American travelers might be able to take that trip to Italy after all, but it’s going to take a few extra steps.
Ever since Italy reopened to select nations back in June, American travelers have been writing into us asking how they can still enter the country, as most EU nations have banned Americans from entering at this time.
We have been receiving thousands of emails and comments to the tune of: “If I am an American resident/citizen who has spent the last 14 days in a ‘safe/approved’ country, can I enter Italy?”
The question was one we couldn’t officially answer, until now.
Italy was very clear in the beginning that they were only accepting tourists that were both residents of an approved country, coming from an approved country, of which the USA was not either. (What we call a ‘Residency + Location’ requirement.)
However, new protocols and entry requirements have been released by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that outline American citizens/residents MAY be able to enter Italy, as long as they have spent the last 14 days in an approved nation first.
This is major news that finally offers some clarity (albeit not full) into the ultra-confusing travel rules during the pandemic.
**However, before we dive into the details we want to preface that these regulations could change at any time, and any American who has spent the last 14 days in an ‘approved’ nation for visiting Italy should still perform due diligence before crossing the border. All travelers should be contacting Italian border police, the Italian consulate, or other local authorities before their trip to confirm their specific entry requirements.
Italian Covid-19 Survey Tool
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently launched an online tool, called the ‘Covid-19 Survey’ that helps determine one’s entry into the country. You simply put which countries you have physically been in for the last 14 days, answer some residency questions, and it provides entry rules/requirements for your situation.
The survey tool, provided by the government of Italy themselves, has indeed confirmed that visitors who have spent the last 14 days in an approved nation, regardless of residency/nationality, may be eligible for entry into Italy. This of course includes American tourists.
The issue for American travelers is this:
Most of the ‘approved’ countries for entry into Italy are other EU nations that also have a travel ban posted for American residents entering, like Spain, France and Austria for example.
Here is the full list of countries that after spending 14 days in, an American traveler is allowed to travel to Italy:
- Czech Republic (with 72-hour PCR test)
- France (with 72-hour PCR test)
- Netherlands (with 72-hour PCR test)
- Spain (with 72-hour PCR test)
- United Kingdom (with 72-hour PCR test)
The good news:
There are 4 nations on the list of ‘approved’ countries above where Americans are able to travel right now, and after spending 14 days in one of these 4 nations, are now eligible to enter Italy.
The 4 countries Americans can currently enter are:
- United Kingdom
After spending 14 days in one of those 4 nations, the government’s Covid-19 Survey Tool reports American tourists are indeed allowed to travel to Italy.
Entering Croatia, Ireland or UK as an American Tourist
Each of the 4 nations that American travelers can travel to right now have their own entry requirements. (click on the country’s name for a full list of entry requirements)
Croatia: Requires Americans to have a negative PCR test, taken no longer than 48 hours before arrival.
Slovenia: Requires Americans to have a negative PCR test, taken no longer than 48 hours before arrival – AND – a 10 day quarantine. (Update October 10: due to high case numbers, Slovenia may not be accepting US travelers until further notice)
Ireland: Requires Americans to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival
United Kingdom: Requires Americans to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival
Going to Italy
Entering Italy from Ireland, Slovenia or Croatia
Once spending 14 days in either Ireland, Croatia or Slovenia American tourists, in most cases, may enter Italy.
The government’s own ‘Covid-19 Survey Tool’ says:
“Based on your answers, you can enter Italy without restrictions.
Nonetheless, you must fill out a mandatory self-declaration form. The self-declaration must be shown to the carrier on boarding and to any other person responsible for checking it.”
Entering Italy from UK
Once spending 14 days in UK, American tourists can enter Italy with a PCR test
The ‘Covid-19 Survey Tool’ says:
“Based on your answers, you can enter Italy for any reason. You must fill out a self-declaration form and prove that you have undergone a molecular or antigenic test, carried out by means of a swab, with negative result, within 72 hours prior to entering Italy”
Important Fine Print
While Italy is saying tourists can enter as long as they have been in an ‘approved’ nation for the past 14 days, they do cover themselves for errors with a lengthy disclaimer.
Disclaimer from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about their online ‘Covid-19 Survey Tool’ reads:
“Disclaimer – Read Carefully
The following questionnaire has the sole purpose of providing users with general information on current rules related to travel to/from Italy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation does not retain in any way the information provided by answering each question. The questionnaire is anonymous.
The result of the questionnaire does not guarantee entry into the Country, which remains subject to the assessment of Italian Border Officers (Ministry of Interior). The questionnaire has no legal value.
We recommend that you keep yourself informed on current rules and regulations before embarking on a trip. Should you need any further clarification, kindly contact Border Officers at your designated entry point, Italian “Prefettura” or “Dipartimento di Prevenzione” of the local Health Authority (Azienda Sanitaria) at your destination.
During your stay in Italy, should any flu-like symptoms compatible with COVID-19 arise, you must report it immediately to the local Health Authority, by calling dedicated local numbers. While waiting for further Health Authority decisions.”
To summarize the disclaimer: You still could be denied entry if border police says so.
Important Contact Information
Here is a list of all Italian border police contacts (phone numbers and emails) for all the areas of Italy. You should contact them before entry to ensure a smooth travel day!
Has this worked in practice?
Have we mentioned before we have the best readers on the planet? Our readers who are on-the-ground send us in many tips and their own travel itineraries and we’ve been seeing an influx in American tourists arriving into Italy after spending 14 days in an approved nation. There are many posts from American travelers inside our Travel Off Path Facebook Community Group that have been answering questions about their recent entry into Italy.
At the start of this article we mentioned it would take a few extra steps, and while this kind of travel is not for everyone, we know it is very important for some.
Un-married couples have been unfairly separated for months due to travel bans on the USA, and this finally gives a chance for couples campaigning for the #loveisnottourism movement to reunite. It also gives the opportunity for Americans who have been stuck abroad during the pandemic another destination option, as there haven’t been many, especially within Europe.
Disclaimer: Italy’s reopening news is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but the decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Traveling, especially in regards to ‘loophole’ travel during the pandemic, has its own risks. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories.
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Originally published September 25, 2020