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A message from Jill Morris, Her Majesty’s Ambassador – British Embassy Rome

A message from Jill Morris, Her Majesty’s Ambassador – British Embassy Rome

Issue No. 20 Wednesday 21 October 2020

To British Nationals in Italy,

I want to update you on the latest Italian government measures related to Covid-19. And to provide a reminder on Citizens’ Rights of the key actions we are advising UK nationals to take before the end of this year. I also want to provide you with details of where you can find more information and support.

New travel requirements – travelling between Italy and the UK

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) now advises against all non-essential travel from the UK to Italy, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country. If you are returning to the UK from Italy, you will need to self-isolate on your return (unless you are exempt). Check the latest guidance for EnglandNorthern IrelandScotland and Wales on our Travel Advice page on gov.uk

For those arriving in Italy from the UK, the Italian government requires a negative COVID test. You will be asked to show evidence that you tested negative in a test administered in the 72 hours before your travel. You should not use the NHS testing service in the UK to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test. Alternatively, you can get a free test on arrival at some airports, or at a testing facility in Italy shortly after you arrive. If you test positive within Italy, you will be required to enter quarantine until one negative test has been recorded. Your quarantine may last from 10 days to 3 weeks, so you should be prepared in case you test positive. The same testing requirement is in place for those entering Italy from Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Additionally, if you have stayed in or transited through a small number of listed countries in the 14 days prior to entering Italy, you will be required to self-isolate on entering Italy. If you cannot do that for any reason, then entry to Italy may be refused.

You should download and complete a self-declaration from the Ministry of Interior before you travel to Italy and inform local authorities of your presence.

For more information please see the ‘Entry Requirements’ section in our Italy Travel Advice pages on gov.uk

Latest measures in Italy

Social distancing (at least one metre distance), regular hand hygiene, and the use of masks remain key containment measures. Masks must be worn across Italy in public indoor spaces and outdoors except for isolated spaces (i.e. countryside) where isolation can be maintained at all times. Using a mask is also recommended in private homes in the presence of non- family members. Those who refuse to wear a mask may be fined between €400 and €1,000. Anyone with a temperature of over 37.5° must remain at home and contact the GP.

Parks are open and outdoor exercise is permitted, subject to social distancing. Funerals are permitted to take place with limited attendance. Churches can celebrate mass, weddings and baptisms. Receptions following civil and religious ceremonies are limited to 30 people.

Only six people can sit together at a restaurant, bar or café. These venues must close by midnight and from 1800 can only serve customers who are seated at a table. Seating will be preassigned within theatres, cinemas and concert venues and has been limited to permit social distancing. Dance activity in nightclubs and open air venues has been suspended and parties are not permitted. Museums and archaeological sites are open but entry must be pre-booked.

In-class school and university courses are authorised, with on-line teaching support as available. School trips or guided external visits are suspended. Access to hospitals and clinics by accompanying people is limited and will be approved individually by each hospital.

Lastly, smart/agile working is strongly encouraged. 

Regional authorities in Italy are empowered to adjust these measures in keeping with local requirements; regional differences may therefore apply in addition to the restrictions listed above. Measures may also vary between towns; local mayors were recently given powers to close some public spaces from 2100 if they choose.

Citizens’ Rights

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and contains the agreed deal on Citizens’ Rights. It includes a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in Italy at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Italy. Please read our Living in Italy page on gov.uk for more information.

In the meantime, please make sure you are registered as a resident in Italy. The rules on residency registration remain the same during the transition period. The Italian government has issued guidance on residency registration which you can find on our Living in Italy page in both English and Italian here

If you have already registered as a resident, you now have the right to obtain a new attestazione from your local comune. This new document will be further proof of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. For more information about the new attestazione, please read the Italian Ministry of Interior’s circular (in Italian). It includes a sample of the new document. You should take this to your local comune when requesting it.

In cooperation with the Embassy, the Italian Association of Town Halls (ANCI) has issued new guidance to local town halls on registering UK nationals and on issuing the new attestazione. You can find a copy on our Living in Italy pages and again you may wish to download it and take it with you when you visit your town hall.

UK Nationals Support Fund

The government is funding organisations across the EU to provide practical support to UK nationals who may have difficulty completing their residency application or registration. This support is available only to those who need additional help. This may include pensioners, disabled people, people living in remote areas or who have mobility difficulties.

In Italy, this practical support is being provided by the International Organisation for Migration. If you or someone you know may have difficulty completing the paperwork, you can contact them on 800 684 884 or by email Uknationalsit@iom.int

How to stay informed

You can find the very latest information on our Living in Italy page on gov.uk. This remains our key resource for UK nationals. It includes details on residency, healthcare and benefits, pensions, driving licences and how to get in touch with us.

We are publishing a new series of ‘How to’ videos on our Facebook page. These cover how to register for residency, obtain the new Withdrawal Agreement attestazione, exchange your UK driving licence, and register for healthcare. Please follow us on social media (on Facebook and Twitter) and let us know what you think of our videos.

We will be holding more live Q & A events for UK nationals on facebook. Please do join us if you can.

Lastly, we will shortly be publishing new guides on how to register your residency and how to register for healthcare. Please keep an eye out for these on our social media.

My warm wishes to you and your family and friends.

With warm wishes,

Jill Morris CMG Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Italy

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