Italy holidays: Latest FCDO update ahead of Italian lockdown as third wave hits Europe

Vaccine: Gondolier gives update on situation in Italy

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Italy is bracing itself for another lockdown as the country, among others in Europe, endures a third wave of coronavirus. Two-thirds of the Italian population are facing a strict lockdown from next week. School, shops and restaurants are closing from Monday. Easter celebrations will likely be banned, with people instructed to stay at home whenever possible in up to 14 of its 20 regions, including those around Rome and Milan.

The news may concern Britons who, after the roadmap out of the UK’s lockdown was unveiled in recent weeks, have holiday plans for Italy.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) share the latest travel advice – this is what you need to know.

Italy travel advice

Foreign arrivals into Italy are banned until early April.

“From March 6 until April 6, entry into Italy is only permitted to residents or those with absolute necessity including urgent work, health needs or study requirements,” the FCDO explains.

Stringent Covid testing and quarantine rules are also in place for anyone who does travel to Italy.

“Until April 6, those wishing to fly must present the airline with a negative COVID-19 rapid antigenic or molecular swab test taken no more than 72 hours before entry into Italy.

“You must also take a COVID-19 rapid antigenic or molecular swab test within 48 hours of entering Italy – arrivals by air from the UK will take this test at the airport.

“Whatever the result of the two swab tests, those arriving in Italy from the UK must also report to their local health authorities on arrival and self-isolate for 14 days.”

The admin for arrivals doesn’t stop there.

“You will need to download and complete a self-declaration from the Ministry of Interior before you travel,” the FCDO details.

The authority also advises: “Consult the Italian Government’s online questionnaire (in English) for more advice on entry requirements and travel to Italy.”

The rise in Covid cases comes as Italian authorities stopped the use of a batch of about 300,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses after three previously healthy recipients in Sicily died.

A separate batch of the coronavirus vaccine has also been withdrawn in Austria, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia amid concerns of recipients suffering serious blood clots.

Covid infections are now rising in almost every large European country, except Spain and Portugal, mainly because of the spread of mutant strains from overseas.

In fact, the situation in Portugal has improved to the extent it will likely be removed from the UK’s ‘red list,’ it has been reported.

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, is expected to announce changes to the UK’s ‘red list’ travel ban on Monday, with restrictions on Portugal lifted.

Britons are forced to quarantine on arrival in a Government approved hotel if returning from anywhere in the 33-country list, which includes South Africa and Brazil.

Direct flights from the country will therefore be lifted, and arrivals will not have to quarantine for 11 days at a cost of £1,750 per person.

However, under the lockdown roadmap, Britons will be unable to travel abroad until at least May 17.

Portugal is the only European country on the ‘red list’, which mostly includes Southern American and southern African nations.

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