Italy became the first European country to announce tougher coronavirus requirements for American tourists entering the country Tuesday since the European Union removed the U.S. from its safe travel list amid a surge of new coronavirus cases across the U.S.
- Any traveler who has been in the U.S. in the previous two weeks must present a negative coronavirus test taken within three days of their arrival in Italy regardless of their vaccination status, the Italian Ministry of Health said Tuesday.
- Unvaccinated travelers must also quarantine for five days after they arrive and then be tested for coronavirus again, even if their initial test was negative.
- Tourists must also fill out a passenger locator form, which allows contact tracers to identify viral clusters in the event of a coronavirus breakout.
- The new restrictions also apply to travelers coming from Japan, Canada and Israel, which are also battling new coronavirus waves of their own.
- Italy’s tougher requirements will last until at least Oct. 25, the government said Tuesday.
- The other 26 EU states have not announced any additional restrictions for American travelers since the U.S. was removed from the safe travel list Monday, though countries like Belgium and Germany already had tougher rules in place for U.S. visitors.
5.6 million. That’s how many Americans visited Italy in 2019, the last full calendar year before the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the Italian government. Americans make up the largest group of international travelers to the country after Germans, and contribute an estimated $2.8 billion to the Italian economy. In 2020, Italy lost an estimated $140 billion as tourism plummeted during the pandemic, the World Travel and Tourism Council said in April.
Italy is the first European country to tighten entry requirements on tourists coming from the U.S. after the EU recommended Monday that member states place restrictions on non-essential travel. It was a reversal of the EU’s May announcement that it would recommend American tourists be allowed back for the first time since March 2020. Under Italy’s previous policy for tourists traveling from the U.S., unvaccinated tourists had to show a negative test but did not have to quarantine, and vaccinated travelers only had to present their vaccination cards. Everyone was still required to fill out a passenger locator form.