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Planning for Possibility of Quarantining in Italy

I am scheduled to go to Italy in October on an RST. How does one make plans for the possibility of having to quarantine in Italy? I am single, so I will be on my own. I have traveled extensively in Italy (6 RS Tours), but I don't know what to do, in the event I test positive 1 day before flying home and 2 days after the end of a RS tour. I am fully vaccinated and boostered x2.

Would someone please share any relevant experiences or plans on how to make tentative plans for a place to quarantine in Lucca or Rome?
Thank you

Posted by
5147 posts

I understand your concern CJ. So far, no one has reported difficulties finding a place to stay in Italy when they tested positive. There seems to be two choices. You can arrange your own place or the government has designated hotels.

I think the bigger issue to make sure that you have adequate travel insurance, you have contingency plans for home/pets to be taken care of if you have an extended stay, and that you bring enough medicine to cover up to 2-3 weeks extra time (just to be safe). Others have been glad to have a few extra home covid tests along and at least one proctored covid test for convenience while isolating. People have reported it was nice to have some entertainment options (books loaded on tablet or kindle) and you will want to have a working phone.

I would pre-program some key numbers into your phone. A neighbor or friend who could double check on your place, your doctor, quickmd, your airline customer service center, Rick Steves Tours office, your contact number for filing a claim with travel insurance.

Posted by
14 posts

We just returned with a group of 6 from southern Italy (staying in Sorrento). I was very worried before leaving about the possibility of one or more having to quarantine. We had refundable plane tickets and our hotel was cancellable up to 5 or 6 days before arrival. We had no other prepaid expenses.

We only needed medical coverage and quarantine insurance. Usually I purchase Geo Blue health policies, but they did not have the quarantine insurance I wanted.

We ended up getting a Safe Travels Outbound policy from Trawick. It has extended trip interruption coverage which is customizable. We ended up getting $7000 (per person) for the coverage ($500 per day) which could extend up to 180 days. I think other companies were offering 5 or 10 day max. The price was reasonable (with the 84 year old in our group being the most expensive). I spoke directly with a rep at Trawick and felt good about using them. The only issue you might have that reimbursement (if you draw on the policy) may take 30 days or more as they are very busy. You have to be prepared to pay up front for the extra hotel/meals. Also, if you are getting coverage for a group, the coverage is based on the state you live in and those people must be grouped by the state.

All 6 of us tested negative (last Saturday) and returned home. We did not go overboard masking, but followed the masking rules that came up (like on public transportation, museums, etc.). If we were in tight quarters with crowds, we also tried to mask up. I rarely get sick, but I did get a cold after returning.

The insurance gave me piece of mind and we did not let covid worries ruin our trip. I really wish they would remove that inbound testing requirement, but it looks like there are no plans to do so. It interrupts the last day of the trip and even the pharmacist said that very few test positive and not to worry about the departure testing.

Posted by
5147 posts

CJ, I wanted to add that I think it would be a good idea to test at the end of the RS tour, even if it is just a home test and not an official test. If it comes up negative, then you have a little more confidence that things are going as planned. If it comes up positive, then you know to get that official test right away to get the clock ticking for your return. It gives you a few days that you already have reservations to deal with any accommodation questions and I think RS tour guide would still be a resource at that time.

Posted by
21056 posts

It will be helpful to a lot of people, I'm sure. But I don't think he makes the critical point that for the rare COVID victim who is still testing positive 10 days after the first test, it's essential to have an official test from early in the infection to go along with the recovery letter. Just doing a series of self-tests until they produce a negative result is really risky, because the official test might still be positive, and you'd have to start your 10-day countdown then.

Posted by
104 posts

@ James - that was a really helpful link! We are going to Italy this summer and this has been in the back (well okay front) of my mind for the last week or so.

Posted by
2580 posts

I agree that you should have plans in place, and also have the kind of "life" where you can afford NOT to be back when you planned.

Also look into Medjet, they might evac you even if you have a positive test.

Posted by
2911 posts

Medjetassist won’t evacuate you unless you are hospitalized.
The article was really informative and Italy makes the quarantine pretty inexpensive. Good to know.