Italy has joined the growing list of countries that are removing their Covid-19 related restrictions by announcing that it will be dropping the use of vaccine passports and partially repealing its indoor mask mandate.
In doing so, the hugely popular travel destination – the fourth most popular overseas destination for American travelers in 2019 and set to be popular once again this year – will now be considerably more attractive to foreign travelers this summer, who will be able to enjoy a relatively normal trip to the country.
Whilst the use of vaccine passports and masks indoors may well be on their way out in Italy, travelers should keep in mind that there are still several other restrictions that remain for now in the country.
Here’s a closer look at the changes Italy is making, plus a recap of the country’s current Covid-19 related entry requirements and restrictions that travelers will have to follow.
Italy’s Restriction Changes – What Travelers Should Know
Italy made all the headlines at the start of the pandemic as it became the first European country to be severely affected by Covid-19. As a result, the Italian government put into place several tough restrictions designed to prevent Covid-19 from spreading further. Whilst several countries on the continent have already removed most of their restrictions, Italy has been a little late to the party – but its restrictions have finally started to be relaxed.
As of yesterday, Italy has made several key changes to its Covid-19 restrictions. Travelers heading to the country will be relieved to know that the country’s indoor mask mandate has now been significantly eased, with masks no longer required in places such as supermarkets, restaurants, bars, workplaces, and stores – a move that makes the idea of visiting the country much more appealing to summer travelers.
Travelers should however note that it’s not a full repeal of the indoor mask mandate, with masks still required on public transport, cinemas, and health care facilities, but it’s a promising start.
In situations where masks are still required, travelers should ensure that they have FFP2 masks, with cloth masks and basic surgical masks no longer accepted by the country.
Travelers will also be glad to know that vaccine passports will no longer be used in the country.
As of May 1st, it is no longer mandatory to show a ‘Green Pass’ to access businesses and services in Italy. This means that there will once more be vaccine passport-free access to local and national public transportation, bars and restaurants, shops, museums, theaters, cinemas, stadiums, gyms, and spas. As the summer tourism season picks up, discontinuing the vaccine passport will be key in keeping queues moving, which can bottle-neck entry into attractions and restaurants.
Italy has also dropped a restriction that travelers faced before they even landed in the country. As of yesterday, Italy no longer requires passengers to fill in the EU passenger locator form.
Once used by public health authorities to facilitate contact tracing in case travelers are exposed to an infectious disease, the requirement no longer stands – a further example of how countries are now choosing to live with the virus.
In order to enter Italy, travelers will need to show one of the following:
- Proof of vaccination against Covid-19, such as the “white card” bearing the CDC logo for US-based travelers
- A medical certificate confirming recovery from Covid-19 valid for six months from recovery
- A negative molecular PCR test result carried out within 72 hours of arrival or a rapid antigen test result carried out within 48 hours of arrival
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com