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What does the UK government’s ‘amber traffic light’ mean for travel to Italy?

Published: 10/05/2021 By The Abode Team

As the UK government prepares to allow travel again, Italy has been placed on the amber list - here's what it means for people travelling between Italy and the UK.

At present, British government rules prohibit travel out of the country for non-essential purposes, meaning holidays to Italy or elsewhere are not possible. There is an exemption in the rules for second home owners

The UK’s travel restrictions are set to be lifted from May 17th, when a ‘traffic light’ system will come in. This involves designating each country red, amber or green based on health data. The list was published on Friday and France, along with almost all European countries has been given an ‘amber’ rating. The list as published applies only to England. The devolved nations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have not announced when they will lift travel restrictions but have not so far indicated that they intend to impose different rules to England’s.

However, not being on the green list doesn’t mean that travel is banned – it just means that people will have to quarantine and test upon return to the UK. People can travel from amber list countries to the UK for any reason – there is no need to prove that your trip is essential and entry is not limited to UK nationals or residents. However, there are rules on testing and quarantine in place.

Arrivals must;
  • Have a negative Covid test to show at the border
  • Complete the passenger locator form – find that here 
  • Quarantine for 10 days – this can be done in a location of their choice including the home of a friend or family member and there is no need to pay for a ‘quarantine hotel’.
  • Arrivals also have to pay for travel-testing kits which cost around £200 per person.
  • Essentially this the regime currently in place for most arrivals.
If France in the future makes it onto the green list, then no quarantine is necessary, but a negative Covid test is required to enter (or re-enter) England, plus another test on or before day 2 of their stay.

The above is what you need to know to enter the UK, but what about travelling the other way?

Travel into Italy from the UK is currently allowed for any reason. However, all arrivals will need to undergo two negative PCR test results and a five-day quarantine. All travellers to Italy also need to download and complete a self-declaration form from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before travel. Italy is expected to drop its current quarantine requirement for arrivals from the UK from mid-May, though many details of the new travel rules have not yet been confirmed.

While Italy has recently eased some of its coronavirus restrictions, many health measures continue to apply within the country. These include a nationwide 10pm curfew, a requirement to wear masks both indoors and outdoors at all times in public, and restrictions on non-essential travel to certain regions deemed high-risk. Many businesses remain closed, and other rules will stay in place indefinitely.

What about vaccine passports?
This week italy’s prime minister urged people to “book your holidays to Italy” as he said the country would introduce its own travel ‘green pass’ by May 15th. The government confirmed that it would be available to UK holidaymakers, but has not yet published full details of how the scheme will work.
The document is likely to allow anyone who can show proof of full vaccination, or a negative test result from within the previous 48 hours, to enter Italy without facing any quarantine requirements.