Published October 18, 2021 - Updated every Monday
Are you wondering, “can you travel to Rome?”
As restrictions begin to loosen, with Italy and other EU countries being open for tourism, you may be wondering whether this means you can come to Italy and if so, how.
I've had so many people asking me "Can you travel to Rome now?" that I decided to make this page to answer this and the many questions related to this topic.
On this page you will find answers to:
Can you travel to Rome and feel safe?
Aside from your own government’s advice, the decision will be based on your personal feelings about being safe visiting Italy right now.
Vaccinations are being administered on an constant basis. You can follow Italy's vaccination progress here - just over 87,500,000 vaccinations have been administered to date, with over 80% of all eligible Italians being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at the time of writing.
While there was a widespread relaxation of the restrictions over the summer, new case numbers started to slowly rise again, although this trend is now reversing and case numbers are decreasing again. You can follow the data here. Right now all regions are classed as a 'white' zone with minimal restrictions in place.
For more about how safe a city Rome is to visit in general, and how to stay safe in Rome, visit my page about this here.
Everyone in Italy now needs to show a 'Green Pass' to gain access to the following locations:
The Green Pass is a way of proving that you have either been vaccinated, recently recovered from Covid-19 or have taken a negative test within the previous 48 hours (rapid antigen) or 72 hours (PCR).
If you take a test while in Italy, you will receive a code that will allow the results of that test to be validated, either in the app or printed out, regardless of whether you're an EU resident or not.
You can only use the Green Pass if you have been vaccinated in the EU, have proof of recovery from an EU doctor or have taken a test in the EU. It has also been confirmed that proof of vaccination from the USA, UK, Canada, Israel and Japan, e.g. a US CDC vaccination card, or proof of recovery from within the last 6 months, will be accepted.
Note that there is no time restriction for when you were vaccinated, the 6 month window only applies to the certificate of recovery.
Right now the Green Pass is NOT needed for the following:
So you can have a quick coffee at the counter of a bar, but cannot sit down indoors for a meal without the Green Pass.
Properly worn face masks are still required everywhere indoors except in the privacy of one's home/hotel room/Airbnb.
You will need to wear a mask in the following places:
It is no longer mandatory to wear a mask outdoors in other circumstances.
Your vaccination status is not a factor.
The same rules apply to everyone regardless of whether you have been fully vaccinated or not.
Please visit my page all about the Coronavirus situation in Rome for more details about current restrictions, which I also update every Monday.
Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!
First, there are several factors that determine if you can legally travel to Rome right now:
In addition, there are factors you may want to consider before deciding if you really want to travel to Rome, Italy, and/or the rest of the EU right now. These include:
The Italian government has been closely monitoring the worldwide situation and setting rules by which non-Italians may enter Italy for leisure purposes.
Because these rules can and have changed quickly, with little notice, you may want to keep checking this page and the official links provided here.
I will be updating this page every Monday with the latest updates.
Right now, citizens of some countries may enter Italy for any reason, including:
There are different entry requirements and rules for visitors from these countries, see more below.
On August 30 the EU announced a change to the countries on their Covid-19 'safe' list, removing a number of countries including Israel and the USA.
This means that they have recommended that EU member states should be restricting access to visitors from those countries in some circumstances. They have advised that fully vaccinated visitors and people travelling for necessity do not need to be restricted, so this seems to be more about reducing the number of unvaccinated people coming to the EU.
The Italian government has amended their requirements for travellers from the USA to make a distinction between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people in line with this advice, as well as clarifying the requirements for travellers from some other countries, which I have set out below.
While Italy is allowing visitors to arrive from these countries, one factor you also need to consider is what your own government says about travel to Italy.
For example, citizens of Australia and New Zealand (among other countries) are not permitted to travel internationally right now - although Australia is planning on opening its borders in November!
The US State Department travel advisory for Italy is currently Level 3, Reconsider Travel. This does not mean you are forbidden to leave the US to visit Italy, only that they advise you not to do so at this time.
In addition to countries whose governments are restricting or advising against travel, Italy and the EU are also forbidding visitors from some countries from entering at this time.
Visitors from the following countries are not permitted to enter Italy (unless you are an Italian resident returning home):
You may also not enter Italy if you have visited or transited through the above countries in the 14 days prior to your desired arrival into Italy.
Please visit the Italian Health Ministry’s website to see the latest news about which citizens may/may not enter Italy.
There is no longer a mandatory quarantine for everyone arriving from the UK.
If you have a certificate of full vaccination with an EU-approved vaccine, completed at least 14 days before traveling to Italy, as well as proof of a negative test result from a molecular or antigenic test taken in the 48 hours (the time period is shorter for UK visitors than those from other countries) before traveling to Italy, you will not need to quarantine on arrival.
Certificates of recovery from Covid-19 dated no more than 6 months prior to traveling to Italy will NOT be accepted in place of full vaccination for UK visitors or visitors from any of the other countries on the Italian Health Ministry's 'List D' categorisation.
If you cannot provide proof of full vaccination, or do not have proof of a negative test, you will have to quarantine for 5 days and take a test at the end of this period before leaving quarantine.
If you have proof of vaccination but are travelling with anyone under the age of 18 who does not, they do not have to quarantine. Children between the age of 6 and 18 still need to have proof of a negative test however, while any child under 6 is exempt from the test requirement.
Please visit the Italian Health Ministry’s website to find out more.
People visiting Italy from the countries of the European Union and Schengen Area do not have to quarantine on arrival, as long as they meet one of the following conditions:
People visiting Italy from Canada, Japan and the United States can avoid quarantine if they provide:
AND proof of a negative test result from a molecular or antigenic test taken in the 72 hours before traveling to Italy.
If you do not have the negative test proof, you will need to quarantine for 5 days even if you are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from Coronavirus, and take a test at the end of the 5-day period which must come back negative before you can leave quarantine.
If you are not fully vaccinated or don't have a recovery certificate, only a negative test result, you will have to quarantine for 5 days on arrival.
The certificates and test results need to be in English, Italian, Spanish or French, and can be in either digital or printed format.
If you are vaccinated but are traveling with minors who are not, they will need to have proof of a negative test result, unless they are under 6 years old. They will not need to quarantine if travelling with a parent/companion who has proof of vaccination or recovery.
People visiting from other countries on Italy's 'List D' classification, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates, must quarantine for 5 days on arrival unless they are fully vaccinated and have proof of a negative test.
People visiting Italy from any other country are only allowed to travel for essential reasons such as work or an emergency and must quarantine for 10 days on arrival.
See the full details and lists of countries on the Italian Ministry of Health website here.
Many airlines are operating flights between Italy and other countries around the world, but the Italian government agreed on a specific procedure with certain countries and airlines for Covid-tested flights. (Note, they are not called “Covid-free” flights.)
With the options for travel to Italy becoming more flexible, the Covid-tested flights are no longer necessary. The flights themselves are still running as scheduled, but the multiple-test process is no longer in place.
If you had booked on to a Covid-tested flight and are unsure of what you will need to do now, check with your flight provider to see what their advice is.
As more countries go on to Italy's 'safe' list for travel, it's possible other Covid-tested flight routes may be put into place, so always check before booking flights from any country to ensure you are clear on what you need to do.
According to WHO, a PCR test (also sometimes called a molecular test) looks for genetic material of the virus. It is a test in which the specimen goes to a lab for analysis to determine if any COVID RNA is present.
An antigen test (also sometimes called a rapid test) is when they try to identify one of the outer proteins of the viral shell. A rapid antigen test is considered slightly less accurate than a PCR test.
In both cases, the specimen is collected with a nasal swab, although on occasion an oral swab may also be taken. This will depend on where you have the test done.
Neither the PCR test nor the antigen test require a blood sample.
Currently there are no situations in which a blood test is required for you to travel to Rome.
The costs of these tests vary, depending on where you have them done.
A PCR test in Italy costs around 50-60€. In some cases, you may request the results in English for an additional small fee (around 10€.) If you are flying directly out of Rome to your home country and not through another EU country, you likely only need the PCR test results in Italian.
In the US, I have had free PCR tests at Walgreens (Florida) and CVS (Georgia), while I’ve seen comments online from others taking these tests at CVS and other labs with costs ranging from $100-200.
If traveling from EU or Schengen countries - no. As long as you are fully vaccinated, and have had the final vaccine dose at least 14 days before entering Italy, you will not need to also provide proof of a negative PCR or antigen test result.
If traveling from any other country - yes. Vaccination status does not exclude the need for a negative test result for travel from any country outside the EU.
At most pharmacies around Rome, you will see outdoor tents where you can get Covid tests done. In most cases, the tests performed here are rapid antigen tests or blood tests.
PCR tests are done at specific labs. There are many around Rome. You will need to book in advance. Sometimes you can book online and sometimes you have to call. Labs include Synlab, Artemisia, and Bios but there are others too.
If you need to get a PCR test elsewhere in Italy, here is a link to the Ministero della Salute (Italy Health Ministry) website with their list.
Most PCR test results are available “within 48-72 hours”, but in reality, you should receive them within 24 hours.
I do not know of any lab in Italy or elsewhere that can get results faster than that.
The EU created a system called the “EU Digital COVID certificate" (although the general term "Green Pass" is also used) to allow for EU residents to easily move between the member states.
Italy has its own national version of this pass, find out more on the Italian government's dedicated website here.
It's a way of proving you have been fully vaccinated, have recently made a full recovery from Covid, or have had a recent negative test result. It's live now - for more information, click here.
Italy has been assigning color codes to the various regions, based on infection rates.
Right now, all of the regions of Italy are in the white zone which means minimal restrictions are in place.
As long as the regions are in either a white or yellow zone, you may move freely between them with no barriers to travel.
If a region of Italy goes to orange or red zone again, then travel to/from that region would be restricted to essential purposes only, but the case numbers do not indicate that these zones would be implemented anytime soon.
Right now, EU countries have varying rules and restrictions depending on their individual rates of infections and hospitalizations.
Check with this website to see if you can freely travel from Rome, Italy to the country of your choice.
When you fly back home, you may have to take a PCR or antigen test prior to leaving Italy.
This will depend on the airline, your home country's requirements, and whether or not your flight stops first in another European city.
To leave Italy to fly DIRECTLY to the USA for example (without stopping in another European airport), you ONLY need a rapid antigen test, taken no more than 48 hours prior to your flight.
It's easy to get this test at almost any pharmacy in Rome, and you will have (verbal) results in minutes, whereas they will usually take an hour or so to get you written results, which is what you need.
You can also opt to get this test at the airport, in which case, add at least an hour to your time in the airport. In either case, you will need to pay for this test.
To leave Italy to fly to the USA, but passing through another European or UK airport, you will LIKELY need a PCR (molecular) test.
You should check with the airline you book with. PCR tests in Rome are 50-60 Euros and you will be responsible for this cost. This test needs to be taken within 72 hours of your flight. You will usually get your results within 24 hours and can access them online.
Different airlines and different airports have different rules so no matter what, you should stay up to date with the regulations as outlined by your airline and home country. Keep checking up until the dates close to your travel date.
For now, mask wearing is strictly enforced.
You no longer will need to have a rapid antigen test on arrival at the airport in Italy, so once you disembark, you can proceed to Passport Control and after that, to Baggage Claim.
Your luggage may arrive before you do and if so, you will find it either going around on the carousel or off to the side of the carousel with some other luggage.
The Italian government’s stance on travel abroad is currently that caution should be used when planning any trip. They have not restricted their citizen’s ability to travel however, where there are restrictions, they come from the foreign government’s rules.
Italy to the US:
At the moment, Italians are not able to enter the United States without a valid reason, i.e., they cannot come for tourism/leisure purposes.
If you are an American citizen returning to the USA with an Italian family member, I would suggest you carry proof of why this person is travelling with you. When Alessandro and I flew from Rome to Atlanta recently, we carried a photocopy of our marriage certificate with us. In Italy, they didn’t need it but said it was a good idea to have it for when we landed in the US. At border control in the USA, we didn’t need to show it, but you never know. I suggest you bring such a document just in case.
However, as of November 8 the US government has confirmed that fully vaccinated visitors from a number of countries including the EU and UK, may enter the United States for any reason. It looks like a pre-departure test within 72 hours of travelling will be needed also - official guidance has not yet been provided with details of the rules and any exceptions, but I'll provide further updates here when we know more!
Italy to the UK:
As of October 4, the UK has changed its entry requirements, with a few high-risk countries classed as 'red' which come with mandatory hotel quarantines, but all other countries now have the same requirements.
If you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days, with a vaccine administered in the UK, USA, EU or a number of other specific countries, you will not need to quarantine on arrival in the UK. You will still need to pre-book a test to be taken on day 2 after your arrival into the UK but you do not need to provide proof of a negative test on arrival into the UK.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you must quarantine for 10 days on arrival, provide proof of a pre-departure negative test, and pre-book 2 tests to be taken on day 2 and day 8 of your quarantine before traveling.
These rules apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - visit the UK government's website for more information.
Note that if you are using a US form of vaccination proof, i.e a CDC card, you will also need to show proof that you are a US resident for this to be accepted.