Italy reopening to Americans as soon as May, but don’t book just yet

Another major European power is on the verge of reopening. Italy’s prime minister says the country will reopen to vaccinated travelers as soon as later this month.

PM Mario Draghi says, “Italy is ready to welcome back the world.” That will include foreign tourists from the United States and most other countries who have been fully vaccinated with a European-approved vaccine.

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There are some caveats, though, and full details are not available just yet. In fact, some reports suggest it will be as soon as May for the reopening, but other reports indicate it may be the second half of June.


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The Guardian reports, according to their sources, that tourists with an EU-approved COVID-19 vaccine, those who can prove they’ve recovered from coronavirus or those with a negative test taken 48 hours or less before traveling will be allowed to enter Italy without quarantine or other restrictions.

Good news for Americans, the EU has approved all the vaccines currently being given in the United States, including the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Related: Reopening Europe: A country-by-country guide

Draghi spoke after a meeting of the Group of 20 (19 of the world’s largest economies plus the EU) tourism ministers in Rome. According to the Guardian, he said, “Few countries are intertwined with tourism as Italy. The world longs to travel here. Our mountains, our beaches, our cities and our countryside are reopening. And this process will speed up in the coming weeks and months.”

That will be true of all countries that were previously eligible to visit Italy aside from several countries on Italys’ so-called “blacklist” which include Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, because the epidemic is raging out of control in those nations right now.

Reuters reports that Draghi doesn’t want to wait until June to reopen: “Let us not wait until mid-June for the EU pass. In mid-May, tourists can have the Italian pass … so the time has come to book your holidays in Italy.”

Related: A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

Still, it may not be time to lock in that trip just yet.

We don’t have details on Italy’s exact requirements. Draghi suggests there will be an Italian version of a vaccine passport called a “green pass,” as soon as mid-May, but we don’t have any details so far.

On top of that, at the moment, the latest travel advisories from the U.S. Embassies and consulates in Italy say American visitors are still not allowed to enter the country, “Nonessential travel (i.e., tourism) to Italy from most non-EU countries (including the United States) is prohibited.” 

We are hopeful that the information will be updated shortly.

Related: Where can Americans go? Here’s the complete list

Also remember, that if you go to Italy this summer, you will need a negative COVID-19 test to return to the United States. Here’s the quote from the U.S. embassy, “Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages 2 years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel.”

If you are beginning to set your sights on Italy, we’ve got everything you need to know about planning your trip. Our Italy hub page is here.

And here are some other resources to begin Italy trip-planning:

  • Best ways to use points and miles to get to Rome
  • An overview of Italy’s best destinations for tourists
  • How to have a budget vacation in Italy
  • Rome hotels on points for families of 4

Featured image courtesy Lina Harb/EyeEm/Getty Images.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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