COVID19 – “I am an Italian expat or a foreign national resident in Italy, may I return to Italy?”

Updated: 17 April 2020 – Information and FAQ provided by the Minister of Foreign affairs, for Foreigners in Italy and Italian nationals returning to Italy.

After over 40 days of total shutdown in Italy, finally, the situation is slowly improving with a decrease in the death rate, even if we are still counting far too many fatalities. Hopefully, our business activities will be able to restart soon, and while we are waiting for the travel-bans to be lifted, we are already receiving a lot of questions from clients who would like to know if and when they will be allowed to come back to ITALY. For now, the main principle is that any trip in Italy must be based on utmost emergency and proved needs.

Last week the Government ha provided some guidelines that can be of help both for the Italians who live abroad (like many Americans that hold also Italian citizenship) and for those persons who are not Italian but live in Italy.

  • Which rules apply to persons traveling to Italy from March 28?
  1. Before boarding, the carrier’s staff is required to check the self-certification (to download the form) setting out the following detailed information: the reasons for travelling to Italy (health needs, work requirements, reasons of absolute necessity), the place of self-isolation for 14 days, own or otherwise private means of transportation used to get to the place of self-isolation and a mobile/land phone number. The reasons of “absolute necessity” are as specified in the FAQs previously posted on the website.
  2. All persons entering Italy, whether at an airport, ferry port or railway station, must avoid using public transport and must therefore make arrangements to be picked up, take a taxi, if and as allowed, or hire a car, with or without a driver. For airport transits and for the rules that apply to pickups at the airport, port or station, please consult the specific faq.
  3. All persons entering Italy are required to self-isolate, including persons with their own transport. Persons traveling to Italy for work may postpone the start of the self-isolation period by 72 hours (which can be extended for a further 48 hours), albeit only if strictly necessary.
  4. All persons entering Italy, including persons with their own transport, are required to report to the local health authorities on arrival at their destination. 
  5. All persons entering Italy may self-isolate either at home or other places of their choice.
  6. If a person entering Italy has no place for self-isolation, or is unable to travel to their place of self-isolation (if they have no-one to pick them up, if there are no available hotel rooms, etc.), they will be required to self-isolate at a location established by the Civil Protection Service, at the interested person’s expense.
  7. The above rules do not apply to the following persons: cross-border workers, health services personnel, passenger/freight transport crews.

Ordinance by the Ministry of Health, in agreement with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, issued on 28.03.2020

  • I’m an Italian expat or a foreign national resident in Italy, may I return to Italy?

Yes, but only for emergency reasons. For example, Italian nationals, or foreign nationals resident in Italy, who are abroad temporarily (for tourism, business or other reasons) are allowed to return to Italy. Italian nationals obliged to leave the foreign country where they were working or studying (because they’ve lost their job or home, or because the study program they were attending has been suspended) are likewise allowed to return to Italy.

  • I live abroad and need to transit through Italy on my way to the country where I live. What must I do?

Transit through Italy, from one foreign country to another, for the purpose of traveling home as quickly as possible and without any unnecessary stopovers, is allowed, for work requirements, medical needs or reasons of absolute necessity. Following are several examples:

– airport transit is allowed (for example, when travelling from Caracas to Frankfurt via Rome Fiumicino), provided that you do not leave the airport;

– cruise ship passengers disembarking in Italy at the end of the cruise are allowed to return to their home countries (at the expense of the cruise ship owner);

– passengers are allowed to board private vehicles on a ferry (from Tunisia or Greece to Italy) and then continue by car to their home country (in the Netherlands or Germany, for example). In this case, stay in Italy cannot last longer than 24 hours, exceptionally extendable for another 12 hours.

When boarding a flight/ferry to Italy from abroad you must fill in this self-certification document (link at the end of the page) clearly specifying that you are a transit passenger traveling to another foreign country. While travelling through Italy you may be required to show this self-declaration document if stopped by any law enforcement officers (link to Interior form), clearly indicating the same reason. If you develop any Covid-19 symptoms while in Italy, you must immediately notify the competent health authorities, at the dedicated number, and follow their instructions. In any case, before planning any travel you are advised to seek information on the travel restrictions in force not just in Italy, but also in the countries of departure, transit and destination. When transiting through Italy you are also advised to contact your embassy or consulate offices in this country.

  • I am traveling to Italy on a flight from abroad. Can I take an onward flight to another domestic or international destination?

Yes, you are allowed to transit through any Italian airport, provided that you do no leave the airport. In any case, your journey to the final destination must be justified by work requirements or health needs or reasons of absolute necessity, as for all other travel.

  • I’m a foreign national in Italy, may I return to my home country?

Yes, but only if it is absolutely necessary and observing the same conditions that apply to Italian nationals returning from abroad. The temporary suspension of work, or switching to a home working arrangement, are not sufficient reasons for traveling. To declare the reasons for traveling to the border, you must use the self-certification form available at the Interior Ministry website and hereinafter linked.
Before departing, you are advised to check the measures put into place in the country of destination to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to contact your embassy in Italy as well.

  • I’m returning to Italy from abroad. May I ask someone to pick me up at the arrival airport, railway station or port?

Yes, but only one person living in the same home as you and possibly wearing protective equipment. This type of movement is considered a matter of the “utmost urgency” and indicated as such on the self-certification form that can be downloaded at the Interior Ministry website. The self-certification must be fully compiled and must specify the journey and the destination place of residence.
You are obviously required to immediately report your return to the Prevention Department (PROTEZIONE CIVILE) of the competent local health authority and shall be subject to health surveillance and self-isolation, and to promptly report the development of any symptoms of Covid-19 infection to the healthcare services.

Don’t forget that whoever is traveling in Italy at this moment is requested to provide a self-declaration stating the reason why the person is “not at home“. Here you can find the Italian and English version of the latest “autocertificazione” that you have to fill up, print and bring with you in case the police authorities stop you or make you pull over while you are driving, to explain the purpose of your travel.

Here it is the SELF-CERTIFICATION FORM provided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs
(to be given to the police officer)

(to be given to the public transport provider)


As we all continue to monitor and respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, here at Studio Legale Capecchi (Capecchi Legal) we have implemented our business continuity plan, enabling the remote work of our attorneys and designated staff and responding to client needs during any closures.

We will still be “meeting” clients via phone or virtually through video conferencing.  For your convenience, we have established several ways in which to get in touch:

Email us:

Video Chat from the comfort of your home.

#Stayhome #Stayhealthy #Thistooshallpass #Everythingwillbefine

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