents of the European Union.
What’s on offer?
This is one of the greatest minds in Europe, known for its historical art cities like Florence, unique wonders like Venice and the seat of the Catholic Church in Rome.
Incredible food, amazing wine, pristine scenery, and a range of beach resorts mean it is always in demand.
Who can go
Until November 13th there is unlimited travel for EU citizens, except for those coming from Romania. Arrivals from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Spain and the United Kingdom must test negative on arrival (see below).
Arrivals from 10 non-EU countries are also allowed: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. However, these visitors must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Tourism is not currently permitted from any other country, including the US – and since overnight stays are required to be registered with the authorities, there is no way to sneak in via a secondary country.
What are the limitations
Arrivals from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Spain and the United Kingdom must either be negative Test performed within the past 72 hours or wiped clean on arrival either at the border or on site. Italy has received consistent praise for its swab program.
Arrivals from the 10 approved non-EU countries are not allowed to take public transport to their destination and must self-isolate for 14 days.
How is the Covid situation?
Italy was the first European hit country to go through a lot. However, a strict lockdown brought things under control. Although the numbers have been increasing since September and rose sharply in October, it remains one of the less affected European countries.
There are currently 15,000 new cases every day, with the most recent cases being in Lombardy, Lazio and Campania – where Milan, Rome and Naples are located. The northern mountain areas are currently the least affected.
App Immuni uses Bluetooth to track contact with a possible infection.
What can visitors expect
Italy’s state of emergency has delegated Power on individual regions, so it depends where you are. But all over the country, masks must always be worn in public, including outside.
Bars and restaurants without table service must close at 6 p.m. Table service people must close at midnight. Restaurant groups are limited to six people. Local festivals have been banned, but theaters and cinemas are open with limited numbers.
Some regions with particularly high peaks have introduced additional curfews.
Lombardy, worst hit by the first wave of the virus and showing high peaks again, has imposed a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and closes shopping malls and large stores on weekends. Lazio also has a curfew that starts at midnight. In the southern region of Campania, the curfew is from 11pm to 5am and residents are not allowed to leave their own province.
This means that the three largest cities in Italy – Rome, Milan and Naples – are under curfew.
Large groups are banned across the country and there are no buffets in hotels.