COVID-19 Tourism Impact 

Find below our articles and newsletters on how the pandemic is affecting travelers and Tourissimo.

Traveling with us? Take a look at our Covid-19 Pre-departure page.

UPDATE Oct 1, 2022: Masking requirements drop and isolation period shortens.

As of Oct 1, 2022 the requirement to wear masks on public transport has been lifted. Masks are still required in certain medical settings and are still encouraged in all other enclosed spaces. Private businesses and local governments may impose their own mask requirements.

As on Sept 1, 2022 the isolation period for a person who has tested positive has been reduced to five days, if after five days of isolation they test negative via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test and have been without symptoms for two days.

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and shows symptoms must immediately self-isolate for five days instead of the previous seven, and must test negative – via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test – at the end of that period, as well as being asymptomatic for two days.

Should they continue to test positive, they must remain in isolation until they get a negative test result. The maximum length of the isolation period is now 14 days.

UPDATE June 10, 2022: USA removes testing requirement.

As of June 12, 2022 there is no longer the requirement to present a negative test to enter the USA.

We still encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance that will cover the expenses of a positive covid test should you experience syptoms or get sick while overseas.

UPDATE May 31, 2022 Italy removes all Covid entry rules for travelers.

Italy’s health ministry said on May 31 that the current requirement to show proof of coronavirus vaccination, recent recovery or a negative test result in order to enter Italy “will not be extended” when it expires on May 31st. As of June 1, there will no longer be any Covid-specific rules to enter Italy. If you are visiting or transiting through other countries, please check to see if there are any remaining requirements.

UPDATE April 28, 2022 New Green Pass and mask rules starting May 1, 2022

Proof of Vaccination or Recovery (Green Pass)

Italy plans to drop both the Basic and Super versions of the Green Pass in almost all situations, including in indoor restaurants and bars and on interregional public transport. Those wishing to visit friends or relatives in hospitals or care homes will still be required to show a valid Super Green Pass.


Masks will be required until June 15 for theaters and cinemas, health centers and schools until they close. 

All local and long-distance public transport, including buses, subways and trams, as well as planes, trains and ships, will also retain the requirement for users to wear masks.

Masks will not be required (only recommended) for bars and restaurants, shops and workplaces.

UPDATE March 27, 2022 State of Emergency ending on March 31, 2022.

The State of Emergency in Italy will expire on March 31, 2022 and will not be renewed. Current restrictions will be gradually relaxed or removed starting from the following day, Friday, April 1st. We will provide our guests with up-to-date requirements 2-4 weeks before travel.

UPDATE February 3, 2022: Super Green Pass still in effect while other restrictions begin to loosen.

The State of Emergency in Italy is set to expire on March 31, 2022 and as of now there are no plans to extend it. In the next decree, expected to be signed on February 7, we will see no expiration date for the Super Green Pass (two approved vaccines + booster), and the color code emergency system will be scrapped for those who are vaccinated.

Testing requirements for those arriving from EU countries have ended, while those arriving from the USA, Canada and other List D countries will still need a test taken either 24 (for antigen) or 72 (for PCR) hours before arrival in Italy. These requirements are in effect until at least March 15, 2022. There are further restrictions for countries on List E.

UPDATE January 10, 2022: Vaccine Mandate, Face Masks Outdoors & Super Green Pass

The Italian goverment is continuously monitoring the hospitalization numbers and updating rules to slow the spread.

As of January 10, 2022:

  • Face masks must be work in all outdoor public spaces in all of Italy.
  • FFP2 masks are now required in certain venues including cinemas, theaters, sporting events and on “all means of transport," until March 31st.
  • There is a vaccine mandate in place for everyone who is 50 years or older. We are not yet sure how this will be applied/enforced for tourists.
  • Proof of full vaccintion or recovery from Covid-19 within the last six months (Super Green Pass) is now required to enter many indoor and outdoor venues, including (but not necessarily limited to):
    • All restaurants and bars, for both indoor and outdoor dining, including in hotels
    • All public transport, including local buses
    • School buses serving children aged 12 and up
    • Hotels
    • Ski lifts
    • All indoor and outdoor swimming pools, wellness centers, gyms and team sports facilities, including changing rooms
    • All indoor and outdoor spas and thermal baths except for “essential rehabilitation or therapeutic treatments”
    • Museums, exhibitions and cultural venues, including libraries
    • Celebrations relating to religious or civil ceremonies
    • Fairs, festivals, conventions and conferences
    • Theme parks
    • Indoor and outdoor cultural, social and recreational centers (excluding educational centres for children)
    • Games rooms, betting rooms, bingo halls and casinos
    • Indoor theaters, cinemas and concert halls
    • Sports stadiums and events
    • Visits to residential and care homes 

December 15, 2021: Beppe's thoughts on travel in 2022. Covid has changed many things, including the way we think as travelers. Especially when it comes to international travel. Rational and irrational responses to the pandemic are now under better control, though.  

After almost two years we are drawing some conclusions about traveling from the USA to Europe in the time of Covid-19. We would like to share those conclusions. [read more]

UPDATE November 26, 2021: The Italian government has issued a new decree, in effect until at least January 15, 2022, stating that the Green Pass will no longer allow access to leisure and cultural venues and some forms of long-distance public transport unless the bearer is vaccinated against or recovered from Covid-19. A negative test is not enough.

Given these new rules, we will not be able to welcome unvaccinated guests on tour at this time. 

If you are currently booked on a 2022 tour and are unvaccinated, get in touch with us immediately and do not book any flights until you've talked to us.

Newsletter, November 8, 2021 Worth the Effort

We've just wrapped up a very special travel season. After uncertainty, delays, new testing requirements and so many more obstacles, we welcomed guests on tours throughout Italy in September and October. [read more]

Newsletter, September 8, 2021 Vaccinated travelers from the USA and Canada can still travel to Italy! 

The rumors started around mid-August.

Based on increasing case numbers in the USA, there was talk that the EU was going to restrict those coming from that country for non-essential reasons. We waited patiently for a decision, expected the last week of August, and also for Italy's expected update to their regulations on August 30. [read more]

Newsletter, August 4, 2021 💉 Vaccinations, ✅ Green Pass, ✈️ Fall Travel

July was an eventful month.

On the 11th when Italy won the European championship against England, there was joy and celebration, and maskless revelers partying into the night. This behavior wasn't sanctioned, but was given tacit approval by almost everyone. [read more]

Newsletter, June 22, 2021,Travel from the USA and Canada to Italy is now easier!

It’s the news that we have been waiting for: Italy is reopening to tourists from the USA and Canada! [read more]

Newsletter, May 3, 2021, Unleash Travel!

Do you remember the famous line, “At my signal, unleash hell” boasted by Russell Crow in the movie Gladiator?

After reading the April 25th NYT article "EU Set to Let Vaccinated U.S. Tourists Visit This Summer," I surprised myself with the vision of Maximus boasting “At my signal, unleash travel!!!.” 

The pandemic is not over and we’ve hoped for quick improvements before, but this time is different. We could be at a turning point tourism-wise. This time, the need to restart economies and resume travel finally aligns with comforting numbers in terms of vaccination and COVID-19 control.

As the NYT article predicted that Americans could travel to Europe in the summer, European politicians are working tirelessly to reopen. The Italian minister of tourism said that we are entering a “planning and monitoring phase” to reopen on June 2nd. That is Liberation Day in Italy and is a date charged with symbolism.

Italy’s government is looking at relaxing restrictions in a “major way.”

There’s lots of talking about the green pass to make reopening to tourism – both domestic and international - safe.  I am observing not only a strong desire to restart, to reopen, but also confidence in the near future and a pragmatic approach with much coordination among countries. Of course, no one wants to take chances and the success of the green pass will be consequential.   

The overall feeling is that it is time to look at the future and beyond COVID.

So, the word of the week in Italy has been: reopening. After several hiccups with vaccination, Italy is now vaccinating at its goal-pace of 500,000 people a day with a stretch goal in the following weeks of 1 M. Businesses are gradually reopening. 

At Tourissimo, we are hopeful and ready to restart ourselves. With several biking and hiking tours confirmed between September and October, we are planning and coordinating things with our partners, we are scouting and also meeting our guides and staff soon for a reopening huddle.

Newsletter, January 11, 2021 Travel Outlook

Every country is dealing with its own Covid-19 crises but international diplomacy and the scientific world at large are not standing still. It’s an evolving scenario and in the right direction. Here’s an example: countries used to deny entrance or require quarantine for people crossing borders even when coming back from abroad. Now, many countries allow entrance with a negative Covid test, usually taken up to 72 hrs prior or right at the airport. Covid passports in the form of smartphone apps have also been deployed.

What about Americans to Italy? Too soon to go, but not to plan.

Italy is indicated as of January 11th as Level 3 out of 4 in the travel alert scale of the State Department.

On the other hand, US citizens are not permitted to enter:

Non-essential travel (i.e., tourism) to Italy from most non-EU countries (including the United States) is prohibited. Essential travel is allowed and includes students, businesspersons, EU residents, and relatives of Italian citizens.

I’ll spare you the numbers but Italy and Europe are also struggling and have put  soft and hard lockdowns back in place.

This is the situation as we enter 2021. But more and more we see people planning and some are ready to book. [read more]

Newsletter, December 1, Italy's 2nd Wave

A lot has happened since our last update. Some European guests and several of our guides enjoyed a week of cycling and camaraderie during our Giro d'Italia Cycling week in Emilia Romagna.

Beppe and I traveled from Italy to the USA. As soon as we left, a second wave of COVID-19 hit Italy and the rest of Europe hard and new restrictions (not as severe as the total lockdown of the spring, but close in some regions) went into effect. Piedmont, where we are based, experienced a severe outbreak and many people we know tested positive. We are happy to report that even those who were hospitalized are now on the mend.

It now looks like Italy's second wave is subsiding, although there is still trepidation about the holidays and about ski season. A State of Emergency is still in effect. The current decree is in force until later this week and all the current safety measures are expected to continue.

The Local Italy has done a thorough job of reporting on the current rules and restrictions in place. If you want to learn more, you can check out this article.    

[read more]

Newsletter, October 8, Details of New Decree

Here are the rules that we expect to be in the October 15 decree:

  • Italy’s list of European countries deemed “at risk” will be updated. Currently, those returning from Spain, Malta, Greece and Croatia are subject to mandatory testing. The Netherlands, Belgium. Czech Republic and the UK are expected to be added to the list. Those arriving from Romania and Bulgaria are subject to quarantine. 
  • The current no-travel list: Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bosnia Herzegovina, Chile, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. No update yet on if this will change.
  • Travel from other countries is allowed for essential reasons only, and quarantine is still mandatory. There is a new exception for international couples, and the partner living abroad can now return to be with the "person with whom they have a stable emotional relationship, even if not cohabiting." Quarantine will be mandatory. No word yet on what proof will need to be provided for this exception, and we have not heard or read any stories from people who have come to Italy with this exception yet.
  • Anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 but doesn't follow quarantine rules could be fined a minimum of 500 Euros and could even face a prison term of 3 to 18 months under the new decree.
  • The new decree is expected to set guidelines for local authorities to impose a localized lockdown if the outbreak is hard to control in a certain area.
  • The new decree does reportedly allow for "selective" closures of businesses, including bars and restaurants, if there is an "adverse" situation regarding infections locally.
  • Cinemas, theaters and concert venues are expected to be allowed to remain open, but the limit remains 200 people for all indoor events and 1000 people for outdoor ones.
  • Discos are set to remain closed.
  • Safety measures on planes, trains and ships are set to remain in place, and local public transport will continue to run at 80% of maximum capacity.
  • Schools are expected to remain open, with rules unchanged, as the head of Italy's Higher Health Institute on Wednesday said infection rates in schools were "highly limited" and "the protocols are working."
  • The current requirements on social distancing and regular hand washing reman unchanged.
  • People are instructed to keep a distance of one meter from others at all times, and anyone who has a temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius is obliged to stay at home.

2021 Bookings Update

For 2021 trips we have lowered our deposit from 20% to 10% and we've updated our cancellation policy: We encourage everyone who is planning to book a trip to review the details and contact us with any questions.
Anyone who books agrees to the cancellation policy. We are not giving full cash refunds (beyond what is due in the cancellation policy) because of the pandemic. We are, however, offering credits. Any cancellation because of the COVID-19 emergency will be protected: any amount already paid becomes a credit. You will not lose your money. The credit is transferable, or it can become a gift certificate (or multiple gift certificates). For private/custom tours: we will work with your group organizer to find a new date later in the year or the following year for your trip. If you can not make the new dates, you can use your credit on any of our trips or transfer your credit to someone else.

Newsletter, June 16th - Phase 3 in Italy

In Italy phase two of the COVID-19 pandemic started between May 18th and May 25th and it corresponded with the start of less strict measures. Since then things have been moving very smoothly towards a gradual reopening and phase THREE.

Because of public pressure and with the nervous ok of the scientific task force, the government even sped up some reopenings initially planned for later in June (gyms, spas and salons, hair dressers).

In the media most of the attention moved from health to economy and to the strenuous negotiations within the EU for grants and/or loans.  Money is there and lots of it. Mr Conte (Italy's Prime Minister) should rightly consider it his win and the negotiation is now about when money can become available because in normal times this would require six months. And of course the argument is that we don’t have six months to just wait to pump money into the economy. [read more]

Newsletter, May 21st - Updates from Italy (COVID and non-COVID)

May 18th marked an important step in the Italian pandemic course.                                                       

This is it, this is Italy entering a real phase two after "phase 1.5" started after the May 4th decree. It’s hasn’t been very long between May 4th and now but there’s been lots of progress. 

As has been the case since the start of the COVID-19 emergency, not all regions are in the same situation. That has caused, along with the different political colors of part of the regional governors – friction between the government led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and some regions. They found a compromise starting last Monday: regions can issue guidelines different than the ones issued centrally, but they are accountable for their decisions. They have to report back their cases and the central government can impose its hierarchy if numbers go over a certain benchmark. To better understand the situation consider that public health is a central government matter but that hospitals are under the regions. We have all learned of Lombardy's disastrous handling of the emergency and the untimely political back-and-forth with Conte. [read more]

Newsletter, April 29th - Update on the COVID-19 Emergency from Italy: Phase Two

There was great trepidation for last weekend's press conference by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. Italy has been under lockdown for just over 40 days now and the pandemic curve started to decline about a week ago (not all regions have the same situation). Several decrees spaced over that time were aimed at safeguarding public health and giving a first response to the economic meltdown. As you know, it was all done under emergency circumstances and people understood what they were asked with all its implications.

But that wasn’t the hard part politically. While uncertainty is paramount we cannot just wait and see or hope for the vaccine to be available sooner than possible. The so-called “phase two” or reopening is an incredibly complicated puzzle with lives and the economy at stake. [read more]

Blog article, April 18th - Air Travel and Coronavirus: What Happens Next

We are in the middle of something of historic magnitude. Some things, at least during our lifetimes, will never be the same. There are so many angles for looking at how Covid-19 has impacted and will change travel. I’d like to share my thoughts on air travel, something we’ve taken for granted for decades. [read more]

Newsletter, April 14th - COVID-19 update - Italy Outlook

Italy is fighting an invisible enemy as many others in the world right now. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our habits with little warning and also put the lives of our families and fellow citizens at risk and a strain on the health system. The sad truth is that the virus is taking lives as we write.
We have been waiting to reach out because we wanted to postpone this communication until we saw the epidemic curve in Italy show its decline. We prefer not talking of a “peak” because numbers can always change and they depend on
factors such as timing and number of positive cases found (which does not mean all of the cases). But the trend has finally shown an undeniable decline in the cases hospitalized, intensive care recovering and deaths. The number of new positive cases that need hospitalization is lower than the people recovering. [read more]

Newsletter, March 18th - A Message of Hope

Like many of you, Beppe and I have been in a state of shock as the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. Our first thoughts are for our family, friends and staff in Italy and we have been in constant contact with them while we remain here in the USA for longer than planned. They are all well and they are adhering to the strict measures in place to slow to rate of spread. [read more]