What to expect when you’re flying to Italy

You can take hand luggage, but you’re not guaranteed an empty seat next to you. Here’s what to be prepared for when you next fly to Italy.

Italy introduced new safety precautions on planes when it allowed European travel to resume in June – but it has changed them a few times since, and besides, how closely are airlines following the rules?

The Local spoke to people who’ve flown to Italy recently to get an idea of what passengers should expect.

rome airport
Inside Rome’s main airport. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Extra paperwork

The Italian government asks all passengers flying to Italy to declare that they haven’t been in close contact with anyone who has recently had the coronavirus, promise that they’ll inform health authorities if they become sick within eight days of flying, and give their contact details in Italy.

Your airline should provide you with a form to fill in before you board, either when you book your ticket, when you check in or at the gate.

If you’re flying with Alitalia you can complete it at the same time as checking in online, while British Airways provides passengers with a hard copy at the airport. Ryanair and EasyJet give passengers a PDF and advise them to print it out. You can also find it on the Italy Foreign Ministry’s website.

Everyone should complete the declaration, regardless of where they’re travelling from – even within the EU. The travellers we spoke to said it was a simple formality: most reported that Italian border agents didn’t even glance at their form, while a couple said they weren’t asked for it at all.

It’s a precautionary measure and you’re unlikely to be grilled about it – but if someone should become ill, it could help authorities alert you as soon as possible. So assume you’ll need it and give all the details it asks for.

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