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Layover in LHR Before Italy

My husband and I are supposed travel to FCO from Chicago with a short layover in London Heathrow on 9/2. I've read the Italian Consulate web page about quarantining for 5 days if you transit through London and I've read many posts here about people changing their flights to avoid it. My question is: has anyone ACTUALLY had a layover in London on route to Italy and had to quarantine? I'm having a hard time getting straight answers from anyone and unfortunately am unable to change my flight.

Please, if you've experienced this quarantine requirement first-hand, let me know of your experience.
Thank you in advance!

Posted by
5084 posts

Devon, I hope you’ll get a first-hand report. I’m one of those who’s rerouted to Italy by way of Dallas, avoiding Heathrow entirely. I don’t remember the decision schedule for Italy, but is there possibly enough time that the mandatory quarantine policy might get lifted before your departure, and the connection thru Heathrow won’t require the current 5 day quarantine? Delta variant surges here in the USA or Britain don’t seem to be helping the situation. I hope you’ll get a good result for your trip.

Posted by
5 posts

Unfortunately, the current policy goes until 8/30, which really isn't enough time before our 9/2 flight to see if it will be extended or not. Given the current state of things, I imagine it will be.

Posted by
5084 posts

Are you resigned to quarantining for 5 days then, and do you know details about where and how that’ll happen? I understand how hearing from anyone who’s gone thru this would be invaluable.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Cyn,
I haven't heard of or read of anyone that has had to quarantine due to the UK layover, so I'm wondering if this is something Italy is actually enforcing for Americans, and if so, what was people's experience. I called our airline, American, and they actually said we wouldn't have to quarantine. Though I don't know what they're basing that off of since the Italian protocol indicates otherwise. Just trying to get some first-hand information.

Posted by
2276 posts

I haven't heard of or read of anyone that has had to quarantine due to
the UK layover, so I'm wondering if this is something Italy is
actually enforcing for Americans, and if so, what was people's

What does it matter why and how they are enforcing it? It's the law and you need to quarantine for five days, full stop. Or are you really wondering whether you can ignore the law?

Posted by
2235 posts

Maybe there’s been no reports because folks are simply not transiting thru UK?

I am curious which airline your flight is on and why it can’t be changed?
Most if not all airlines are being very accommodating now with flight changes etc

Oh now I see it is American
It doesn’t matter what the American agent told you (and I’d question how well informed they really are)
It is the law now
I’m thinking you’d be allowed to board to Italy but perhaps escorted right off the plane into quarantine once you land in Italy

Posted by
5 posts

I thought that may be the case as well... People are just avoiding LHR altogether. American can't get us on a flight with a different connection in the same fare class. So we can move our trip but our credit expires at the end of the year so we're running out of time. We may just travel domestically and go to Italy when there aren't so many restrictions. We absolutely love it there and hate to not go but also can't imagine spending over half our vacay in quarantine!

Posted by
18 posts

I had a flight through LHR and was able to change it (American/British Air), but before i did i assumed i'd have to quarantine so i asked the hotel we had reserved if that was possible to do it there. They said yes. So it might be worthwhile choosing a nice hotel of your own choice if Italy doesn't change their rule on the 30th. The hotels i saw were good about canceling fairly last minute.

Posted by
10045 posts

I'm reading the official rules from the Italian Foreign Ministry and it is confusing:

*Canada, Japan and the United States: persons travelling to Italy after hacing transited through or
stayed in these Countries in the prior 14 days shall be required to compile the digital passenger locator
form (PLF) and present a green Covid-19 pass issued by the respective local health authorities and considered equivalent (vaccination with an EMA-approved vaccine; recovery from Covid-19 and
completion of the isolation period; negative fast antigen or molecular swab test taken within the last
48 hours before entering Italy). Travellers without a green pass shall be subject to the same general
restrictions provided in list D.

I'm reading it as if you are from Canada, Japan or the USA, and have a green Covid-19 pass (the CDC card qualifies) you don't have to quarantine or even have a test. It says travelers without a green pass shall be subject to the same general restcitions provided in list D which as the UK.

The way it is written and the use of parenthesis is confusing.

It also says:

The certificates issued by the competent Canadian, Japanese, Israeli, UK and US authorities are considered equivalent to the European green pass.

That's the CDC card.

Posted by
2235 posts

This is quite clear and very specific

You are entering Italy from…
Your answer: "UNITED KINGDOM"
Where have you been in the 14 days prior to your attempt to enter Italy?
Are you a citizen of the European Union (Italian citizens included) or of a Schengen Country or their family member?
Your answer: "no"
Are you a holder of long-term residence status in Italy or are you a family member of the latter, also resident in Italy?
Your answer: "no"

You are allowed to enter/return to Italy from or after a stay/transit, in the previous 14 days, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (including Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and British bases on the island of Cyprus), but you are subject to specific containment measures, indicated below.

In accordance with Order of July 29, 2021 adopted by the Minister of Health, in force until August 30, 2021, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (including Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and British bases on the island of Cyprus) falls into List D (click on the blue button on top of the page for the complete Lists of Countries and Territories).

Travellers coming from the UK or who have visited/transited the UK in the previous fourteen (14) days, must:

Fill out a digital Passenger Locator Form and present it to the carrier or any other authorised person, either printed or on one's mobile device.
Present to the carrier, or any other authorized person, a document proving the negative result of a molecular or antigenic test, carried out by means of a swab, in the 48 hours before you arrive.
Irrespective of the result of the test mentioned above, self-isolate for a period of five (5) days, informing your local Health Authority in order to activate health surveillance procedures.
take a second test at the end of the 5-day self-isolation.
Children under the age of six (6) are exempt from the requirement of a molecular or antigenic test, but must still self-isolate.

Border Officers in Italy may always request that you fill out a paper-based self-statement upon arrival.

Posted by
12372 posts

The language quoted by Frank II does not address the situation of a person coming from the US who transits through the UK on the way to Italy. ChristineH has supplied the correct references for this situation.

Posted by
5 posts

Again, I've read the rules. I'm interested in people who have actually been in the following situation: American citizen, brief layover in the UK, had to quarantine for 5 days in Italy. If this is not you, no need to comment. Sorry if that is harsh, but the assistance I am looking for is not in re-posting the Italian protocol. I got that part.

Posted by
2431 posts

I've seen several threads about this quarantine requirement and, given how unequivocal and onerous it is, nobody took the plunge... You might therefore be hard-pressed to find a firsthand account of someone who actually chose to transit LHR en route to Italy.

Posted by
2235 posts

I posted the official protocol for the benefit of others and in response to Frank’s info which is incomplete

Sorry for intruding on your thread

Posted by
19 posts

We are in the same situation and booked with miles on British Airways. We have no choice but to connect thru LHR. Our trip is in October but I’m trying to hold out to see what happens August 30th before rescheduling to spring of 2022.

Gotta say, though, my enthusiasm is waning. With the delta variant rising here in the US, it might not just be the UK that Italy will put restrictions on traveling from. I definitely can relate to your concern.

However, I would not to take any chances trying to circumvent the present rule if it is extended. The consequences if caught are not worth it. Was so hoping we’d be past all this by now. At this point, I’m just hoping we aren’t facing the same thing next year.

Posted by
1365 posts

Don't give up yet.

Keep calling American back and checking - you may get a nice agent to switch the routing. Remember to always be nice and pleasant even if you get an agent that doesn't want to help. Then hang up and call back and try your luck again after a bit.

Other options which you may have already considered - change the destination - go someplace else in Europe that will allow you to transit LHR. Or, what is the next higher fare class for American to change your routing and what would the $ difference be. Would you be willing to pay some additional $ to keep the vacation? Does it have to be Italy or bust?