Can I travel to Sicily?
Italy is only opening its borders to countries that meet certain criteria regarding low levels of infection. We follow the advice of the UK government and 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 Sicily?
Our local agent has confirmed that social distancing is in place in resorts and at the beaches and people must stay a minimum of 1 metre away from others. In closed places such as shops, face masks are compulsory. Most bars and restaurants are open. From 18 August onwards, 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.
How should I keep safe in Sicily?
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 to download should you choose to.
What was the COVID-19 pandemic response?
Our local agent has advised us that in general, Italy handled the pandemic well and measures have been put in place to continue to minimise the spread of COVID-19. To support this, the FCDO advise visitors to Sicily that it is mandatory to wear face masks on public transport (including flights and ferries), at airports, in taxis, in all medical facilities and in lifts. The use of face masks is strongly recommended in other closed spaces. Please regularly check the FCDO travel advice for the most up-to-date information.
Are there any pre-departure requirements in regards to 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 information). If you hold a British passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Italy but you should check with the embassy if you are planning to stay in the country for longer than three months.
What are the quarantine guidelines in Italy?
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 Sicily, what will happen?
You may not be allowed to enter Sicily if you display signs of COVID-19 on arrival. If you test positive while you are in Italy, you will need to be isolated for at least 14 days and be in touch with the local medical division. If you need medical advice or believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your rep, the hotel reception, a local GP or one of the regional numbers listed on the Italian Ministry of Health website before visiting a health centre.
What is the airport experience like?
All passengers must wear a mask and maintain social distancing in and around the airport terminal. Temperature checks will also be carried out on arriving passengers throughout the terminal.
What are the transfers like?
All transfers are operating in line with local protocols. A face mask must be worn by the passengers and driver and all vehicles are cleaned and disinfected regularly and these details are recorded.
What should I expect when I am on holiday?
Hotels are just offering table service for meals at present and buffet service is not available. FCDO advice states that social distancing of one metre must be observed and that using masks is mandatory in enclosed public spaces. Parks have reopened and outdoor exercise is permitted, subject to social distancing. Churches can celebrate mass, weddings and baptisms. Restaurants, pubs, bars, shops, hairdressers, salons and beaches have been given permission to open with measures in place to ensure social distancing is possible. Museums and archeological sites have been given permission to open and entry must be pre-booked online. You are permitted to travel between Italian regions.
Do I need to quarantine in the UK on my return from Sicily?
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 Sicily
Before your arrival in Sicily, 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. Travellers 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.
A UK arrival form must be completed 48 hours before your return home.