I know lots of you have been following my experience of quarantine in Italy and asking subsequent questions on Twitter. Well now the situation has become a lot clearer… for the time being.
The Italian government has decided to stop demanding five days in quarantine for all visitors from the UK after August 30.
This seems a sensible move, perhaps sparked by the fact the Italian Covid apps can now recognise the NHS double jab barcode. I won’t be back in Italy for a little while so I’ve no way of trying this out in real life (and perhaps things will have changed again by the time I do try to get back).
But the key points to remember it seems to me are…
- You need to be double jabbed and capable of proving it through the NHS app.
- You still need to fill in the EU passenger locator form on the way out and get a proven negative rapid test before flying.
- You still need to meet the UK rules on your return, which currently mean one rapid test before you go for your return flight and, for the double jabbed, a PCR test two days or less on your return. The PCR test, as we now know, is an unnecessary expense and ought to be replaced by a cheaper, easier rapid test. Not that the UK government seems minded to listen to the many people pointing this out.
- Don’t rely on your phone or iPad. As I emphasised here more than once, print out all your essential documents. It’s easier to locate a printout than find a file on your phone a lot of the time. And, most importantly, print out a copy of your NHS jab proof certificate. There have been reports of phone codes not being accepted by some places in Italy while a printout has. And remember, too, that the code the Italy apps need to scan is the one that confirms your second jab. The one for the first isn’t enough.
I can’t, of course, guarantee all this works because I’m not there right now. But it’s my understanding of the situation. The decision to remove quarantine simplifies travel a fair but the process is still more complex than it ever was before Covid. Best understand what you face before you face it than try to cope as you go along.