Can I travel to Florence and Tuscany?

Italy is only opening its borders to countries that meet certain criteria regarding low levels of infection. As of 15 October, the FCDO removed Italy from the exempt list and are now advising against all but essential travel. Please regularly check the FCDO travel advice for the most up-to-date information.

What is life like in Florence and Tuscany?

Local attractions are open but operating to reduced capacity and temperature checks also being conducted. Parks have reopened and outdoor exercise is permitted, subject to social distancing. Churches can celebrate mass, weddings and baptisms. Museums and archeological sites have been given permission to open but entry must be pre-booked online. 

Our local agent advises that temperature controls are often carried out before entering facilities such as museums and shops.  If your temperature is too high you will not be allowed to enter and the state health authority will be informed. Restaurants, pubs, bars, shops, hairdressers, salons and beaches have been given permission to open. All must have measures in place to enforce social distancing. Theatres and concert halls have started to reopen, however, discos or dance halls – either inside or outside – remain closed. Wellness centres and spas are able to operate as long as the local guidelines have been implemented.  From 18 August, it is mandatory to wear a face mask outdoors in any setting between the hours of 6pm and 6am; this includes open air parks and squares. Please regularly refer to FCDO travel advice for up to date information.

How should I keep safe in Florence and Tuscany?

You should follow local regulations and continue to practice good levels of hygiene as advised by the NHS while you are on holiday. You can refer to the government website for detailed information but there are a few basic principles to follow: avoiding being face-to-face with people, keep your hands and face as clean as possible, keep indoor places well ventilated, avoid crowded spaces, use face coverings and wash your clothes regularly. There is a track and trace app in place in Italy called Immuni which is downloadable from major app stores.

What was the COVID-19 pandemic response? 

Italy went into strict lockdown for a long period of time to combat the virus and some measures are in still place to continue to minimise any spread of infection. To support this, the FCDO advise that social distancing of one metre must be observed and wearing masks remains mandatory in enclosed public spaces. Travel between Italian regions is permitted. Regional authorities in Italy are empowered to adjust these measures in keeping with local requirements; regional differences may therefore apply to the restrictions listed above. Please regularly check the FCDO travel advice for the most up-to-date information.

Are there any pre-departure requirements in regards to tests, visas and passports?

As of 08 October, British nationals must produce proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Italy (see below for more details). If you hold a British passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Italy but you should check your passport validity covers your stay. 

What are the quarantine guidelines in Florence and Tuscany?

The FCDO advise that travellers arriving in Italy directly from the UK are now usually exempt from the requirement to self-isolate. You will only need to self-isolate if you travelled outside the UK in the 14 days prior to your arrival in Italy or you will be arriving in Italy from a country for which there are still self-isolation requirements. If you develop symptoms and/or are diagnosed with COVID-19 while you’re on holiday, you’ll be required to quarantine for a period of time.

If I test positive for COVID-19 in Florence or Tuscany what will happen?

You may not be allowed to enter Italy if you display signs of COVID upon arrival. The FCDO advise that if you test positive while in destination, the authorities are likely to ask you to self-isolate for at least 14 days in quarantine. Our local agent advises that in the event of COVID-19 symptoms being displayed, or you coming in contact with an infected person, you must contact the local health department immediately. You must stay in your property and call the regional hotline. Please also notify your representative so that they can assist you – a number will be provided upon arrival in your destination.

What is the airport experience like?

Health controls and temperature checks are being carried out at airports. COVID-19  testing is also in place. All passengers must wear a face mask in and around the airport terminals and social distancing guidelines are in place. 

What are the transfers like?

In private transfers drivers and passengers must wear masks. All seats can be occupied except the seat next to the driver. All vehicles are regularly disinfected and after each transfer the driver is asked to clean and ventilate the vehicle. Minibus or group transfers can only operate at 50% capacity. 

What should I expect at the hotel?

In all common areas of the hotel, social distancing should be followed along with the use of aface mask. Most hotels will have disinfectant dispensers to use in public areas and in restaurants. The tables in restaurants will be set up to follow social distancing guidelines and you must wear a face mask when entering and leaving the restaurant, or when using the bathroom. While seated at the table a face mask is not required.  All self-service buffets are not permitted. 

Do I need to quarantine in the UK on my return from Florence or Tuscany?

The FCDO advises that UK nationals returning from Italy need to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK.

Forms and tests required for travel to and from Florence and Tuscany

You will need to fill in the Italy Health Declaration Form and take it with you on holiday.

You will also need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test that has been taken within 72 hours of arriving in Italy. 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. You won’t be allowed to leave the airport until you have your result. If you test positive, you’ll be quarantined until two consecutive negative tests have been recorded. The time spent in quarantine can vary greatly from a few days to several weeks so you should be prepared for this eventuality.

Some airports in Italy do not have COVID-19 testing facilities so if you’re flying to one of these airports (or if the facility is closed when you arrive) you’ll be required to self-isolate and take a test at an alternative facility within 48 hours of your arrival. You should call the COVID-19 helpline for the region you are in to arrange this. You can be fined if you do not comply with this requirement.

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 to within 48 hours of your arrival to inform them of your visit.

UK arrival form must be completed 48 hours before your return home.