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Italy trip in May and Covid procedures if someone contracts Covid


I’ve read all I can about procedures, (those of RS and of the government of Italy) if someone catches Covid while in Italy. Wondering if anyone can share some experience about quarantine in Italy. How long and whether the quarantine hotel is mandated by the Italian government. We certainly hope none in our party have this bad experience but we are a party of 5 and over the almost three weeks of our trip we appreciate the risks and want to be as informed as we can. We will be on a MY WAY Italy trip in May. Granted that the rules in Italy may be different come May but any real information on how this is handled currently would be appreciated.

Posted by
173 posts

I cannot speak for the RS tour but we were just in Italy in October and there were zero restrictions, testing, etc. I do not believe there is any mandated quarantine in hotels any longer. It is up to the individual traveler to quarantine as needed. So, I am sure there are many travelers out there with Covid, just like there is here at home in USA. You travel at your own risk. Have a great time!

Posted by
100 posts

Thanks Karen! That is helpful and it is clear that testing is not mandated by Italy any longer.
On the other hand with regard to quarantine the US Embassy in a very recent advisory writes: "Individuals who test positive in Italy will need to self-isolate between 5-14 days, depending on the specifics of the case. The self-isolation will occur at the traveler’s own expense."
So I was wondering for example if RS reports an infection to the Italian authorities and how all that works and if others may have experience with that. Thanks again.

Posted by
7653 posts

Regarding quarantine. Early in the pandemic it was a rather formal and strict thing, even to the point of you being carted off to a quarantine hotel until they decided you were good to go. Even later, health officials got involved and checked up on you if you quarantined in your hotel room.

These days, the guidelines are still there, they would like you to isolate for at least 5 days, much depends if you have symptoms or not. No one will be locking you in, or checking on you, unless you seek medical attention, or are hospitalized. It is basically a requirement on the honor system.

The Rick Steves org may have stricter requirements for you on the tour, though.

Posted by
8520 posts

First of all, May is a long ways away in terms of Covid. RS tours, at this point, will remove you from the tour and give you a pro-rated refund. The Italian government can set whatever policies they choose, whenever they choose to do so. I would wait until April and then check and see what the current requirements are. What happened with anyone last year won't really matter.

While RS tours has been kind enough to allow negative travel partners/spouses to leave the tour at the same time as the person who tested positive and given a refund in the past, you need to be looking at what this year's policy will be as well as thinking about the rest of the group should one person test positive. Will the others just continue on? If they don't, will they be eligible for a refund?

Posted by
100 posts

Thanks so much for your responses. The Forum i is really helpful. The response on the changing nature of the quarantine and its strictness really was the kind of thing I was looking for. Thanks to all for your help with this topic.

Posted by
7395 posts

The good news (if there can be good news regarding this topic!) is that all of your destinations where you will stay during the My Way RS tour are very accessible by train. So, if one or more of you need to quarantine, when that time is completed, you can buy tickets to get to Rome to fly home.

Posted by
571 posts

Just as an FYI, we are finishing up a week in Rome tomorrow and then going to Naples for a week. We are exceedingly careful because 1 of us is immunocompromised. We have been impressed that many locals (more over 50 but have seen all ages) are using N95 masks on the bus, in shops, and even on the street. We are staying in a less touristy area (Prati) so by comparison when we went into the Parthenon many fewer were masked (assuming most were tourists). Our hotel has been very accommodating with allowing us to eat breakfast in a less crowded area with windows open. We have opted to only have housekeeping once and have taken responsibility for our garbage and recycling (easy disposal across the street). Many many restaurants have outside eating options which we have utilized for lunch each day; some early evenings we have picked up takeout. The weather has been good enough to be outside eating at midday. We are willing to make these adjustments in order to travel once again.

Posted by
100 posts

Thanks Clare. Two in our party are in our 70’s and as best we can we will do the same…

Posted by
3198 posts

It will probably be all different by the time you get there.

I came down with Covid on my last day in Florence in October.
When I went to the pharmacy to get a Rapid Antigen test for insurance purposes, the pharmacist emphasised that I should isolate for five days, which I then did.
However, there was no actual rule or law saying that this was mandatory.
I did it as I was feeling very unwell and couldn't have traveled even if I wanted to, and in all good conscience could not take a flight risking infecting other people.
The hotel I isolated in didn't even ask if I had covid when I asked them if I could isolate there for five days.

I cannot stress enough the importance of having good travel medical insurance.
I added a Covid policy to mine for only $72 before I traveled and was very glad I had.
They will pay all my extra hotel, flight and food expenses that I incurred while isolating, up to CAN$3,500.

Posted by
689 posts

SJ — what travel insurance company did you use with the $72 extra for Covid insurance?

Everyone— so Italy no longer has a mandatory 10 day quarantine and required negative test or doctor’s attestation in order to exit quarantine? I haven’t been following closely…did the law actually change?

Posted by
3198 posts

Hi Ruth,
I live in Canada, and my travel medical insurance is through BCAA, our auto insurance company….like your AAA.
At the moment, it seems there are no rules or laws in Italy around Covid.
You do what is best for yourself and the immediate community.
One hopes that responsible Covid + travellers isolate themselves for at least five days before travelling.

Posted by
168 posts

Ruth, I too had stopped following what the COVID requirements are in Italy after I cancelled my trip earlier this year, but just took a peek to see how things have changed since I am considering trying again in May this coming year and the official guidelines are a 5-14 day isolation. You are supposed to isolate for a minimum 5 days and be symptom free for 2 days with a negative test before you can leave. If you still test positive you can potentially be in quarantine for 14 days after which you can leave even if still testing positive. But, as others have mentioned, it seems things are very informal now and a lot of it is being done based on the honor system. Much different than earlier in the pandemic when you could wind up in a government run quarantine hotel where you were tested every 48 hours and couldn't leave until you tested negative or 21 days had passed!