Visitors from outside of Europe are eagerly awaiting further news on the EU’s plans to reopen tourism and welcome travelers from abroad back again, which are expected by early June. But already, possibilities exist for visitors desperate to return, and now Italy is in the mix too.
Greece went first, offering quarantine free travel to Americans and other visitors with proof of vaccination or a negative covid-19 test from early May, and Croatia followed shortly thereafter.
While not open yet, Spain and France each subsequently stated plans to allow entry for outside visitors from circa June 9th. Now Italy is welcoming all Americans to travel with open arms, and you don’t even have to wait. Well, kind of. It depends which flight you take.
Quarantine Free Travel USA To Italy Travel
On December 8th, 2020, which feels like a lifetime ago, Delta launched “quarantine free” travel to Italy, only it wasn’t quite that simple.
Italy was not accepting any standard tourist visitors from the United States, so the flights really only facilitated Europeans returning home, or US travelers with special work exemptions to enter without quarantine. Still, the tests must’ve proved a point.
The flights tested the theory that with a RT-PCR test within 3 days of travel and a rapid test on arrival, the statistics for someone “slipping” through the cracks with covid-19 would be negligible. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic famously suggest 1 in a million.
The Now: “Real” Quarantine Free Travel
Now, quarantine free travel to Italy really is possible for almost all Americans.
Delta, Alitalia and American are operating select flights out of New York and Atlanta for travel to Rome and Milan, which are considered “quarantine free”.
By booking these flights, travelers “opt in” to a RT-PCR test within 48 hours of travel, and agree to a rapid test at the airport upon arrival in Italy. Delta requires a third rapid test before boarding. Not all flights between these city pairs are ‘quarantine free’, so it’s essential to book onto one that is.
Both Delta and American clearly note this on their booking channels.
Americans Are Welcome!
With the announcement from Italy that Americans are welcome once again for leisure travel, from May 16th, 2021 onward, with or without vaccination, these ‘quarantine free’ flights facilitate truly quarantine free travel to Europe for leisure.
Americans desperate to reconnect with the endless delights of Italy can now do so, without needing to hole up in a hotel for an extended period, first.
Before you rush off to book one, it’s worth noting that Italy isn’t likely to require you to arrive on one of these special flights for quarantine free travel, for long. The European Union is rapidly working on its digital solution for international travel, which will help to vet proof of vaccination or testing for outside visitors.
Americans and other outside visitors, including those from Canada, Japan, UK, UAE and Israel and many more are expected to be allowed into the EU with proof of vaccination from early June. Some EU countries will accept a negative test in place of vaccination.
If your travel plans are aiming for Italy before then, be sure to snag a quarantine free flight. Even if you’re planning for travel later in the summer or further into 2021, it may be smart to do so anyway if you can access Atlanta or New York as your international gateway, since delays to apps and other plans are almost assured.