Covid-19 guidelines for tourists in Italy
This will help answer some questions you may have about Covid-19 guidelines in Italy; precautions you may want to take or know more about.
Please understand that by following the strictest health guidelines, has made it possible for Italy to safely open up to tourists at a tremendous cost. The most important steps visitors can take is to respect the given guidelines. A restaurant or hotel owner can be heavily fined and risk closure for 14 days.
The fact is, throughout the pandemic, hotels were never forced to close. The vast majority did, however, as it proved quite impossible to remain open given the new operating requirements mandated by the federal government and the lack of tourists. Starting June 3, 2020, Italians were allowed to travel between regions and, as borders opened back up between countries, the first tourists were warmly welcomed back. Most Italians are now up to speed with all of the safety protocols, and the majority of citizens strictly adhere to them. Italians were encouraged to travel and stay at hotels across the nation, and little by little, more hotels, agritursmi and B&B’s opened up, if only at partial capacity. Today, we strictly follow health ministry guidelines to avoid a second wave of contagion and to keep our economy healthy as well.
GUIDELINES FOR HOTELS
Clear information must be provided in several languages regarding rules to prevent virus contagion. For the most part, these are:
- Entry denied to anybody revealing a temperature over 37.5° C.
- Masks must be worn at all times when entering a building or while moving around in common areas.
- Maintain a safe distance between patrons of at least 1 meter (4 feet), vigilantly respected in all common areas.
- Where possible, different routes should be well indicated, for example for entrances and exits.
- Signage and areas should be well-marked, e.g., floor stickers, elevator and counter access rules, etc.
- Check-in screens should be used at the reception, and where possible unnecessary contact between reception staff and guests should be avoided.
- Hotel staff should regularly disinfect surfaces, especially at the end of a shift.
- Rooms must be disinfected daily, paying particular attention to frequently used objects such as telephones, door knobs, light switches, taps, etc.
- Rooms must be cleaned using gloves to be discarded after the cleaning of each room.
- Staff is required to wear a mask when in contact with guests and in any situation where it is not possible to maintain distance, such as elevators.
- Disinfectants and gels should be available to guests and staff at various locations throughout the building and their use should be encouraged.
- After a guest's departure, the room will need to be fully professionally fumigated and disinfected.
- Thorough and frequent cleaning and disinfection of shared areas is mandatory, especially surfaces that are frequently used or touched, railings, door knobs, elevator knobs, windows, etc.
- Air ventilation and indoor air quality must be continuously monitored. Several times a day fresh air from outside must be able to circulate throughout the building by opening windows and doors.
- Restaurants that are part of a hotel are discouraged to prepare buffets for guests.
- Room service should be offered if the customer wishes.
- Where possible electronic keys and self check-in procedures should be encouraged.
GUIDELINES FOR GUESTS
- To avoid queues at reception, guests are requested to email a copy of their passport or ID to the hotel in advance.
- Contact-less payments are preferred.
- Guests are requested to carry their room keys with them throughout their stay.
- Guests should always wear a mask outside their room and in particular in common areas where there are other guests and or staff.
- Allow for a distance of at least one meter (4 feet) between yourself and any other guest or member of staff.
- Room service should be available everywhere, making it easy to have meals or breakfast served in the room.
- Disinfectants must be available at various points of the hotel for guests and staff. Use these and report if you come across an empty container.
GUIDELINES IN RESTAURANTS AND CAFÉS
- There should be at least a meter (4 feet) distance between tables and between customers at the same table, unless they are 'congiunti' (spouses, cohabiting partners, people 'with a stable emotional bond', and family members up to the sixth degree.
- Small cafés without seating, must only allow a limited number of customers to be inside at any one time, the minimum distance of one meter must be respected at all times.
- It is mandatory to wear a mask as soon as you get up from the table, from entering to sitting down, or when going to the bathroom or getting up to pay.
- The traditional snacks served with an aperitivo are only allowed if they are served at the table, marking in fact the end of the popular aperocena.
- Buffet meals are prohibited, this is also the case for breakfast or any other meals.
- Reservations are recommended but not required.
- In the case of 'congiunti', a larger table can be requested if staff are notified in advance. There is actually no limit to the number of people who can sit at the same table, but given the minimum distance requirements this may just be impossible to realize. Some regions are considering installing plexiglass barriers to reduce the distance between other guests.
- Every restaurant must maintain a list of their customers and keep it available for at least 14 days (for contact tracking).
- Waiters and staff should always wear a face mask. They should regularly clean their hands with disinfectants and at least before serving every table. Gloves are not mandatory.
- Sanitizing gels should be available throughout the establishment for use by customers, especially at the entrance and bathroom areas.
- Where possible, outside dining or seating is encouraged, whereby the distance of at least 1 meter (4 feet) must always be respected.
- Electronic payments, preferably at the table, are recommended.
- Air conditioning is not recommended and ventilation should be as effective as possible, for example by opening windows and doors.
- After a customer leaves, all surfaces must be disinfected.
- Use of disposable cutlery is encouraged.
- Salt shakers or condiments in bottles to be used on the table are not encouraged and if used, they should be disinfected after each use.
GUIDELINES IN BARS
Generally, many of the same rules apply as listed above for restaurants and cafés however as these are generally crowded small spaces there are some differences in the guidelines. You may drink a coffee at the counter, provided again social distancing is respected (a distance of one meter or 4 feet). In small cafés without seats, only a limited number of customers are allowed inside at any one time, as to maintain social distancing guideline of minimal 1 meter (4 feet). Here also, one is required to wear a mask from the time entering, when going to the bathroom or getting up to pay. Obviously not when drinking. Your barrista must wear a face mask. They should regularly clean their hands with disinfectants and at least before serving your coffee. Gloves are not mandatory however sanitizing gels should be available throughout the establishment for use by customers, especially at the entrance and bathroom areas. After a customer leaves, all surfaces must be disinfected. Where possible, serving outside is encouraged however maintaining social distancing guideline of minimum 1 meter (4 feet). Expect windows and doors to be opened against each other, as a precaution, bring a jumper or jacket and do not ask for the windows to be closed.
- Written by Elisabeth Bertrand from Genoa (Liguria Italy) Elisabeth (Jane) Bertrand started this website about Italy in 2008, she has worked in tourism for at least 15 years, specifically as a product manager of a travel company. Since then she changes industry and continued as a website developer. Currently she combines travel with web technology in the best way possible. She has lived in Italy several times and it remains her favourite vacation destination so she would certainly be available for a travel review if she is not too busy with Dolcevia.com's technology. Visit my website