Italy's new travel rules require covid tests for EU arrivals

All you need to know about Italy's latest travel restrictions.

Italy now requires quarantine for unvaccinated EU visitors.

All travellers to Italy from European Union countries must undergo a covid test before departure - including those who are vaccinated - under a new ordinance signed on Tuesday night by the Italian health minister Roberto Speranza.

The new travel rules, in force from 16 December until 31 January, also include an obligation that unvaccinated visitors from EU countries quarantine for five days on arrival.

Italy's decision to impose a covid test on people arriving from EU countries extends a requirement already in force for arrivals from many non-EU countries.

The new travel rules, which come amid concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, have been criticised by EU authorities and tour operators in Italy.

Italy's unexpected move appears to undermine the EU digital health certificate system of common travel rules in operation across the bloc.

European Commission vice president Vera Jourova told reporters: "These individual decisions of the member states will damage ... the trust of the people that there are equal conditions everywhere in Europe."

Also on Tuesday the government extended the nation's state of emergency - due to expire at the end of this year - until 31 March 2022.

The legislation grants special powers to national and regional authorities in tackling the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic swiftly, cutting through red tape to implement, modify or revoke emergency measures when required.

Italy's covid infections continue to rise, with more than 20,000 new cases and 120 covid-related deaths recorded on Tuesday.

As of Wednesday more than 47 million people, or 88 per cent of the Italian population over the age of 12, have had at least one dose of the covid vaccine, according to the latest government data.


For official information relating to the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see the health ministry website.