Italy holidays: FCO updates Covid testing requirements for Britons visiting Italy

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Italy is currently on the UK’s travel corridor list, despite recording a spike in coronavirus cases at the beginning of the year. The country is also currently exempt from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential international travel. However, this could soon change today when the government reviews its travel corridor list.

An announcement regarding any changes to the travel corridor list is expected later today.

Italy could be removed from the travel corridor list after its cases surged above the UK’s threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period.

The country is now recording 31.6 per 100,000 which well above other destinations on the travel corridor list such as Cyprus, Greece and Germany.

But the travel corridor list may be the least of British holidaymakers’ worries after it was announced today that Britons entering the country will now need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result when they arrive in Italy.

The latest FCDO advice states: “The test needs to have been carried out in the 72 hours prior to your travel and should be a molecular (PCR) or an antigenic test.

“You’ll be asked to show proof of your test date and result at the border.

“You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

“Alternatively, you can take a free COVID-19 test at the airport when you arrive in Italy. This usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.

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“You won’t be allowed to leave the airport until you have your result.

“If you test positive, you will be quarantined until two consecutive negative tests have been recorded.”

Travellers should be aware that the quarantine period isn’t set in stone like other countries.

The FCDO warns: “The time spent in quarantine can vary greatly from a few days to several weeks. Travellers should be prepared for this eventuality.”

Travellers should also be aware that some airports in Italy do not have COVID-19 testing facilities.

Those who arrive in an airport without testing facilities or if they’re closed, will have to self-isolate and take a test at another facility within 48 hours of their arrival.

Italy is urging arrivals to call the COVID-19 helpline for the region they are in to arrange this.

Travellers could also face a fine if they do not comply with the latest requirements.

The advice added: “Even if you don’t need to book a test, you still need to call the COVID-19 helpline for the region you are travelling within 48 hours of your arrival to inform them of your visit.”

All travellers must download and complete a self-declaration form from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before travel.

They must also self-isolate on arrival for 14 days if, in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Italy, they have stayed in or transited through a country where Italy continues to require self-isolation.

If Italy is removed from the travel corridor list later today then those returning from the country to the UK will need to isolate for 14 days on their arrival.

It’s likely that the new rules will be put in place from 4am on Saturday.

Sweden, Estonia and Greece are also at risk of being removed from the travel corridor list.

However, island destinations and other countries could be added to the quarantine exemption list.

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