As Europe gears up for a full reopening ahead of its busy summer season, Italy, one of the most popular sunny destinations in the continent, looks set to abolish its remaining Covid restrictions soon. Starting April 1, travelers can expect some big changes regarding Italy’s approach to pandemic management.
When Covid first hit in March 2020, the nation rose to notoriety as the first in the West to be overwhelmed with cases. Since then, it resorted to a number of measures aimed at halting infections, including strict lockdowns, mandatory vaccination, and border closures. Luckily for travelers, these pandemic-era restrictions will soon be a thing of the past.
Here, you will find a timeline of Italy’s path to reopening:
Two-Year Long State Of Emergency Set To Expire After March 31st
In a bid to stem the spread of Covid, especially after it endured one of the most dramatic health crises in Europe, Italy declared a nationwide state of emergency which allowed policymakers to respond to the threat, and enact restrictions deemed necessary more quickly. After two years of extending the state of emergency, the government will let it expire March 31.
Starting April 1, the restrictions that discouraged millions of Americans to visit will end gradually. From April, Italy’s Green Pass will also be relaxed ahead of being fully scrapped later on. Throughout the course of the pandemic, it was an official requirement for visitors to be vaccinated in order to enter museums, shops, bars, restaurants, clubs, and most indoor venues.
Partygoers will particularly benefit from the easing of the rules, as full capacity of outdoor clubs and stadiums will be restored. This means those hoping to enjoy the Amalfi Coast’s world-famous nightlife, or go clubbing in metropolitan hubs such as Milan or Naples will enjoy much freer environments, with social distancing no longer enforced.
The so-called ‘preemptive quarantine’ will also be officially scrapped, with those coming into contact with people who have tested positive for the disease no longer required to self-isolate a soon as April 1. This news will be surely welcomed by American travelers, who have recently feared having their vacations ruined due to Covid disruption.
One of the other mandates staying in place, at least until May 1st, is the use of FFP2 face masks on all means of transport. This means other face coverings, including customized cloth masks, or with other material not deemed effective, are in theory not been permitted. For that reason, we advise all our readers visiting Italy in April to have enough FFP2 masks packed.
Additionally, throughout April only, the Super Green Pass will remain mandatory for residents when accessing indoor venues, such as restaurants. In better news, Americans visiting will be able to present the simplified Green Pass, which allows the unvaccinated to access restricted spaces through presenting a negative Covid test.
Come May, both the Basic Green Pass and the Super Green Pass will be abolished.
The Green Pass And Masks Will Be Totally Scrapped From May 1
From May 1st, the Green Pass will be scrapped altogether, meaning both the vaccinated and unvaccinated will be granted access to public spaces equally. Those traveling to Italy before that date, however, are still advised to check any requirements in place, including that of holding valid Covid documentation when visiting cultural venues and other attractions.
Additionally, those who before May 1st did not hold a Green Pass were generally not allowed to use public transportation within city limits or inter-city. As soon as May 1, visitors will no longer face internal travel restrictions based on their vaccination status, although other requirements will continue being enforced as restrictions are phased out slowly.
Italy’s Green Pass was only issued to those who had a valid vaccination scheme, as defined by the European Union, or who had been infected with Covid and subsequently recovered, leaving the unvaccinated no option but to avoid restricted spaces. During a news conference, the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called the measure a ‘great success’.
According to him, it allowed the Italian economy to recover, as they are now taking ‘fundamental steps towards reopening’. He does issue, however, a warning to visitors who may believe Italy’s rollback of measures is definitive: ‘we are of course keeping a very close watch on the epidemic curve and stand ready to adapt all our system […] also introducing broader measures if necessary.’
Also being scrapped May 1 is the mask requirement. Whether it is FFP2 or other face coverings, visitors will not be required to cover their noses and mouth when traveling on buses, trams, or trains, or when attending events in indoor venues. Masks will also not be mandatory in museums, restaurants, or other closed spaces.
Italy Fully Back To Normal From June 15
As set out by Roberto Speranza, the Italian Minister of Health, June 15 will mark the end of all Covid-related measures, including compulsory vaccination for certain groups and other restrictions mentioned above. From that date, Italy is also expected to join the list of European countries removing all Covid entry requirements, though that has not been confirmed yet.
In March, we have received reports of 11 nations that have fully reopened to visitors, including several in Europe. When traveling to countries such as Ireland, Hungary or Romania, Americans are no longer expected to satisfy border authorities with any Covid proof of entry, also enjoying more freedoms when traveling within these countries. A similar move in Italy is highly anticipated.
Currently, those entering Italy from the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom must still complete a Passenger Locator Form prior to departure, where they must submit personal and health details. On top of that, they must present at least one valid Covid document when entering, such as a vaccination certificate, recovery proof, or a negative test.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com