Travelling in the Covid era – Italy quarantine goes on

So just twenty four hours before the present quarantine regime for visitors from the UK was due to run out the Italian government has announced it will be extended for another month until August 30. At the same time we’re told the NHS app and certificate will be regarded as the equivalent of the Italian green pass to allow you inside restaurants and museums.

Can’t say I understand the logic of saying ‘We recognise the value of being double jabbed from the UK but only after everyone, double jabbed or not, has been through five days of quarantine’. Italy has every right to make its policy when it comes to travel in these odd times, of course. It’s just a shame it makes these decisions known at the last minute and provides so little practical support for those of us who have to deal with them. After just coming out of five days of quarantine here I can only say the process was shambolic from beginning to end. I had to do this for work reasons and I don’t regret it. But I would never do it again unless it was absolutely necessary.

If you do have to come I hope my experiences documented here give you some useful information. I wouldn’t categorise them as ‘advice’ because that would imply I’ve worked out how the system functions and frankly I haven’t.

There are big question marks about the practicalities of how this will pan out in the weeks ahead. How will cafes and restaurants be expected to police the green pass rule that says only those with the certificate can be allowed inside after August 6th? How many flights will the airlines run between the UK and Italy now that the leisure market which makes up the bulk of their customers has effectively been blacklisted? What will happen at the end of August, which presumably no one will know until August 29?

I won’t make any plans to return here, even though for work reasons I ought to, until quarantine is lifted. Given the prospects for the winter, I have a suspicion that means Italy may be ruled out for the rest of 2021. We are in the middle of an international health emergency so that’s understandable. I just wish policies were communicated to those they affect more clearly and in a more timely fashion.