Coronavirus impact will be ‘very tough’ on Italy says expert
Italy’s border restrictions banning UK arrivals was extended on January 15. Now, just two weeks later, the country has tightened entry requirements further for those who must travel into the country for “essential purposes”.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issues up-to-date travel advice for Britons travelling abroad.
Currently, the FCDO is advising against all “non-essential” travel into Italy.
However, in line with the Italian government’s latest restrictions, the UK travel authority has issued an updated warning for those travelling from the UK.
“Until 5 March, entry into Italy is only permitted for those with official residency or those with absolute necessity, which must be declared in writing,” states the FCDO.
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Until March 5, those who are eligible to fly into Italy must present their chosen airline with a negative COVID-19 rapid antigenic or molecular swab test which can be 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,” continues the FCDO.
For UK arrivals, this test will be taken 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,” warns the travel advisory.
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Travellers must also download and complete a self-declaration from the Ministry of Interior.
This may be requested by airlines or transport providers, or border police.
Travellers are advised to ensure they have it to hand in case they are stopped and questioned during transit.
“If you are a UK national resident in Italy, we advise carrying proof of your residence when entering Italy,” explains the FCDO.
It continues: “Everyone arriving in Italy must also call the COVID-19 helpline for the region you are travelling within 48 hours, to inform them of your visit.”
In addition to these measures, travellers are also warned flights could change at short notice.
“Many airlines and airports serving Italy are operating a reduced service and may be subject to change,” states the FCDO.
“You are strongly advised to check your airline’s website, as well as the website for the airport you are intending to fly to for the latest information.
“You should also expect to be asked to wear a face mask throughout your flight and within the airport terminal.”
Italy’s continued ban on UK arrivals comes amid concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19 variants.
One strain, thought to be 70 percent more contagious than the first COVID-19 strain found, was detected in Kent in at the end of 2020.
Other variants have been found to have originated from South Africa and Brazil.
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