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Coronavirus Rome Italy - Travel questions answered

Updated July 26, 2021

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?

Over the past year, the Colosseum has had so few visitors. We're so happy people are starting to come back!

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

Coronavirus Rome - Answers to your questions

Over the past year, I've been getting lots of questions about Coronavirus in Rome. And since all this began, the questions have changed. 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?

Case numbers and hospitalizations improved dramatically, so every region of Italy is currently classed as a white zone. This means that restaurants, museums, shops, gyms and more are all open, with only very minor restrictions in place.

There has been a slow increase in case numbers again recently however, and the Italian government is implementing some changes in how they are approaching this stage of the pandemic - read on to find out more.

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, as well as outdoors if social distancing is not possible - for example if you are in a queue or in a large gathering. This includes, but is not limited to, when inside museums, sites, shops and businesses. You do not have to wear a mask when outside anymore if you can maintain social distancing.
  • 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.

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

WHAT'S OPEN IN ROME AS OF july 26, 2021

  • Lazio's status is currently white.
  • Bars, restaurants and cafés can offer dine-in services, with both outdoor seating and indoor seating allowed, with no restrictions on opening times.
  • All shops are open as normal. 
  • Cinemas, theaters, concert halls and live music venues are open, as long as they conform to specific rules relating to seating, audience numbers, distancing and more.
  • All sporting activity, including team sports, is now allowed.
  • Outdoor swimming pools and beach clubs are open.
  • Hairdressers/beauty/nail salons and barbers are open.
  • Museums and cultural sites are open, with rules restricting the number of visitors and the enforcement of social distancing rules.
  • Gyms, indoor pools, spas and wellness centres are all open.

WHAT'S Closed IN ROME AS OF july 26, 2021

  • Indoor and outdoor nightclubs and discos remain closed. 

While the vast majority of businesses are allowed to open now, individual businesses have not been able to reopen, or chosen to remain closed 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.

New Green Pass Access

Last week it was announced that as of August 6, it will be necessary to show a Digital Covid Certificate or 'Green Pass' to gain entry to multiple locations, including museums, theatres, outdoor events and to dine indoors.

The Green Pass is activated with proof of vaccination, proof of recent recovery from Covid-19 or proof of a negative test from within the prior 48 hours. Find out more here.

There is still some uncertainty about how this will work in practice, as well as how non-EU proof of vaccination will be accepted. Keep checking my social media accounts and this page as I will update you as soon as we know more!

Museums in Rome - reopening news and regulations

Museums and cultural sites are all allowed to open now!

New rules dictate that tickets must be bought with an advance booking 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 open sites are:

Outdoor spaces and churches have always remained open and available to visitors, 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 on reopening 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. Entrances will be staggered and timed to avoid too many visitors being present at any one time, so you MUST be punctual. Wearing a mask inside at all times will be 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.

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

The archeological 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.

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 keep more than the 1-meter (3-feet) distance from others, as decreed.

We ALWAYS wear masks inside any shop, site, or establishment except to eat or drink.

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

Cases in Lazio had dropped significantly, but there has been a slow increase in new cases recently, mirroring a national trend.

As of the time of writing, there have been a total of just over 354,000 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 6,800 active cases in the Lazio region.

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 now 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,
  • OR proof of a negative test result from a molecular or antigenic test taken in the 48 hours before traveling to Italy.

The Covid-tested flights are still running but the multiple test requirement for those flights is no longer in force. Discover more details about travel to Italy here

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

travel from the uK

As of June 21, the Italian government has introduced a mandatory 5-day quarantine for anyone traveling from the UK to Italy, in place until at least July 30, due to a large increase in case numbers in the UK.

They have not banned travel between the UK and Italy in the same way travel from India or Brazil currently is, but you will have to provide proof of a negative test before traveling, quarantine for 5 days and take a further test at the end of this period on arrival in Italy.

Right now the Italian government has not definitively said if this quarantine requirement will be extended past July 30, but it seems likely.

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 in the last year 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 organisations 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 this year, 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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