British holidaymakers have been left bewildered by Italy’s new Covid testing rules for arrivals from the UK with some planning to cancel holidays to the country.
“I’ll have to cancel the whole trip now. I can’t take [the] risk of [a positive’ test and quarantining on arrival, and no time to get test here now before. GUTTED,” wrote one Twitter user in response to the rule, which was announced by Italy’s Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, on Wednesday.
Britons arriving in Italy must now present evidence of a negative Covid test – or agree to take a test on arrival. “We were due to fly to Bologna tomorrow but [the] airport told us need to stay in hotel room til result of covid test through which can take up to 72 hours; only there 7 nights we’ve cancelled trip today,” tweeted Julia Carr.
Mr Speranza announced the rule change on Twitter, explaining that it would come into effect from Wednesday. However, Britons were landing at Rome’s Ciampino airport that evening without facing any health checks.
The rule change, which was confirmed by the UK’s Foreign Office on Thursday, means that if a UK traveller were to test positive after arriving in Italy they could face several weeks of quarantine.
Meanwhile, not all Italian airports have testing facilities on site and a private test in the UK can cost around £150 with labs saying they cannot guarantee results within 72 hours (UK arrivals to Italy must have evidence of negative results from a test taken within this time frame).
Italy’s growing list of high-risk destinations already included Spain, Croatia, Greece and Malta, based on infection rates – the UK’s seven-day rate is now 136.8 per 100,000 people, compared to Italy’s 31.5.
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