In a post-pandemic world, we’re entering a new golden age of travel. Countries once stricken by Covid-19 have loosened their entry requirements, and anyone who can is embracing their new-found freedom to globe trot. Proof of vaccination was mandatory for travel to Italy for most of 2021, but you might be wondering if this is still the case and if you need a booster to visit.
Italy was one of the first countries to feel the harrowing effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic. The country was in a national lockdown from the beginning of March 2020 until mid-May, making it the first European nation to implement such a response to the virus. Covid has loosened its grip over the world in the last year, but does this mean Italy has loosened its regulations?
From the entry requirements to the mask mandates when you get there, our guide looks at how to navigate Italy post-covid, and whether or not you need a booster to visit in 2022. Let’s get into it.
Do you need a booster to travel to Italy?
Italy suffered the second-highest death toll in Europe from the Coronavirus Pandemic, after the United Kingdom, and implemented some of the toughest restrictions on residents and visitors during this time. As a nation, Italy is still cautious around Covid-19 but most of its rules have been relaxed and you no longer need a booster to travel to Italy.
When Italy opened its borders in the summer of 2020, all travelers were required to take a negative PCR test prior to travel, which turned into proof of vaccination against the Coronavirus Pandemic following the vaccine roll-out. By the end of 2021, passengers needed to present proof of a full vaccination against Covid-19, meaning three doses (including two boosters). However, anyone without the vaccine could now present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel to enter Italy.
From the end of 2021 up until May 1, 2022, tourists and residents needed to show their “green pass” (proof of vaccination and two boosters) to most places they went, including galleries, restaurants, and on public transport.
However, with the dramatic drop in national and worldwide cases, as well as the successful rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, travelers today are no longer required to show any proof of vaccination to enter Italy, meaning you don’t need a booster either. On June 1, 2022, Italy dropped all of its Covid-19 entry regulations, meaning passengers are no longer required to complete a passenger locator form prior to arrival, wear a mask on the plane over, or take a negative Covid test.
Upon arrival in Italy, passengers could still be subjected to random Covid-19 testing, and anyone who does test positive is required to adhere to the strict quarantine rules. This involves self-isolating for five days and only leaving quarantine when you are symptom-free and have tested negative. However, this quarantine is to be completed at home and is not overseen by the Italian government. If you still test positive after two weeks, you are permitted to leave quarantine.
The rules for vaccinated and non-vaccinated passengers are the same, and the same rules apply to any citizen of any foreign nation.
What to expect when you arrive in Italy
Italy had a color-coded traffic light system by region to delineate the severity of Covid regulations, but this was scrapped on April 1 2022 and the rules are now the same nationwide.
The outdoor mask mandate was abolished on February 11, followed by the indoor mask mandate on May 1. Visitors and residents in Italy were still required to wear masks on public transport until October 1 when the restrictions were eased again, but masks remain compulsory in hospitals, care homes, and any medical setting.
Wearing masks is still recommended by the government on public transport and in indoor settings where close proximity to other individuals is unavoidable, but this is not compulsory. Unlike many other parts of the world, however, most Italians still adhere to these rules. What’s more, individual venues like museums, galleries, cinemas, and shops can inflict their own mask mandates that visitors are expected to follow. Failure to do so or leave when asked could result in a €450 fine.
You may not need a green pass to enter restaurants and attractions anymore, but a “super green pass” or “certificazione verde rafforzata”, which proves that you’ve been vaccinated and received two boosters, is required for visiting cares homes and some medical settings. Those who have been vaccinated outside of the EU are not eligible for the pass, with the exception of those branding a QR code like the UK’s NHS vaccination certificates.
Countries that still require a Covid-19 vaccine to enter
Most countries have done away with their Covid-19 entry requirements, but this doesn’t mean that Covid is nonexistent. Since the pandemic had a devastating effect on the global economy, most countries are now prioritizing tourism initiatives over Covid regulations, with the hope that we can all learn to live with Covid. The widespread roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations all over the globe has helped with this.
However, the popular travel destinations below reflect just a handful of the 20 or so global countries and territories that still insist on Covid-19 documentation at their borders:
Spain – Although set to be dropped in late autumn, visitors to Spain are still required to show proof of full vaccination, including two boosters, or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.
United States – They might have dropped their pre-flight tests, but all non-US citizens are required to show proof of full vaccination (three doses) to enter the US.
Hong Kong – Any visitors to Hong Kong must be fully vaccinated and take a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of departure. The mandatory three-day quarantine on arrival was dropped for UK citizens and some other nations on 26 September, but you should always check the specific regulations for your country of origin prior to departure.
China – Visas and flights to China remain restricted for many worldwide nations, but in order to obtain a visa, you must take two PCR tests within 48 hours of travel, undergo PCR testing on arrival, and quarantine for a total of 10 days when you get to China – seven days in a government-appointed facility and three days at your accommodation.
The Seychelles – To visit the Seychelles you will need to present proof of full vaccination or take a Covid test prior to travel, either an antigen within 24 hours or a PCR within 72 hours. Children under 11 are exempt from these restrictions.
Singapore – You must show proof of two doses of the vaccine to enter Singapore or a negative Covid test taken within 48 hours of travel. You must also fill out a digital SG Arrival Card and purchase travel insurance covering Covid-19 treatment for the duration of your stay in Singapore.
United Arab Emirates – To enter both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, you’ll need proof of double vaccination or a PCR test taken within 48 hours of your flight. You may also present proof of recovery from Covid-19 within 30 days of arrival instead.
The Bahamas – You’ll need two doses of the vaccine, with the second administered more than two weeks prior to travel, or present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. These rules are still the same for many of the Caribbean islands.
Indonesia – Visitors heading to Bali or any of Indonesia’s islands will need to upload their vaccination certificate to the Pedul Lindung mobile app. Unvaccinated travelers will need to take a PCR test on arrival and all visitors could be subject to temperature checks at the borders. Under-18s are exempt from these regulations.
We might be over the worst of Covid-19, but as we’ve learned, the virus is temperamental. Entry and exit requirements can change at short notice anywhere in the world, so be sure to keep up with the specific regulations for your country of origin wherever you’re headed.