Worried about Covid in Italy and planning your trip to Rome? Let us reassure you – tourism is well and truly back! Travelling in the times of Covid requires a little extra planning and preparation, but to all intents and purposes Italy is “back to normal”, and it’s safe to visit. In fact, it’s actually the perfect time to visit Italy! You can enjoy popular sites like the Colosseum and the Vatican without the crowds.

Read on to find out more about the current situation with Covid in Italy and the Green Pass rules, so you’re ready for your next Italian holiday!

*Please note – the following information is accurate at the time of publication (October 2021), and is intended as an overview. It will not be updated. For the latest, up-to-date information, check government guidelines.

The Colosseum
Visiting famous landmarks in Italy, such as the Colosseum, without crowds. This is the period to visit Italy without crowds.

Covid in Italy: the current situation

After more than a year of lockdowns, curfews and changing restrictions in colour-coded regions, Italy is open again! If you were following the situation earlier this year, you may remember that the levels of restrictions varied from region to region. Depending on the number of Covid cases there were different restrictions – in red zones, residents were essentially in lockdown. While yellow zones only had a few rules and restrictions.

Today, the whole of Italy has become one big “white zone”, with the lowest level of restrictions. Essentially, everything is open! Shops, museums, restaurants (indoor dining too), cinemas, theatres, stadiums and so on.

However, everyone is expected to continue to respect social distancing guidelines. Also, you should still wear masks indoors, on public transport, and outside in crowded places. This includes visiting busy outside markets and when waiting in line for an event with a lot of people).

Street Market in Italy
You should still wear a mask when visiting busy (street)markets

There are still cases of Covid in Italy, with an average of around 3,000 reported cases a day. But this is a huge decrease compared to November 2020, when there were more than 27,000 cases in a day.

In addition, around 70% of the population in Italy has been fully vaccinated. This is why the Italian Government has relaxed the rules. Also, it is highly unlikely that there will be any further lockdowns.

Green Pass rules in Italy

The Green Pass is an EU digital certificate verifying that a person:

  • is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (with one of the EU-approved vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca or Johnson & Johnson)
  • OR has received a negative Covid-19 test results within the last 48 hours
  • OR has recovered from Covid-19 within the last 6 months

If you are an EU citizen, you should make sure you have the Green Pass for your trip to Italy, as it will allow you to:

  • eat indoors at restaurants
  • visit museums, art galleries and archaeological sites
  • attend events or go to the cinema or theatre

If you’re a tourist without EU citizenship and you want to enjoy the benefits of a Green Pass, this is still possible. Though it can be a little more complicated if your only proof is a negative test result (rather than vaccination or recovery from Covid). Here’s some more information on the Italy Green Pass for tourists.

Visiting Italy from abroad: Green Pass, Covid test and quarantine rules

If you’re travelling to Italy from an EU or Schengen Area country and you want to avoid quarantine, you should use the Green Pass to show:

  • proof of full vaccination for at least 14 days
  • OR negative PCR or antigen test result, no more than 48 hours before entering Italy
  • OR a certificate of recovery from Covid-19 within the last six months

Travellers from some other countries, including the UK, the USA and Canada, can enter Italy without having to quarantine, using similar criteria. However, please note that:

  • UK/US/Canadian visitors must be fully vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine
  • AND UK/US/Canadian visitors must have a negative PCR or antigen test result from within 72 hours (or 48 hours for UK visitors) in addition to full vaccination

Travellers who don’t meet these requirements may be expected to quarantine for 5-10 days, or prohibited from entering Italy.

Entry to Italy is currently severely restricted for travellers arriving from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Brazil.

For more information and the latest updates, check the Italian Health Ministry website for travellers.

Italian bar during COVID times
You can still visit your favorite bar or restaurant but can only sit inside if you have proof of a recent negative Covid test or proof of full vaccination.

Covid in Italy: where can you get tested?

If you visit in the upcoming months you’ll probably have to get a Covid test in Italy at least once, in order to fly back home. Luckily, Covid tests are cheap and widely available.

You can get:

  • an antigen test (tampone rapido/tampone antigenico). Which costs around €12-€15, with immediate results. Booking usually not required.
  • a PCR test (tampone molecolare). Which costs around €64 on average, with results within 24 hours. Booking usually required.

Both are available at pharmacies, clinics, drive-in testing centres and airports. The easiest option is visiting one of the white tents in front of a pharmacy and ask if they can test you on the spot. You’ll see these white tents pretty much everywhere you go!

You can find more information about testing sites online. For example, for Rome and the region of Lazio, click the blue buttons under the heading “Dove eseguire i test” (Where to get tested) to see maps of testing sites.

Make sure you double-check the testing requirements in the country you’re travelling to. For instance, the UK Government does not accept Covid test results in Italian. So, if you need to do a test in Italy, ask for a translation of your results when you do your test.

If you want to know more, the Roads to Rome Private Tours team can help you plan your visit!

Read more: Italy Green Pass – Your questions answered (Romewise)

Written by Alexandra Turney