Returning to travel: Italy update May 2020

Rome; photo by Ann Edgerton

As the world continues to battle the virus we were unexpectedly confronted with just a few months ago, we continue to look to the future in the hopes that travel may return to some semblance of normalcy sooner rather than later.

Sadly, due to the uncertainties around risk of illness, quarantines, local travel conditions, and the likelihood of closures, we cannot recommend overseas tourist travel through the rest of 2020. Due to the high number of cases in the U.S., Americans traveling overseas may face entry barriers or quarantine requirements. Even if there is no quarantine in place when you are planning your trip, the situation is very fluid and can change quickly. Regions may also place stricter requirements than national governments and quarantines can impact passengers who only intend to connect through a particular airport. It is also difficult to get accurate, up-to-date information from foreign localities.

We have recently heard from some of our sources in Italy and want to share these updates with you. Like the U.S., different regions are enacting different rules and opening at different times so you should check with the regions you intend to visit if you are planning a trip in the coming months. If you are traveling to Italy to visit family or for work or other reasons, we hope you find the information below helpful.

Italy was hit hard by the effects of the virus so public health and safety remain the priority. Phase 2 of the Italian lockdown was implemented on May 4th, signaling the next incremental step in the reopening of the economy and increased liberties in the daily lives of residents.

Now that there are more details available, we wish to share the information we have regarding travel in Italy, including some specifics within the Sorrento, Capri and Amalfi Coast areas. Understandably, as the situation remains uncertain and continues to evolve, the parameters set forth remain subject to change.

The following regulations have been set at the national level, however regional governing bodies have the authority to set travel limits and restrictions as they see fit for their areas. In early June we expect the Campania Region to confirm specific details regarding whether travel into and within the region itself will be permitted.

Social distancing (a minimum of 1 meter/3 feet) between people) remains at the forefront of the preventative measures. Personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of masks are required in any public area throughout Italy, as are disposable gloves in many locations. You should bring your own and not depend on being able to buy them on arrival.

The number of guests allowed within a location at any given time has been considerably reduced to account for social distancing. Under the current guidelines, hotels and B & Bs who can guarantee implementation of the new social distancing guidelines have the authority to reopen. Bars, cafes, and restaurants within hotels will be accessible only to registered guests and there should not be any large gatherings. The majority of local accommodations in Sorrento, Capri and the Amalfi Coast areas intend to re-open in June, unless the regional authorities indicate otherwise.

Italy Phase 2 critical dates:

18 May 2020: Shops and museums reopen (social distancing and masks required); St. Peter’s Basilica to reopen for mass, Vatican Museums to reopen with entrance by reservation only and no large groups permitted; Colosseum reopens with thermal temperature stations, entrance by reservation only, no large groups

19 May 2020: Borghese Gallery in Rome and Museo Capodimonte in Naples reopen

21 May 2020: Cafés, bars, restaurants, beach clubs and free public beaches reopen

26 May 2020: Pompeii and Herculaneum archaeological sites reopen

30 May 2020: Tower of Pisa and surrounding sites open

3 June 2020: Italy’s national borders are scheduled to reopen to EU residents, allowing leisure travel entrance of residents from other EU countries without having to quarantine

15 June 2020: Non-EU residents/travelers are expected to be able to enter Italy without the need to quarantine, however this is subject to change. Due to the frequency of changes, this post will not be updated regularly, however we hope you find the information provided useful.

All of us at Edge on Travel wish you safe travels!