US travelers who have longed to sample the delights of Italy again have had their wishes granted, because the Italian government has lifted some entry restrictions. The move enables American travelers to visit the country for leisure purposes for the first time in more than a year.

Once travelers meet certain conditions, including arriving on COVID-tested flights from approved destinations, they will not have to enter quarantine after arriving in Italy. Up to May 16, US travelers could only enter Italy for approved essential reasons, as leisure trips were prohibited to curb the spread of COVID-19.

American Airlines and Delta have announced the launch of quarantine-free flights to Italy. Passengers must provide proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before departure. However, it's important to note that travelers must meet these requirements regardless of their vaccination status. They must also take a test upon arrival in Italy. In addition, travelers must complete the country's Digital Passenger Locator Form before boarding, as well as completing one self-declaration form when boarding and another upon landing.

Flights are permitted to depart from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, and arrive at airports in Rome, Milan, Naples or Venice. Travelers must also take a COVID-19 test no more than three days prior to their return flight to the US to satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

An ancient bridge stands in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
COVID-tested flights from the US will land in Rome © Michael Abid / 500px

The Italian Government has also announced that COVID-free routes will be added between Italy and Canada, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Separately, it has been confirmed that travelers from the European Union, Schengen area, the UK and Israel no longer need to quarantine in Italy if they test negative for COVID-19 in the 48 hours preceding arrival to Italy.

Italy has pushed ahead with reopening to some international travel, ahead of the European Union's (EU) plan to launch its own digital green certificate. The European Commission—the executive branch of the EU—has proposed the easing of restrictions on non-essential travel for travelers coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation, and those who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorized vaccine. The green certificate aims to help restore leisure travel in Europe, but likely will not be in place until June. 

While vaccination rates in the US are much higher than in many European countries, children under 12 are still not eligble to receive the vaccine there. As many destinations have made proof of vaccine a necessity for travel, Italy opening to travelers based on test results may help American families set out on a European holiday. 

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