by Kailey Hagen | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on June 17, 2021
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Here's what you need to know before you plan your summer vacation to Italy this year.
Italy is gradually reopening its borders to international travelers as it emerges from its third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has already dropped its quarantine requirement for travelers from other European countries and Israel, provided they can offer proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival.
But rules are a bit more stringent for travelers from other countries, including the U.S. Here's what you need to know if you're thinking about booking a trip to Italy this summer.
Americans who arrive in Italy on a COVID-tested flight are permitted to skip the quarantine requirement. A COVID-tested flight is one approved by the Italian Ministry of Health.
These flights require passengers to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours before boarding. Then they must take another test at the airport and a third upon landing. All three tests must be negative to skip the quarantine requirement. Passengers must also fill out a self-declaration and passenger locator form.
Currently, the only places you can get on a COVID-tested flight to Italy in the U.S. are New York and Atlanta. You can also depart from Canada, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates. If traveling from New York or Atlanta, you must get on a flight that goes into either the Rome Fiumicino or Milan Malpensa airports.
Only Delta and Alitalia airlines are running these flights, so you must book a spot on one of these if you hope to enter Italy without a mandatory quarantine period.
Italy uses a color-coded system to describe the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and the protocols in each of its regions. Currently, all regions fall into the white or yellow categories, which are the least severe.
In yellow zones, masks are mandatory and no more than four people are allowed to dine together in restaurants unless they live together. There's also an 11 p.m. curfew in place. Shops, restaurants, sporting events, and theaters are now open, though many of them have capacity restrictions.
In white zones, things are largely back to normal. Travelers to these regions don't have to follow the restrictions above, though regional governments are free to impose their own restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 if they feel it's necessary. Look into the restrictions in the region you plan to visit before you go so you know what to expect.
You'll have to jump through a few extra hoops to travel to Italy this summer, but the fact that visiting this beautiful country is even an option this year is a step in the right direction. Italy's a popular tourist destination and COVID-tested flights are limited, so if you hope to secure a spot on one, try to book it as soon as possible. If cash is tight, see if you have a travel rewards credit card that can help you cover some of the cost.
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