All Covid entry restrictions to the UK will be dropped from March 18th, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Monday.
What does this mean for travel from Italy?
This means that from 4am on March 18th, no one entering the UK from Italy or any other country needs to take any Covid tests or even complete a passenger locator form.
The changes apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, meaning that those in Italy who are not fully vaccinated will no longer have to take pre-departure tests or a day 2 post-arrival test.
READ ALSO: How Italy’s travel rules changed in March
This is good news for those planning on travelling back home to the UK to see friends or family over the Easter break, with travel hopefully set to be as easy as it was before the pandemic began.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I said we wouldn’t keep travel measures in place for any longer than necessary, which we’re delivering on today – providing more welcome news and greater freedom for travellers ahead of the Easter holidays.
I look forward to continuing to work with the travel sector and partners around the world to keep international travel moving”.
Mask mandates in the UK are also changing. From Wednesday March 16th, the UK’s biggest airport London Heathrow has said that while mask-wearing is still encouraged, it will no longer be mandatory. Airlines British Airways, Tui, Jet2 and Virgin Atlantic have also stated that they will drop mask rules under certain circumstances.
However, masks are still required on planes if you’re flying into Wales or Scotland.
Jason Mahoney, BA’s chief operating officer, said: “From Wednesday March 16th, customers will only be required to wear a face-covering on board our flights if the destination they’re travelling to requires it,” which suggests that they will still likely be required when returning to Italy, but perhaps not when travelling to the UK.
If in doubt, it’s best to bring a mask as you will definitely still need them in the airports in Italy.
The move comes as part of the UK government’s Living with Covid plan, which saw them drop all restrictions within the country at the end of February 2022. The UK has also been steadily lifting its entry requirements since the new year, dropping both the need for the pre-departure tests and the Day 2 Covid tests for vaccinated travellers.
While the tourism industry and airline officials have applauded the move, doctors, as well as leaders in Scotland and Wales have expressed their concern over the UK government’s plans.
What are the requirements for travelling from the UK to Italy?
While the UK is removing all its travel restrictions, there are still some restrictions in place for those travelling to Italy.
At the beginning of March, Italy updated its rules for arrivals to mean just one of the following documents is now required for all non-EU arrivals: a vaccination certificate, certificate of recovery or a negative test result.
Therefore vaccinated and recovered travellers from the UK won’t need to get tested as well for travel to Italy.
It also means unvaccinated travellers will be able to enter Italy with just proof of a negative test.
Everyone travelling into Italy, regardless of where they reside or their vaccination or recovery status, must complete a digital passenger locator form (dPLF) – find the instructions and download link here.
Once in the country, visitors should also be aware that Italy requires proof of vaccination or recovery for entry to almost all venues and services under its ‘green pass’ health certificate system.
Tourists will be able to enter hotels and restaurants with just a negative test result from April, before all health pass requirements are set to be scrapped in May.
Find out more about how the Italian green pass rules currently apply to visitors here.
For further details about Italy’s current Covid-19 health measures please see the Italian health ministry website (available in English).