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Coronavirus Rome Italy - Travel questions answered

Looking for the latest news about the Coronavirus Rome? What's the situation here? What's it like in Rome right now? What restrictions are in place? What's open? What's closed? Can you plan your trip to Italy?

colosseum in romeThe Colosseum hasn't had nearly as many visitors as it should - we're so happy people are coming back now!

Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.

Coronavirus Rome - Answers to your questions

I've had lots of questions about Coronavirus in Rome since all this began, with the questions changing over time. Now I think most people want to know simply when they can visit and what it will be like when they get here.

But there are other questions, too, so I hope to answer them here:

Please note I am not a medical professional or a public health official.

I have no authority to tell you what you should or shouldn't do about travel to Rome, Italy, or anywhere, now or in the future.

But part of what you'll find on this page is my perspective on how things are for those of us who live and work in Rome while we're dealing with the impact of Coronavirus in Rome.

I'll also give you some links to authoritative sources you SHOULD rely on if you are trying to decide whether to travel to Rome, to Italy, and most importantly, when.

Coronavirus Rome Italy

What's the Coronavirus situation in Rome right now?

Due to an increase in case numbers and hospitalizations, most of the regions in Italy are now classed as a yellow zone, including Lazio (where Rome is). The rest of the regions are either in orange or white zones, but the rules are largely similar for everyone. There are increased checks and restrictions in place in all color zones, such as mandatory outdoor mask wearing, with stronger measures in place for those who are not vaccinated.

The Italian government has made various changes to the way they are managing the pandemic - read on to find out all the details.

Coronavirus Rome - We who live here are adjusting to an increase in visitors again

Current coronavirus rome Restrictions - Rules and Protocols

  • We must maintain social distancing.
  • Across Italy masks must be worn indoors AND outdoors.
  • In certain situations, there is now a requirement to wear a specific type of mask, FFP2 specifically. These higher-performing masks are required on all public transport, both local and long distance (including flights to Italy from abroad), as well as in cinemas, theaters, sporting events and some museums. Cloth or regular surgical masks will NOT be acceptable.
  • For all businesses there are strict protocols regarding wearing masks, maintaining social distance, using hand sanitizer, and proper sanitization, disposal, and use of any utensils/equipment. In many cases, the number of people allowed inside is limited and may result in queues.
  • Proof of vaccination or recovery is needed to visit places or use services - keep reading for more details.

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What's closed and what's open in Rome right now?

WHAT'S OPEN IN ROME AS OF january 24, 2022

  • Lazio's status is currently yellow.
  • Bars, restaurants and cafés are open, although proof of Covid vaccination or recovery is necessary with the Green Pass to dine indoors OR outdoors. A negative test result is NO LONGER an acceptable alternative.
  • All shops are open as normal. 
  • Cinemas, theaters, concert halls and live music venues are open, with the caveat that you need to show proof of Covid vaccination or recovery via the Green Pass to gain access, negative tests alone are not enough. You must also wear a FFP2 mask, and are NOT allowed to remove your mask to eat or drink during a show or performance.
  • All sporting activity, including team sports, is now allowed.
  • Hairdressers/beauty/nail salons and barbers are open, although a basic Green Pass is required (meaning a negative test is an acceptable alternative to vaccination or recovery)
  • Museums and cultural sites are open, with rules restricting the number of visitors and the enforcement of social distancing rules. An enhanced Green Pass is necessary for access, including outdoor sites.
  • Gyms, spas, swimming pools and wellness centers are all open. Once again the enhanced Green Pass is needed for access.

WHAT'S Closed IN ROME AS OF january 24, 2022

  • Indoor and outdoor nightclubs and discos have had to close as of December 25, until at least January 31.
  • Outdoor public events and parties have been banned for the time being.

In addition, while most businesses are allowed to be open, many individual businesses have had to close because of the impact of Coronavirus in Rome and Italy. It's best to check in advance if you’re planning on visiting a particular shop, restaurant or hotel on a future visit to Italy therefore.

Green Pass Access

It's now necessary to show a Digital Covid Certificate or 'Green Pass' to gain entry to museums, sites, theaters, outdoor events, to eat or drink at a bar or restaurant, use public transport (both local and long-distance) and many other actions in Italy.

The Green Pass is activated with proof of vaccination, proof of recent recovery from Covid-19 or proof of a recent negative test. As of January 10, for most activities such as dining at a restaurant or visiting a museum, a negative test result by itself is NOT acceptable anymore. Find out more here.

Proof of vaccination with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (which are the Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Novavax) are all accepted, and you can take an antigen or PCR test in Italy as a non-Italian. For more details on how this works, visit the official site here.

If you are traveling with proof of vaccination from outside the EU, you will likely be asked for ID as validation, so be sure to carry both your Covid documents and photo ID with you.

The rules around the Green Pass have changed a lot recently, with proof of a negative test NO LONGER being acceptable to gain access to many situations. My Green Pass page sets out all the new information.

The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.

Museums in Rome - news and regulations

Museums and cultural sites are all allowed to open.

Some sites require you to book tickets in advance at weekends and opening hours are not yet back to 'normal' so always check the individual procedure for any site you wish to visit to avoid being disappointed.

The enhanced Green Pass rules (requiring proof of full vaccination or recent recovery) currently apply for entry to the following locations:

Outdoor spaces and churches remain open and available to visitors without needing to evidence your Covid-19 status, including:

Vatican - Saint Peter's Basilica and Vatican Museums 

The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Vatican GardensSaint Peter’s Dome, and St Peter’s Tomb are open for visits.

For updates and advice about booking admission, check out the Vatican Museums website here.

Both St Peter's Basilica and St Peter’s Square remain open.

We visited the museums, the basilica, the dome, and the square soon after the restrictions were lifted in 2020 and it was a very special day, with few people around. Watch my video to experience this for yourself:

If you are planning to visit the Vatican Museums, be aware that advance booking will be mandatory, as is showing evidence of vaccination or recovery on arrival. Entrances will be staggered and timed to avoid too many visitors being present at any one time, so you MUST be punctual. Wearing a FFP2 mask inside at all times is mandatory.

Tickets for tours to the Vatican Gardens and Saint Peter’s Tomb are available for future dates, but places are even more limited than before, so please do book these well in advance if you are planning to include them on a future visit to Rome.

As of October 1, the Green Pass is necessary to enter Vatican City in most circumstances.

Churches have always been allowed to stay open, on the provision that social distancing can be maintained and large groups of people do not gather together, so St Peter's Basilica is open. There is no advance booking required for visiting St Peter's Basilica.

As normal, you will have to go through airport-style security with temperature checks to enter the basilica, and while inside, masks are obligatory at all times.

Don’t forget to cover your knees and shoulders as per the normal requirements. 

Colosseum/Palatine Hill/Roman Forum

roman forum from palatine hill

The archaeological park that includes the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill is open, with the same rules for booking and entry as were put in place when it first reopened in 2020. An enhanced Green Pass is needed to gain entry.

Now that the park has been open for some time, they have started opening up some of the SUPER sites that have been closed since the pandemic started, including the new Colosseum underground area. My recent video about visiting this new section will give you an idea what it's like to visit the Colosseum right now:

If you would like to plan ahead for a future trip, you can find all the rules and advice, along with an app on the Colosseum's official website here.

Is it safe to be in Rome right now?

We feel safe going around Rome.

We ALWAYS wear masks inside any shop, site, or establishment except to eat or drink, and outdoors now that the rules have changed.

We are following the rules and common-sense health and hygiene practices as we always have done.

Over the last couple of months or so, there has been a steady increase in case numbers in Italy, including in Lazio.

As of the time of writing, there have been a total of just over 786,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the Lazio region (where Rome is) since tracking began in early March 2020. Right now there are just over 271,200 active cases in the Lazio region, but only a tiny number of these cases are serious enough to need treatment in hospital, less than 1% of all the active cases.

You can follow this here:

Can you travel to Italy right now?

Italy is officially OPEN for tourism for visitors from specific countries.

However, even now that travel into Italy is allowed for certain countries, the country where you live may have different rules about what you are allowed to do.

Click here to find out if YOU can travel to Italy and what the rules and restrictions are.

It's important to remember that even with travel being possible, there are still restrictions in Italy that apply to locals and visitors alike which you will need to follow while you're here.

travel from the usa

Travel from the USA to Italy is quarantine-free! At least, as long as you can meet the following conditions:

  • You have a certificate of full vaccination, completed at least 14 days before traveling to Italy,
  • OR a certificate of recovery from Covid-19 dated no more than 6 months prior to traveling to Italy.

Even if you are fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery, you ALSO need to show proof of a negative molecular or antigenic test taken before traveling to Italy. Antigen tests must have been taken within 24 hours of entering Italy, and PCR tests within 72 hours.

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 and take another test in Italy at the end of the quarantine period which must come back negative.

If you have proof of vaccination/recovery but are traveling 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.

I traveled to the USA and returned to Italy in 2021 on a Covid-tested flight - check out my experience here:

travel from the uK

There is currently no mandatory blanket quarantine for UK travelers.

To avoid having to quarantine, you must have a certificate of full vaccination, completed at least 14 days before traveling to Italy, with an EU-approved vaccine.

You must also provide proof of a negative test result from a molecular or antigenic test taken before traveling to Italy. Antigen tests must have been taken within 24 hours of entering Italy, and PCR tests within 48 hours.

The Italian Health Ministry travel pages state that proof of recovery from Covid-19 will NOT be accepted in place of full vaccination, for travel from any of the countries on their 'List D' which includes the UK.

If you cannot provide proof of full vaccination, or do not have proof of a negative test, you must 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 traveling 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.

For more details, click here.

Your ability to come to Rome will of course also depend on airline and flight availability, as well as your personal circumstances - just know we cannot wait to welcome you back!

further advice

  • Please check the Italian Ministry of Health's website (page is in English and Italian) for the detailed rules for people traveling to and from Italy.
  • There is also an interactive online survey from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for people both wishing to go abroad from Italy, as well as entering the country, to give travel advice based on individual circumstances. Find the survey here for more details (available in both English and Italian).

advance bookings

As the future starts looking more positive, it's only natural that you may wish to start making travel plans to come to Rome, or re-book trips that had to be cancelled because of Coronavirus in Rome.

However, if you are thinking about making firm plans and want to start booking future tickets for tours or entrance to sites such as the Colosseum or the Vatican Museums, this may not be possible yet, depending on how far in advance you wish to book for.

Museums and cultural sites are now largely open, but the organizations who manage the sites aren't releasing tickets/booking slots far in advance like they used to, because there's too much uncertainty currently about what they will and won't be allowed to do in the future.

I would advise you not to book anything unless it's fully refundable or can be amended without a penalty in case it cannot go ahead for any reason.

As you might imagine, I follow all the Covid-related updates closely. The situation here continues to develop so please keep following me, here and on social media, as I update you with the current regulations, to help you make a decision about when to start planning a trip.

If you are thinking about coming to Rome soon, just know how much we want you to come back to visit us, when it is right for you to do so!

Coronavirus Rome - useful links and resources

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