Italy holidays: Can I travel to Italy from the UK?

There are flights running between the UK and Italy, but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is currently advising against all but essential international travel. However, after Boris Johnson’s announcement last night, it is likely that you will be able to book that Italy holiday after all.

There has been talk of airbridges for months after Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps suggested the idea back in May.

Last night, it was confirmed that from July 6 Britons will be able to travel abroad without quarantining to a select few countries.

The agreements have been made with countries which have low COVID-19 cases, and are subsequently deemed as “safe” by the UK government.

The full list of countries is set to come in the next few days, but the likes of Italy, France, and Spain are likely participants.

The countries on the list will have national test and trace measures thought to be equal to the NHS Test and Trace system in the UK.

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Air bridges are reciprocal, which means people from those countries can also travel to the UK without the need to quarantine when they arrive.

At present, Brits are still being told to avoid all international travel and need to quarantine on return if they go abroad.

However, this will change with the air bridge list released later this week.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is also anticipated to review and update its current advice.

A statement from Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps last night confirmed that the announcement is due to follow.

He said: “Today I can confirm that the government will shortly begin to ease the health measures at the UK border, allowing passengers to be exempted from self-isolation requirements in certain circumstances on arrival in the UK.

“This will apply to international rail, maritime, and aviation.

“The Joint Biosecurity Centre, in close consultation with Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer, has developed a categorisation of countries and territories from which it is considered to present a lower risk from a public health perspective for passengers to enter the UK, without a requirement for 14 days’ self-isolation.

“This has been informed by factors including the prevalence of coronavirus within the country and, crucially, the numbers of new cases and potential trajectory in the coming weeks of the disease in the country.

“This categorisation will inform ministerial decisions about the easing of the current border measures.”

He said that although people won’t need to quarantine for 14 days on return, “they must not be complacent about following the public health advice on hand hygiene and social distancing.”

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Can I travel to Italy from the UK?

Italy is already open to tourists with no quarantine in place for British travellers.

Visitors will have to avoid public transport and instead arrange a lift, get a taxi or hire a car.

However, travelling against the current FCO advice isn’t recommended, since you will not get the insurance you need.

To be safe, you are best to wait until the list of travel corridor countries is published in the next few days.

The speculated nations include Italy, the full rumoured list is:
• France
• Spain
• Germany
• Italy
• Turkey
• Netherlands
• Norway
• Belgium
• Finland

However, you may want to consider the fact that lockdown could be reimposed at any time if needed.

Lockdown in Leicester, for example, has been reimposed.

This is due to a spike in cases in the East Midlands City.

If you were to travel abroad to an airbridge country, you could still be forced to come home if lockdown is reinstated.

On top of that, you could be stranded abroad if there is an outbreak in the country you have travelled to.

Portugal and Greece were predicted to feature on the list but neither are likely to be included in the initial group of airbridges.

This is because Portugal has had a second spike of coronavirus and parts of the country have returned to lockdown, and Greece has extended its travel ban on UK visitors for another two weeks.

Mr Shapps said the decisions made on airbridges have been guided by science.

Keep an eye on infection rates across Europe to see where you could be potentially jetting off to this summer.

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