Italy keeps quarantine rules in place as EU opens borders

Italy keeps self-isolation rules for countries allowed to enter EU from 1 July.

Italy has chosen to keep its quarantine restrictions in place for travellers entering its borders from the list of "safe countries" whose citizens are allowed to travel into the EU from 1 July.

The EU announced the final list of countries on 30 June, however within hours Italy said it would opt out and retain its quarantine regulations for all nations that are not part of the free-travel Schengen area, reports Reuters news agency.

“The situation on a global level remains very complex," Italy's health minister Roberto Speranza told Italian news agency ANSA - "We must not allow the sacrifices of Italians in recent months being made in vain."

The countries whose citizens now have quarantine-free access to the EU (but not Italy) are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Montenegro, Morocco, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

The EU says that China could also be added to this list but only if Beijing reciprocates by permitting entry to EU nationals.

Travellers from the US are excluded from the list.

The so-called safe countries were chosen based on certain criteria, including on how well they are faring in handling the covid-19 pandemic, and the travel list will be updated every 14 days.

Border management will remain a matter of national decision, meaning that member countries may decide not to open their borders to all the 15 countries - such as the case of Italy - however they have undertaken not to accept visitors from other nations.

Italy reopened to travellers from the EU and Schengen area countries on 3 June, without the obligation of quarantine, and this will not change, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

For in-depth information about travelling abroad from Italy and the specific requirements of other countries see the Viaggiare Sicuri website and for EU country-by-country travel information consult the Reopen Europa website.

For EU travel restrictions and exemptions see the European Commission website.