ATTENTION: Coronavirus in Italy

The Coronavirus and Italy

The Coronavirus is an evolving situation that is affecting all areas of life. As a Rome and Italy focussed site, we will try to keep you as up to date on all the issues that affect the visitor to Rome as we can.

We have advice on what attractions are currently closed, what to do if your attraction is closed and you have booked tickets, travel restrictions and government advice on the outbreak.

We recommend that you follow the reputable news sites and government pages specifically for the most up to date advice on visiting Italy.

Coronavirus and the current situation in Italy

Updated 10 March 2020

10 March 2020

In addition to the advice and situation as outlined below. The whole of Italy has effectively now been put into quarantine until 3 April.

This means that if you are in the country, you should only travel if you have a valid reason and ideally avoid it altogether if possible. The Italian authorities are asking everyone in Italy to help in this fight against the spread of the virus by limiting movement and contact with the sick.

The UK has now advised that only essential travel should be taken to Italy and you will be challenged on your reasons for going/arriving in Italy. Anyone currently in Italy will be expected to self isolate for 14 days on their return to the UK.

9 March 2020

The Council of Ministers announced on 8 March 2020 that all museums and attractions are to be closed until 3 April, in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Any place where it is considered lots of people will gather is part of the closure. This includes museums, cinemas, theatres, gyms, swimming pools, events and more.

Affected attractions from a visitor’s perspective are too numerous to mention but include highlights such as:

  • Colosseum
  • Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
  • St Peter’s Basilica, Rome
  • Attractions in Venice
  • The Uffizi Galleries and other attractions in Florence
  • Duomo in Milan

There are also quarantined zones in Northern Italy which are in effect in lockdown. These large areas include Milan, Venice and Lombardy.

Tickets for affected attractions in Italy

9 March 2020

We recommend a wide variety of ticket types for all the attractions in Italy and these are provided by lots of different suppliers.

If you have tickets for an attraction that is now closed on your visit date, you will need to look up your ticket supplier and contact them for a refund. All tickets purchased are either sent or confirmed via email or have a traceable contact attached for just such an issue.

Many suppliers are already reaching out to their customers offering refunds for the tickets purchased in advance. If you have not heard from your supplier or are having trouble working out who supplied your ticket, we will do our best to help you.

Is it safe to travel to Italy?

9 March 2020

It is not our responsibility to answer this. Only your government can advise on this issue, so you should always check with your government’s travel related information and guidance.

Currently the UK government advises against all but essential travel to the quarantined areas in northern Italy and any traveller visiting these areas should self-isolate upon their return.

There are though areas that are not in quarantine in Italy, with the north of the country being the worst affected and currently the south less so. The measures put in place by the Italian authorities are extreme and are designed to stop the spread of the virus to other areas of the country. These other areas have as yet no UK travel restrictions in place.

Travel disruptions

9 March 2020

Currently flights are still going to and from Italy from the UK. The UK governments current advice is only to self-isolate on return from any quarantined area, meaning Northern Italy and also to only go there if it is absolutely essential. This advice could change as time progresses and the effect of the Italian measures to combat the spread are seen.

Cruise ships are also not being allowed to dock in Venice, part of the quarantined area.

Do remember that it is not just flights that can be affected. Transfers to and from the airports might be reduced or cancelled as the country adapts to these new measures and the logistics of shutting down large parts of the country take effect.

In the UK the government has a page with Italy, foreign travel advice.

How to help protect yourself against infection

9 March 2020

The current advice is all about hygiene and specifically being sure to wash your hands properly (at least 20 seconds) regularly, especially before eating or handling food, when you get to work or arrive home, blow your nose, sneeze or cough. Avoid touching your face and if you have a cough to use a tissue that you dispose of straight away or cough/sneeze into your arm.

Use the specific UK government advice for protecting against the spread of Coronavirus.