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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 romeOver the past 18 months, 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 18 months, 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?

Every region in Italy is in a white zone right now, including Sicily, which was yellow for a few weeks, meaning that restaurants, museums, shops, gyms and more are all open, with only minor restrictions in place.

After a slight increase in case numbers over the summer, the Italian government made some 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, 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 any more if you can maintain social distancing, unless you are in Sicily where yellow zone rules apply.
  • 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, recovery or a negative test is needed to gain entry to many locations - 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 October 18, 2021

  • Lazio's status is currently white.
  • Bars, restaurants and cafés are open, although for seated indoor dining, proof of Covid-status is necessary with the Green Pass.
  • 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 and distancing. You will need the Green Pass to gain access.
  • 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. A Green Pass is necessary for access, including outdoor sites.
  • Gyms, indoor pools, spas and wellness centres are all open. Once again the Green Pass is needed for access.
  • Indoor and outdoor nightclubs and discos are now open with restrictions on the number of people allowed to attend.

WHAT'S Closed IN ROME AS OF october 18, 2021

No businesses or locations are required to stay closed now, with the Green Pass requirement allowing greater freedoms.

However, while businesses are allowed to be open, many individual businesses have not been able to reopen 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, theatres, outdoor events, to dine seated indoors and travel on long-distance trains, buses and ferries 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. Find out more here.

Proof of vaccination issued in the USA, UK, Canada and Japan are all accepted, and you can also take an antigen or PCR test in Italy as a non-Italian to gain access to the Digital Covid Certificate. For more details on how this works, visit the official site here.

If you are travelling 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 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 - reopening news and regulations

Museums and cultural sites are all allowed to open now.

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 'Green Pass' rules 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 will showing evidence of vaccination, recovery or negative test 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 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.

As of October 1, the Green Pass will be 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. Again, proof of vaccination, recovery or negative test will be required.

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.

After a slow increase in new cases in Lazio over the summer, mirroring a national trend, case numbers are once again on a downward trend now.

As of the time of writing, there have been a total of just over 388,000 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 8,800 active cases in the Lazio region, which is on the decrease.

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 test taken within 72 hours of entering Italy when traveling from the USA.

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 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.

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 traveled to the USA and returned to Italy earlier this year on a Covid-tested flight - check out my experience here:

On August 30 the EU announced that they were removing a number of countries from their 'safe' list, including Israel and the USA. Their advice states that fully vaccinated visitors should still be allowed into the EU however.

Italy's decision to reintroduce quarantine for non-vaccinated individuals as noted above is in line with this advice, so beyond this change, it does not appear that further amendments to the travel requirements for people coming to Italy from the USA will be happening soon.

If there is any change, I will update this page and my social media channels!

travel from the uK

There is currently no mandatory blanket quarantine for UK travellers.

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 in the 48 hours (the time period is shorter for UK visitors than those from other countries) before traveling to Italy.

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 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.

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 18 months 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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