Could Italy go back on the UK’s quarantine list as coronavirus cases rise?

Monday, 21st September 2020, 4:02 pm
Updated Monday, 21st September 2020, 4:02 pm
People entering the UK from Spain, Portugal, France and Malta have to quarantine - but Italy is still on the travel corridor list, meaning it’s exempt from these rules (Photo: Shutterstock)

People entering the UK from Spain, Portugal, France and Malta have to quarantine - but Italy is currently still on the travel corridor list, meaning it’s exempt from these rules.

But as cases continue to rise in the country - one of the worst affected countries in Europe - could Italy go back on the quarantine list?

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Will Italy be added to the UK’s quarantine list?

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) explains that Italy is currently exempt from its advice against all non-essential international travel, “based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

Italy is not currently set to be added to the quarantine list, but as the FCDO explains, “This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice.”

The UK government has a quarantine threshold of 20 positive tests per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), there have been 20,522 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Italy in the past 14 days.

The Italian island of Sardinia has recently seen an increase in Covid-19 case numbers, resulting in stricter entry requirements when travelling to the island and in regards to the wearing of face masks when there.

The UK travel corridor list is updated by the government every Thursday, with countries deemed unsafe removed from this list. If countries with high cases of coronavirus continue to rise, then they risk being stripped from the list, with travellers having to self-isolate for 14 days on their return to the UK.

With fluctuating cases in destinations around the globe, some countries have been added and then removed from the exemption list, such as Spain and Portugal.

What are the travel entry requirements for Italy?

Travel to Italy is subject to entry requirements, explains the FCDO.

You should download and complete a self-declaration from the Ministry of Interior before you travel to Italy.

If you are travelling to Sardinia, you are required to demonstrate that you have received a negative COVID test in the last 48 hours, or agree to take one when you arrive. You also need to register your trip in advance.

Entry to Italy is still forbidden for visitors who have stayed in or transited through a small number of listed countries in the 14 days before arrival.

Will I have to wear a face mask?

The use of masks remains mandatory in enclosed public spaces and masks must also be worn on board public transport services.

Masks must also be worn in all outdoor spaces between the hours of 6pm and 6am throughout most of Italy, and at all times on the island of Sardinia.

“You should pay close attention to signage and carry a mask with you at all times,” explains the FCDO.

What other safety measures are in place?

The Italian government is constantly reviewing their coronavirus policy, but the following measures are currently in place:

  • social distancing of one metre must be observed
  • parks have reopened and outdoor exercise is permitted, subject to social distancing
  • restaurants, pubs, bars, shops, hairdressers, salons and beaches must have measures in
  • place to enforce social distancing
  • entry must be pre-booked online for museums and archeological sites

Public transport links may also be less frequent and seating limited to comply with social distancing measures.

“All travellers entering Italy must comply with the regulations of the region they are visiting,” notes the FCDO.

Regional authorities in Italy are empowered to adjust these measures in keeping with local requirements, and regional differences may therefore apply in addition to the restrictions listed above.

It’s also worth noting that many restaurants, beach facilities and other venues are asking visitors to provide their name and contact details before using their services.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site, The Scotsman.