Italy has reopened its borders - but what does this mean for UK tourists?

Roshina Jowaheer
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From Prima

Italy has announced that it is now open for tourism, with travellers, including British holidaymakers, allowed to visit the popular European country from 3 – but this doesn't mean you should travel.

The Italian Tourist Board confirmed that visitors from the UK are now welcome and there are no quarantine rules in place. The UK government, however, says that British nationals should not be taking any holidays abroad.

While a trip to Venice, Tuscany or Sorrento sound like the dream right now, you'll want to wait before booking a flight. The government is still advising against "all but essential international travel" indefinitely, which invalidates pretty much all travel insurance policies.

This means that if you go to Italy, you're effectively travelling without insurance. If you were to require healthcare in Italy, an EHIC card entitles you to state provided medical treatment.

However, you would not be covered for cancelled flights, lost or stolen possessions, legal fees, repatriation costs, abandonment and other travel insurance features.

From 8 June, anyone returning to the UK will also have to self-isolate for 14 days. This means you won't be allowed to leave your home for the first two weeks of re-entering the country under new rules from the government. This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.

Italy reopens borders: What's open?

Since 18 May, Italy started to significantly open up to members of the public. Its museums, attractions, parks and gardens, as well as bars and pubs, restaurants and ice cream shops have opened up and comply with a strict set of new guidelines and protocols respecting social distancing at all times. In Italy, there is a one-metre rule.

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Beach resorts have also opened and are following the new guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone. Gyms, swimming pools and sports centres are also welcoming visitors.


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From 15 June, cultural sites such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas and other outdoor spaces will open their doors. The Italian government says performances must be held with pre-assigned and spaced seats, on condition that both staff and spectators respect social distancing measures. Outdoor shows will allow a maximum of 1,000 spectators and for indoor performances, 200 people will be allowed.

Italy reopens borders: When will British travellers be allowed to visit?

Technically, British travellers are already welcome to visit Italy, but the UK government has not confirmed when it will change its advice for Britains to travel internationally.

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When Britons can visit Italy again, travel between the country's regions will be permitted, but "circulation restrictions for specific areas of the country can be restored at any time in the event of a worsening of the epidemiological situation".

Italy reopens borders: What are the rules for travellers in Italy?

All visitors in Italy must wear a mask in enclosed spaces, including on public transport or anywhere where you may not be able to practice social distancing. This includes upon arrival in the airport at all times. The Italian Tourist Board has also said that only passengers with air tickets will be allowed entry to the airport.

When it comes to social distancing, everyone must comply with the one-metre rule that applies throughout Italy. This includes at attractions, restaurants, cafes, gyms, beaches, swimming pools and all public and indoor spaces.

Italy reopens borders: What else should UK tourists know?

The Italian Tourist Board has released a set of rules for visitors. These include:

  • A 10-metre distance between umbrellas at the beach
  • No large gatherings on beaches
  • The use of saunas and hot tubs is not permitted
  • Spas will not reopen from 3 June
  • Masks are mandatory in hotels and all indoor spaces
  • In shops, gloves will be available for customers trying on clothes
  • Numbers inside museums will be limited and masks must be worn
  • Nightclubs will not reopen until further notice
  • Hotels and accommodations must ensure at least a one-metre distance between guests and staff

Visit the Foreign Office website for the latest advice on travelling to Italy.

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