Italy added testing and self-isolation requirements for American travelers on the heels of the European Union removing the USA from its safe travel list.
Though the most dramatic policy changes affect unvaccinated travelers – who are still welcome to enter the country, so long as they take the time to self-isolate – vaccinated travelers will have to jump through additional hoops of new testing requirements. Travelers can offer proof of vaccination through a paper card with a CDC logo.
All travelers who have been in the USA in the past 14 days are subject to Italy’s heightened protocols before entry. All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, must:
- Take a molecular or antigenic swab coronavirus test and get a negative result within 72 hours before arrival. Children under 6 are exempt.
- Fill out a digital passenger locator form, which aids contact tracing efforts if a traveler is exposed to COVID-19 during a trip.
Unvaccinated people who cannot show proof of recovery must self-isolate for five days and get tested again after that period. According to the U.S. Embassy’s website, antigen tests in Italy cost about $25, and PCR tests cost about $75.
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Before Italy’s newest entry mandates, all U.S. travelers were required to submit a passenger locator form and show proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a recent negative coronavirus test.
Travelers who want access to archaeological sites, theaters and the indoor sections of restaurants, bars and cafes must show a “Green Pass” that shows proof of vaccination, proof of recent recovery or negative results from a coronavirus test within the past 48 hours.
Monday, the EU said it no longer recommends its 27 member states ease restrictions on nonessential travel for all Americans as COVID-19 cases spike. The USA averages more than 150,000 new cases per day. Nearly 63% of the adult population in the USA is vaccinated; 70% of the adult population in the EU is fully vaccinated.
Other countries, both within the EU and outside the bloc, have announced additional travel restrictions in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, EU member state Bulgaria moved the U.S. into its “red zone” and prohibited most travel from the country.
Earlier this month, Germany added the U.S. to its “high-risk” area list, which means travelers who have recently spent time in the U.S. need to be fully vaccinated or demonstrate an “important reason” for entering. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to show proof of recovery will need to self-isolate for at least five days upon arrival.
The Turks and Caicos Islands announced that it will require all visitors 16 and older to be fully vaccinated, starting Sept. 1.
Other countries – including France and Greece – are limiting access to certain venues to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Greece is limiting certain indoor venues to those who are vaccinated or have a certificate verifying they have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months, while France is requiring proof of vaccination or recovery or a negative coronavirus test to enter restaurants and cafes.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.